Mathews Inc.
New Mexico Ibex?
Wild Sheep
Contributors to this thread:
delkslayr 01-Feb-21
Scoot 01-Feb-21
smarba 01-Feb-21
Habitat 01-Feb-21
The last savage 01-Feb-21
smarba 01-Feb-21
Scoot 01-Feb-21
butcherboy 01-Feb-21
jstephens61 01-Feb-21
DonVathome 01-Feb-21
ki-ke 01-Feb-21
Dale06 01-Feb-21
ki-ke 01-Feb-21
butcherboy 01-Feb-21
HDE 01-Feb-21
Spiral Horn 01-Feb-21
Oryx35 01-Feb-21
Sandbrew 02-Feb-21
sticksender 02-Feb-21
deserthunter 02-Feb-21
delkslayr 02-Feb-21
tkjwonta 02-Feb-21
Beav 02-Feb-21
EmbryOklahoma 02-Feb-21
Gus 02-Feb-21
Sandbrew 02-Feb-21
Adventurewriter 03-Feb-21
JRABQ 03-Feb-21
BULELK1 03-Feb-21
KHunter 16-Feb-21
Brotsky 16-Feb-21
delkslayr 16-Feb-21
butcherboy 17-Feb-21
Muddyboots 17-Feb-21
From: delkslayr
01-Feb-21
Hey everyone. I am just reaching out to see if anyone has any information on what it takes for a Non Resident to draw an Ibex tag in New Mexico? It looks like there are few tags available based on tag allocation. I'm looking at it as a chance to go on an "exotic" hunt with being able to drive there and do a DIY style hunt. I'd like to do archery if it seems doable? What time of year is the best, October or January? Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.

From: Scoot
01-Feb-21
The biggest thing it takes is luck to draw the tag. Odds of drawing are usually under 5% for NRs who are hunting DIY. If you go guided/semi-guided, odds shoot up to a whopping 5-15%. Like most tags in NM, they're tough to draw.

Not trying to rain on your parade with the above info, but I think it's good to have realistic expectations. To my knowledge it's not possible to get a tag other than through the draw. If it is possible, I can only assume it's expensive. Good luck if you give it a go and try to draw! From what I've heard about that country, it will test you! I think it'd be a hoot to do that hunt. I'd go in fully expecting to get my hind end kicked, and I'm sure I would, but I'd have a smile on my face the whole time.

From: smarba
01-Feb-21
YouTube videos make it appear glamorous and amazing. Extremely difficult terrain.

I haven't looked at the numbers in a while, but maybe 1-5% hunt success rate for archery. Draw odds are poor mainly thanks to YouTube videos making it look glamorous and amazing.

Rattlesnakes can even be active in the Jan hunt if it's warm weather; definitely active in Oct.

NMDGF has been hammering the population with lots of nanny rifle tags for several years. Numbers are definitely down.

From: Habitat
01-Feb-21
Everything I have read said it's the toughest hunt in the US.Rough country,little water which has to be packed in or you come out every day and super long shots.I have hunted oryx a couple times but not ibex.

01-Feb-21
Scoot thats some of the most realistic advice ive ever heard anyone give on here. I have no stake in this, but your cool man... thx.

From: smarba
01-Feb-21
The reality is you have ALMOST the same odds of killing an ibex whether you carry your bow or if you only carry a camera LOL.

From: Scoot
01-Feb-21
Smarba makes a good point. My "odds aren't so good" post is correct, but that's just for the draw. Once you draw, the odds of killing one are even worse than drawing the tag in the first place. However, it can be done! Even when the success rates are under 5%, someone is getting it done occasionally.

I've heard what smarba said is true-- the country is brutal, dry, snake filled, and downright dangerous in many areas the ibex frequent. Which, of course, is what I think sounds so cool! But I be smarba is right and that once you were there, the glamour would wear off really quickly. I have heard of many people drawing the tag, going there for a day or two, then heading home with their tail tucked firmly between their legs saying something like, "No damn way I'm wasting my time with this anymore."

