New Mexico Elk Hunt: Day 3 Report

canyon view in New Mexico while elk hunting

Morning Hunt

I gave chase to a bull in the same area as the first morning for the first 15 minutes of shooting light. He bugled several times on private and I crept in to where I thought he might leave for the public bedding. He even answered my cow calls a couple times. When I was about 100 yards, he bugled once more but I couldn’t see him because of a rise in the terrain. A few minutes later he bugled again, but a little further away. That was the last I heard of him and I never did lay eyes on him. Nothing else the rest of the morning despite another multiple mile hike. Hunting’s been tough! These elk just aren’t kicking in yet.

pronghorn antelope I saw during New Mexico elk hunt

There’s a small group of antelope about 200 yards from me in this picture, including a pretty nice buck.

antelope New Mexico

Same picture, zoomed in and cropped.

I’ve run into a local guide and his hunter a couple times now… Cool guys, and it’s at least comforting to hear him say that it is extremely tough hunting for all right now. He’s not seen the bulls this quiet, and then he described how it usually is… I’d sure like a taste of that before I leave here!

Evening Hunt

5x6 bull elk Jarrod passed day 3

This is the 5×6 bull I passed. He drank for 10 minutes then laid down right over the puddle!

My hike in to my evening spot had to be one of the prettiest imaginable. I drove over an hour down a beaten two track about 7 miles, then it was a 2 mile walk uphill to my intended spot. I had a breathtaking view of a rock faced canyon. My sit was over a remote spring at the head of it. There was barely a 2′ puddle but definitely sign of use by both elk and cattle.

With about a half hour of daylight remaining, a bull bugled at the top of the canyon ridge, just about me about 100 yards. The thermals were dropping so I felt good about my wind. In a few minutes I heard rocks falling as a big animal made the descent. Then I caught a flash of elk rack.

Down to the spring walked a nice 5×6 bull. I’d guess him upper 200’s. I gave him a pass and for 20 minutes he was in front of me at 25 yards. After drinking about 5 minutes, he laid right down in the 2′ pool of water! Then another bull sounded from where this one had come! But it got dark on me and that second bull never came down for a drink. He did bugle a few more times up top so that was exciting at least.

Had a fun 2 mile walk back in the darkness. Thank god for my GPS!

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