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Places to avoid in NM Unit 52?
I drew Elk second archery in NM Unit 52. I'm going to go scout in July and any recommendations on areas I should avoid because of too much hunting pressure or where people have bad experiences with thieves or having their camps wrecked would be appreciated. I have read several threads about bad experiences with thieves in Unit 51.
When I hunted deer out there it seemed like any watering hole I passed had someone sitting at it waiting for elk. And there was a lot of watering holes ahaha.
Welcome to Bowsite Derek! Wish I could help you out, but as you know, I've never been there.
As far as camp thieves go, welcome to NM...
You don’t need to be in the mountains to have anything stolen. My license plate was stolen and switched for another this past weekend at the Western Regional Taxidermy competition in Albuquerque.
Avoid hiding your camp, and try to camp in the vicinity of other hunters. We use camp trailers and leave nothing outside that's not chained down. And just don't let others know or see what you have in camp.
If u don't wanna chat with a lot of people I would avoid san Antonio mountain. I had a hard time getting to the top for having to stop and share hunting stories and political rants every couple hundred yards!
If you really want to avoid people I would suggest hunting some where else other than 52...........
Heading into Cruces Basin can separate you from many guys, especially if you start at the end of a long rough road. I hunted brokeoff and jawbone. Pressure was so so. Lots of guys don’t get a mile in - or if they do it’s not till couple hours after sunrise
Thanks guys that was great advice.
If you are concerned about your camp (and unfortunately you have to be in northern NM) one thing that helps is to make your camp look big. We travel mostly on ATVs so there is almost always at least one (and often two) trucks at camp. We also set up an extra tent which is very handy for storing gear and gives the impression there are more than two guys there. I also often invite non-hunting friends to come up for camp. They occasionally go out with us for an evening calling session but mainly hang out at camp. Not only does it keep away the rift raft, but more often than not, when we get back to camp at night, dinner is hot and waiting on us.
Camping on a main road and having a camp that looks much bigger than 2 guys has served us well as we have never had any problems in 30+ years of hunting NM. Half our time has been close to where you are talking about. Unfortunately, we have talked to many through the years who have had stuff stolen from their camps in the same area. Usually they were small camps and off the beaten path. Even low life thieves are usually smart enough to look for the easy pickings. A big camp where they aren't 100% sure if someone could be home or just out of sight encourages them to go elsewhere.
You can always set up some game cameras for surveillance and then go Charles Bronson on camp marauders.
The thieves in NM are pros !! If they want it and you’re gone they will get it. Not everyone gets ripped off in NM but the state is so liberal and criminal friendly it’s crazy. We have tv commercials running right now with polititions running their ads and the Democrats are running on protecting “dreamers” (daca) , also saying ....we will standup to the NRA....but I haven’t heard any liberals talk about stopping crime...ABQ is a big time sanctuary city and the politicians seem to want the whole state just as F$#@*# up as ABQ is, so they are ok with illegals, thieves, gangbangers, vagrants, etc......The State Police in northern NM have a long ways to drive to get to crime scenes and hunting camps and the Cholo’s know it. Good luck on your hunt but getting ripped off is just the chance you have to take now days in the Land of Enchantment.......Sad but true.
Hey now, NM is tough on crime...just last week the news reported that police in Bernalillo County rounded up 48 arrests on outstanding warrants...but there is still work to be done because there are 60,000 (that's not a typo) outstanding warrants in the County. (sarcasm, in case you couldn't tell)
I’ve hunted in 52 many times since the mid 80’s. 3 guys max with two tents and many times solo. I’ve never had an issue whatsoever. We’ve camped in isolated areas and right next to forest roads. I’ve heard the stories about camps getting vandalized and gear stolen. It’s usually out of state hunters with big RVs that get hit. Having at least one person in camp is definitely the best option.
Another idea would be to stay at Kiowa outfitters camp. They offer a couple options. We ran into the owner out there, and he treated us with respect, even though we weren't hunting with him.
This^^^^ is why no one should even bother applying for New Mexico. ;)
Last year it seemed like there was a meth head on every corner from Albuquerque to Las Cruces. We rented a storage unit in Albuquerque to keep gear in for a day and night while waiting for a hunting partner to drive in, at the advise of the hotel management who stated their security can’t stop break in of vehicles in the secure lot.
Back in the sticks it wasn’t much better, way to many undesirables driving around...... open carry is permitted and good idea.
If I were worried about thieves, if have a trail cam or 3 set up in a couple spots
Wow, I go hunting for the enjoyment - If I had to worry the entire time out hunting whether or not I would have a camp to return to ..... I certainly wouldn't hunt in that area.
So you set out trail cams, and you get pics of the thieves .... then what?? Sounds like it would be a real nightmare to get any kind of justice (lawful justice, that is).
We hunted 52 and ended up camping on the southern boundary in a campground on the highway,no problems. Also lower elevations south made for easier hunting than the high elevations