From: butcherboy
01-Feb-21
It’s a really fun hunt but it will kick your butt 100 times over! I absolutely hate snakes so I have never put in for October archery. I’ve hunted the archery hunt in January, muzzle loader, and back when you could shoot two nannies and NMGF would give you a trophy billie tag.

From: jstephens61
01-Feb-21
Showed my wife pictures of an ibex and she said “ you should do it”. Showed her where they live and she asked for our insurance agent’s number. Positive reenforcement!

From: DonVathome
01-Feb-21
I have hunted 18 different species of big game and taken some fine animals with a bow. Without question I consider the 2 shots I got at average size ibex that I MISSED as my biggest hunting accomplishment.

If you are in the best shape of your life. A fantastic shot. Expert stalker, spike camper, tracker, ambush etc give yourself a 10% chance if you hunt HARD the entire season to get a shot. If you want a quality shot cut that down to 2%.

Half the harvest comes from guided bowhunters with multiple spotters.

From: ki-ke
01-Feb-21
Scoot and Smarba painted the right picture. I've applied many times and have yet to draw......Honestly, I'd rather hunt them than a Dall Sheep! Not sure why, just is. I'd also love to hunt Mongolian Ibex, which seemd to be a relatively affordable hunt with high % archery success....a deep bucket lister, for sure.

From: Dale06
01-Feb-21
An alternative is go to Africa and arrow one. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that expensive, especially if you arrow 4-6 other critters.

From: ki-ke
01-Feb-21
I believe the Ibex in NM are Persians. Native to the middle East. Iran, I believe? Only huntable Ibex I know of in Africa are Nubian. Big coin....you can hunt them in South Africa, but they arent native there. Native to North Africa. Not sure if you can even hunt them in their native habitat. Texas high fence also has piles of 'em! I remember a guy from NJ went to a ranch to "hunt" one. He had a pic of the thing in a stock trailer and killed it an hour or so later. He was SO proud! He was awarded an SCI silver medal for his trophy!!

Oy........

From: butcherboy
01-Feb-21
I personally know 6 guys that have killed a NM ibex with their bow. All unguided and one guy has killed two with his bow. The first one got snatched up by a Mt. Lion before he was able to get to it!

From: HDE
01-Feb-21
^^^^considering they are Persian Ibex, it may be more difficult than you think to go to Africa...

From: Spiral Horn
01-Feb-21
They are Persian or Bezoar Ibex (Capra Aegagrus Agagrus), which were imported into the Florida Mountains back in the 1970s. Although the same species the Persian variant is just a tad smaller than their Turkish brethren - probably due to the desert environment.

As folks have said bowhunting these critters in the Florida Mountains is an incredible challenge.

There are several very reputable companies offering hunts for this species in the Turkish Mountains. It’s an amazing adventure and Caprinae Safaris is highly recommended. But be warned going in that they are an extremely alert species (above average even for a mountain goat) and certainly aren’t a slam dunk. The Spanish Ibex are a higher success bow hunt but some still go home without. Spain is a magnificent country to visit — in addition to the great hunting, there is fantastic food, sightseeing and culture. But Turkey is certainly a more exotic destination.

From: Oryx35
01-Feb-21
The previous posters have given a pretty accurate portrayal. It's a difficult tag to draw, and an extremely challenging hunt. That said, it can be done. In fact, one of the early posters in this thread has done it twice, with shots under 20 yards.

From: Sandbrew
02-Feb-21
I've been lucky enough to hunt the Floridas 3 times for ibex. Here's my 2 cents- based on these hunts.

