Sitka Gear
New Mexico Valle Vidal hunt
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Wild in Wild out 09-Jul-21
LINK 09-Jul-21
midwest 09-Jul-21
ohiohunter 09-Jul-21
Wild in Wild out 09-Jul-21
ohiohunter 09-Jul-21
butcherboy 09-Jul-21
HDE 10-Jul-21
ohiohunter 10-Jul-21
butcherboy 10-Jul-21
Wild in Wild out 11-Jul-21
neuse 12-Jul-21
egbateson 14-Jul-21
Wild in Wild out 28-Jul-21
Strider JR 08-Aug-21
bigeasygator 08-Aug-21
HDE 08-Aug-21
bigeasygator 08-Aug-21
ElkNut1 08-Aug-21
butcherboy 08-Aug-21
Denali 08-Aug-21
ohiohunter 09-Aug-21
HDE 09-Aug-21
bigeasygator 09-Aug-21
ohiohunter 09-Aug-21
HDE 09-Aug-21
bigeasygator 09-Aug-21
painless 09-Aug-21
ohiohunter 09-Aug-21
Wild in Wild out 15-Aug-21
Wild in Wild out 20-Aug-21
Dyjack 23-Aug-21
09-Jul-21
I was wondering if anyone had some information on hunting the Valle Vidal area in New Mexico? I drew the once in a life time hunt from September 15 through September 24th Archery only hunt. Thank you for any info.

From: LINK
09-Jul-21
No info but congrats.

From: midwest
09-Jul-21
No info but I hate you. ;-)

Hunt of a lifetime....good luck!

From: ohiohunter
09-Jul-21
What kind of info you looking for? There are a few threads that may answer some of your questions

09-Jul-21
just possible areas to hunt. I have scouted out there many times and found that Ted Turners property is next to this area and was thinking about hunting near there. I was looking for a place to where they might get water but have found nothing as far as little watering holes in case it is hot.

From: ohiohunter
09-Jul-21
There was running water in the creek I saw when I hunted it.

From: butcherboy
09-Jul-21
Do a search and you will find a lot of info. I will tell you that there is absolutely no need to hunt close to Turner’s ranch. Valle Vidal is 100,000 acres of pristine elk country. Lots of water and seeps in the high country and you will search harder for it in the low country. Pick anywhere and you will find elk, as long as you get farther away from the main road. Amazing place and good luck!

From: HDE
10-Jul-21
NMDGF did not renew the access of turner's ranch (Greenwood area), so no need to plan on hunting there.

Higher elevations may likely be your best option this year with as dry as it's been, although the eastetn side of the state looks to be receiving more rain than the west.

From: ohiohunter
10-Jul-21
Not sure about other areas but the SE has gotten more rain than ever. A lot of flooded homes.. I have been told the storms were patchy but who knows. If we could get a few fellas chime in on their location and rainfall we’d get an idea.

From: butcherboy
10-Jul-21
Very little rain at all here in the northwest. It threatens every evening but the high temps and wind blows it away pretty fast. It’s very, very dry

11-Jul-21
thank you

From: neuse
12-Jul-21
No help here, but congratulations.

From: egbateson
14-Jul-21
Per local friends in Taos its been about as wet a spring and monsoon season as they have ever seen.

28-Jul-21
Thank you for the info here in Raton we have had goo rain as well.

From: Strider JR
08-Aug-21
PM me and I will tell you what I learned on my hunt 3 years ago. I was fortunate enough to shoot a 358" on same hunt.

From: bigeasygator
08-Aug-21
If it’s been wet in Raton and Taos I’m guessing it will be wet in the VV. Hunted it in 2011. Passed plenty of bulls holding out for one and ended up with tag soup. Still by far the best elk hunt I’ve ever been on.

From: HDE
08-Aug-21
"Tag soup" gives me heartburn, so I don't eat it very often. Hardly ever, actually.

You should have plenty of opportunity and, if you're not too picky, should be able to shoot a decent bull.

From: bigeasygator
08-Aug-21
Success rates for the VV typically run around 25% for the two seasons combined, with the first being better some years and the second being better some years. It won't be an issue getting into elk. Often times the problem is too many elk...it isn't the easiest thing to kill a herd bull out of a group of 100 elk unless apparently you're HDE.

Go in with an idea of what is going to happy and what kind of experience you want. I passed on plenty of bulls in the upper 200s and low 300s because there were bigger bulls and, quite frankly, I was having too much fun and wasn't ready to punch my tag and have it come to an end. Like I said, the hunt is by no means a slam dunk - but I have no doubt it will be incredible.

We stayed in the McCrystal campground and hunted all over (mostly between camp and the Vermejo). But I will tell you we had bulls bugling and coming right through camp.

From: ElkNut1
08-Aug-21
bigeasygator, excellent info shared! That's how it's done! Appreciated the camping spot tip as well.

