New Mexico Elk Hunt: Day 1 Report

sunset in New Mexico elk unit 13

Morning Report

elk hunting unit 13 new mexico

Here’s what it looked like on the morning of day 1 of my hunt

Had a bull sound off a few times to the north… I was there an hour before daylight listening and he went just a couple times… One other bull near him but definitely sounded smaller….

I walked north about a quarter mile. He was to the east and a bit north… I wasn’t sure if they’d head east up into the mountain or south towards private. I cut east and then he bugled again… Close… I was directly south of him and at least a couple cows… I nocked an arrow and got ready in case they were headed south (a small hump/ridge in the land kept me hidden and from seeing them. I waited a couple minutes.

Then I heard something walking directly east of me about 80-100 yards… I figured it was elk but stayed put a minute because that bull was straight north of me and I thought he might just be over from some others… Then I heard a cow call about 100 yards over east and a bit south so I figured they must’ve got by me. I started sneaking back towards them and as I came around a tree, there he was… Nice bull but I probably wouldn’t have shot him… Maybe 300 at best… He had seen me and was about 100 yards… Gig was up.

That was literally minutes into shooting light…

Nothing else bugled at all so I worked my way northeast in case that other bull might be around… About a half mile NE I bugled and he answered probably within 1/4 mile… Didn’t sound big though. I pursued anyway. About a mile later and a couple calls here and there, nothing… About 8:45 I headed back…

Evening Report

Toyota Tacoma on New Mexico elk hunt

My Toyota got me to the top of this high mountain, but I didn’t stay long with the storm approaching quickly.

Headed to a waterhole to sit but someone was already there… Headed to a different spot and decided to drive up this GIANT and STEEP mountain where there’s a big lookout tower… Incredibly scary and I regretted it soon as I got about 1/4 up it but there was no real going back because I couldn’t turn around. The trusty Tacoma made it, but the drive took about a half hour and a storm was rolling in! I was afraid that going down might get slick with too much rain so I hurried and took a few pictures and headed back down. Didn’t even glass for elk up there like I’d intended.

Plan C I headed to another spot that a guy with a first season tag said he’d heard bugling in there. I still hunted along a really impressive canyon for a couple miles until dark. Nothing… No distant bugles, no elk sighted. Day 1 is a wrap. Time for some hot soup.

glassing elk day 1 New Mexico elk hunt

Another view from atop the lookout. The distant thunderstorm had me worried about a wet road on the half hour drive back down.

elk hunting new mexico Datil Mountains

This is a view of where I parked my truck on the evening hunt when I went for a long walk.

elk hunting Datil Mountains New Mexico

view during my evening walk, day 1. Decent elk sign, but nothing being vocal, and as you can see, it’s quite thick, so without audio, it’s hard to get in on them.

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