2015 rifle nanny for a depopulation hunt. Harvest a nanny and your are in a special draw for a billy. I looked at it as an adventure and good odds at a really expensive raffle ticket since the nanny tag is the same price as a billy tag for non residents. My friend JDM and I spent 3 day there 1 preseason and 2 hunting in March 2015. I saw multiple herds with multiple animals that trip. Glassing them was easy - getting them a different story. We put a group to bed and hiked in before first light and I shot a nanny at 7:30 AM the first day. We searched until 12:00 and never found her. We reported the unrecovered animal to the first NMF&G officer we saw he was impressed I got one but he said go shoot another one its a depopulation hunt. We glassed another group that afternoon/night and hiked in before light again. I shot a another nanny at first light the second day and recovered her. Lessons learned difficult terrain, yes but they are easy to see and move constantly. I think they had 67 reported harvested out of 300 rifle nanny tags. Total population 1000+ we saw herds of 20-70 animals.

Round 2 2017 I got the call again for another nanny hunt so of course I said yes. Feeling confident since I had been there an been successful I headed out solo with only a weekend to hunt. I didn't bed any before the season but I spotted goats and quickly made a plan the morning of the first day. I took a long shot and just barley missed low. No blood no ibex but a nice pock mark in the rock she was standing next to. I did some more glassing and decided to hike to an edge after dropping my pack. DONT DO THAT! I had 6 ibex at 20 yards in the cliffs just below be starring up at me for 20 seconds when I looked over the edge. No shot since my rifle was with my pack but I did see them take off down the ridge into some very steep cliffs. I hiked over to the cliffs and sat until just about dark when I saw ibex start to pour out of the cracks in the rocks. They seemed to be on a beeline back to the area I had spooked them from so I sat tight. At 30 seconds before last light I had a parade of 8 billies jump on rock 30 yards in front of one by one. The 9th ibex was a nanny and shot. I did a quick look but the cliffs quickly became too much with just a headlamp. I left for the night and came back in from below in the AM. I searched high and low for several hours and never found her. I looked for more Ibex but had to head for home that evening. Lessons learned- Ibex can be anywhere on the rock be ready at all times....This is what I forgot for the next trip.... Population 700-800 I saw several groups of 10-20 animals.

Round 3 2020 I drew an any ibex archery tag. Having spent plenty of time there but wanting some more help besides JDM who went again I contracted with A3 Trophy hunts for a couple days of assistance. We arrived on day 4 of the hunt after most of the weekend warriors had left. We hunted Mon-Thursday without really seeing another hunter. Day one- We first climbed to the top of the entire range and had a spotter glassing for us. This by far the best way to hunt. Sitting or waiting in saddles is not very effective as these ibex do not seem to see vertical walls as an obstacle like sheep and goats might. They rarely use the easiest route in or out of any area. Once we made it to the top I eased around looking down some very steep chutes from the top. Second place I looked....you guessed it 6 bedded Ibex at 39 yards and me not ready to shoot. It's probably a good thing I didn't shoot as the 39 yards was angle compensated and they had bedded just across a 309 yard abyss that would have made recovery very tough. We had terrible weather the next 2.5 days fog snow and wind. We still saw ibex every day and even saw many in stalkable locations. The last day day 6 we spotted 2 billies and 1 nanny in a very favorable position. I made a long stalk but had them blow out at about 120 yards. Population appears to be at objective of 400 animals no nanny hunts are scheduled for this year. We saw ibex everyday but smaller groups of 4-10. The biggest group was about 20. I think smaller groups are way better for archers. I probably could have killed a good billy with a rifle and 300-50 yard shot most days. Tough country but not impossible. Some places are absolutely impossible for a hunter to scale. Rocks and cactus will chew you up and stick the hell out of you. Watch where you put your hands and feet wear gloves and leather boots. It's not the toughest hunt I've ever been on but it can humble you if you are not prepared. I chose the hotel route and town is only 30-40 minutes away from good glassing spots. The nights are long cold and windy this time of year.

Long odds at drawing and 5-7% archery success is realistic. There are no easy ibex to hunt here. I hope to be back someday

Sandbrew

From: sticksender
02-Feb-21
Great report Sandbrew.

