Oklahoma Hunting Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Left to go on an elk hunt in New Mexico on the 30th of Dec, and got back last night. Kind of a budget hunt, with a landowner cow tag. We had a nice place to stay with plenty of heat, good beds, great kitchen, and easy access to the hunting area that is a working cattle ranch.
Tags were good for Jan 1-5. New years eve, we got a 5" snow. The first of the season.
I went with some guys that have been going there for many years, with a 100% success ratio for the last 6 years.
This year, something was different. As this was my first elk hunt, I just rode along while glassing with the guys, and we saw lots of elk. Bull elk. No cows. Finally on the second day in a valley, we saw 8 bulls, and 3 cows. Nothing we could do as they were 1K yds away, and walking to the Indian reservation.
Next day we set up in a 100+ year old log bull barn where some of the chinking had fallen out, making a perfect blind.
Elk came out on the other side, over 6k yds away. Dark came and had to walk out.
Sunday morning came out crisp and clear, and a -22 degrees below zero at 9000 ft. The other guys (desk jockies) decided to huddle around the pot bellied stove, so I took off across the mountain. Took a GPS and a Lensatic Compass, food, etc.
Spent the day following tracks and trying to find where the elk were, as this ranch is a migration route for the elk.
Finally cut tracks, and followed them until they left the 7K Acre ranch on the South.
Next day before daylight, (11 below)was driving up the ranch road before daylight and saw another group of tracks, and followed them. They intersected with the first group at the edge of the dark timber, and went around the face of a mountain, leaving the ranch at the same place. For whatever reason the elk had changed their migration route to go around the ranch instead of through it?
Long story short, I've been to the mountains on ski trips, etc, but have never put on the backpack, slung a rifle, and make like a wanna-be mountain man. It was an incredible experience to wander the mountains. I crossed a pair of mountain lion track, saw mule deer, elk, etc. Some of the trip was memorable. I had my GPS and getting back to camp, it registered my total miles at 3.21. Highest speed, 4.3mph. The guy that invited me, wondered how the heck a top speed of 4.3mph could be obtained?
Easy. Thats the speed you reach when the 45 degree face of a mountain in loose rock gives way underfoot, and you slide down the mountain on the cheeks of your butt :eek: ;D
Yesterday morning, got out for another hunt, and not far from the cabin, found some fresh tracks crossing the ranch road, so, got out and followed them. While cresting a hill, I saw two cow elk on the opposite ridge about 400 yds away. The range didn't bother me, as much as knowing there was a house, and livestock on the other side of the ridge below where the elk were standing.
No brainer. No shoot. They wanderd off down the ridge, and I went about my way. Had to leave early as another major snow storm was heading that way, and they said to get out if we didn't want to get snowed in.



















 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
That is awesome! Beautiful country!

What is that taped to your gunstock? Ballistics?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, ballistics tables for two different loads. Most of my hunting is longer ranges, and I shoot too many different calibers to remember the ballistics of each load.
This rifle, (.06)shoots two different loads, one for whitetail, and the other is some new Barnes TTSX loads I put together for elk.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,807 Posts
That was some great looking country.
I miss the mountains,even though I live right outside the Wichita Mountains here S.W. OK they don't hold up to real mountainous areas.
Love the 100 year old hunting blind you where hunting out of.

Where about in NM where you all hunting around?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In the NC part of the state, South of Red River.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
What is that new-fangled contraption in the 2nd to the last pic?

Haha! I wanna get one of those...eventually!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats my $20 special ;D Guy that can't stay out of the casino needed $20, so I ended up with this.
I need to get a cable for it to upgrade the software. Its so old it only looks at 4 satellites, but it works well.
I'll say one thing a GPS will get you in trouble in certain areas of the mountains.
I had a Lensatic compass in the backpack for backup.
Seems when you get into a steep walled canyon, you lose sight of the satellites, and the gps does not know the correct direction.
Had a co-worker spend a long cold night in grizzly country with a bow and knife as he trusted his gps and got lost in a canyon. When he walked up to the top of a ridge the next day, he found out he was going the wrong direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
Too much faith in computers!!

I've never used a GPS. Never had one, but I would like to get one. I carry a good compass with me everywhere I go, but most times I don't even need that. Just good to have if I ever do.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,025 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree, the compass is primary, and the GPS is just a toy to play with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,255 Posts
Wow, awesome hunt you had there. Had to be good to get that far out and hard to come back I bet!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,971 Posts
I have a GPS and I'll admit the first time I used it I walked in a circle till I figured it out. But It did save me and a buddies butt once. Night came quick and was was still miles from camp. Hard to use Mt. peaks on a new moon and overcast.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top