From: deserthunter
02-Feb-21
Everyone should do it once. Me I have done it twice with bow. Tough scary country. If you have a fear of heights be careful which ridge you look over.

From: delkslayr
02-Feb-21
Thank you everyone for your brutal honesty! That is exactly what i was looking for. Ive been in the rocky mountain sheep waiting game in Colorado for 25 years now with no success. I was considering this is as a challenging sheep hunt that i could possibly afford. I have confidence in my ability and determination but you never know till youre there! Maybe I'll try my luck at the draw and go from there. Opinions, on whether January or October is better?

From: tkjwonta
02-Feb-21
October is more snakes, more heat, usually better draw odds. January is the opposite.

From: Beav
02-Feb-21
I have a buddy that killed two with his bow in a matter of three years I believe. Expect long shots but it sounds like he was into animals for most of the hunts. He had to hire a rock climber to retrieve one of his because it died upon a ledge.

02-Feb-21
"He had to hire a rock climber to retrieve one of his because it died upon a ledge." I'd be okay with that! This hunt intrigues me like no other.

From: Gus
02-Feb-21
"He had to hire a rock climber to retrieve one . . . " me too!

From: Sandbrew
02-Feb-21
^^^^^ That is a very common problem with bow hunting and retrieval. Rifle hunters tend to knock them down or at least disable them so they can't climb to high or far. They can still fall quite a ways to places a normal person can't go.

03-Feb-21

Adventurewriter's embedded Photo
Adventurewriter's embedded Photo
You got Ibex fever you can go on an incredible ends of the world National Geographic high success Mid Asian Ibex hunt for about 6 grand in Kyrgyzstan....

From: JRABQ
03-Feb-21
Nice review Sandbrew. I hunted archery once about 8 years ago, I had a terrible chest cold so I could not give it 100%. I only hunted 4 or 5 days, climbed to the top twice. The first day I climbed up to a saddle on a main ridgeline, because that's what all of us western deer and elk hunters do, right? But it's laughably stupid when ibex hunting, their whole survival strategy is to take the MOST difficult path from point A to point B. That's about all I learned, that and they can defy the laws of gravity. I still put in every year as resident, but I'm almost relieved when i dont draw.

From: BULELK1
03-Feb-21
That was Very informative John.

Beav, I had to do the same thing on 1 of my DIY Mnt. Goat hunts, my nuts still suck up when I think about him trying to find my Mnt. Goat on those cliffs!!!

Good luck, Robb

From: KHunter
16-Feb-21
"I still put in every year as resident, but I'm almost relieved when i dont draw."

LOL. Awesome.

From: Brotsky
16-Feb-21
"I still put in every year as resident, but I'm almost relieved when i dont draw."

I love hunts like this! The ones you know are going to hurt, but the ones that hurt worse when you can't go!

From: delkslayr
16-Feb-21
I love all the responses and appreciate the honesty! I have done tons of research and its clear that it is an extremely difficult hunt! I guess we'll see if i can actually draw a tag as a NR!

From: butcherboy
17-Feb-21
I feel the same way lol.

Put in every year but almost relieved when I don’t draw

Bowsite quote of the year!

From: Muddyboots
17-Feb-21
I have hunted the Florida Mtns three times. First time was with a bow. Population was high and I saw them regularly. Had a nice billy about 70 yards away, but that was too far for me with a recurve. I have hunted mtn goats and sheep, and I was impressed at the near vertical terrain they covered with ease. The second hunt (rifle) was for a nanny, which I shot early the first morning at about 100 yards. She died on a rocky point and I had to make a dicey climb to recover her. The last hunt was also a rifle nanny hunt about 3 years ago. The population was way down from the previous hunts, I had a cold, and while I did see two nannys they were a long way off and I just did not have the energy to keep hunting. My take- the hunt is pretty darn hard for archery, not so much for rifle hunting.

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