ElkNut

From: butcherboy
08-Aug-21
Just because someone says they hardly ever eat tag soup doesn’t mean they are bragging about all the big bulls they have killed. To me, it means they are happy to shoot any elk that gives them the opportunity and they fill the freezer. I have the same philosophy. I never saw herds of 100 elk on my hunt. Herds with 20-30 most definitely. If you do see bigger herds they will break up into smaller groups in the trees. Out in the big valleys there are usually multiple herds all concentrated together and you will se the herd bulls chasing all the satellite bulls away. I saw plenty of satellite bulls that were much bigger in antler size compared to the herd bulls. The herd bull doesn’t necessarily mean he has the largest set of antlers. It’s his dominance over other bulls that sets a herd bull apart from the others.

From: Denali
08-Aug-21
Take Gators advice and insight......it is 100% my experience as well. Congrats. It will be amazing, but no fish in a barrel

From: ohiohunter
09-Aug-21
Elknut, there are only 2 places to camp. McCrystal or Cimarron… or spike it. Try to make contact for campsite reservations, find a spot may or may not be an issue. Cimarron has a water spigot but I was warned it isn’t always operational.

From: HDE
09-Aug-21
BEG - I hunted for 3 hours and killed a decent 6x6, with cows, on the first day of my hunt in 2017 after passing up two other smaller bulls and missing an opportunity at a good bull that didn't offer a good shot.

BEG only hunted it once. Taking his advice as the "gospel truth" is well, ok, whatever...

From: bigeasygator
09-Aug-21
It's a once-in-a-lifetime unit, HDE. Everybody only "hunts" it once. Curious to hear how big your 6x6 was? As I mentioned, I passed plenty of P&Y bulls because I was holding out for bigger. Shooting smaller bulls isn't my bag, especially when I lay eyes on bigger animals.

Wild in Wild out, HDE doesn't know me nor has he ever met me. I've been in the unit multiple years during, elk season, as I stayed good friends with my outfitter and would help him out scouting and supporting his other hunters for a bit of time on my way to other hunts in New Mexico. It's just too incredible of place to pass up spending time in.

You can listen to HDE and treat the hunt like a "slam dunk" or you can ask yourself what are the reasons only 25% of archery hunters are successful. As I've mentioned, there are plenty of reasons that hunters leave without punching a tag, and you should be prepared for it. The reality that there are LOTS of solid bulls, and quite a few GREAT bulls (>350) on the unit - deciding what goals you want with your once in a lifetime tag and hunt are important. Furthermore, recognize that in many cases, the problem is too many elk. In my week there, I can only count an instance or two where we were hunting solitary animals - most of the bulls were herded up to some degree and you're trying to outwit dozens of elk at that point. Again, it makes for incredible elk hunt - but it isn't the easiest hunting.

All that said, things can easily fall into place, especially if you're willing to settle on "decent" when there's plenty of "good" around. That wasn't the hunt I wanted, and you have to decide what you want as well.

From: ohiohunter
09-Aug-21
Recent yrs the harvest has been unusually low, almost half of years past for the 2nd hunt. You can hold out for a 350 plus but ime you’re pushing the envelope. No one had anything near or over 350 on my hunt, nor the 1st archery hunt. I’m sure an outfitter will gladly take your money, but for me that deprives me the feeling of accomplishment.. I watched a few NR pack up their maybe 200” bulls… guide money well spent I guess, they seemed to enjoy themselves tho. To each his own, but it really is an awesome experience regardless. Good luck! Feel free to pm.

From: HDE
09-Aug-21
BEG - I obviously hurt your feelings and because I know you're an engineer, I completely understand why. For a guy who brags about his MBA from other posts in the past, you don't understand a lot about utility or the why in how people make decisions.

Nothing is a slam dunk. I know what I wanted out of the VV, took into consideration the conditions of the hunt, and made it happen with more luck on my side than you, obviously. As far as "rack" size goes, yours are all apparently bigger than mine, so you win...

From: bigeasygator
09-Aug-21
Nothing is a slam dunk

Your previous posts about shooting a bull three hours into your hunt suggest otherwise.

For a guy who brags

I only see one guy bragging on this post, and it isn't me. And yeah, I felt like your tag soup comment was an unnecessary shot, so I am going to react to it.

WiWo, you're going to have a great hunt. It's an incredible unit. There's great advice on this thread. Happy to answer any more questions on here or via PM if you want to hear more about my experiences in the VV.

From: painless
09-Aug-21
There is actually one other place to camp. That would be the ES Barker State Wildlife Area or, with permission, Philmont. That way you can enter the VV from the south boundary. Do your homework well.

From: ohiohunter
09-Aug-21
Interesting PL, I did not know that. I def need to keep that in mind when (if) my buddies draw. Thank ya!

15-Aug-21
Thank you for all the advise. I have been practicing my call and just got a new bow I am trying to adjust to after my diamond blew up in my face two weeks ago. I appreciate all the info.

20-Aug-21
I am not looking for a 350 class bull, I will be very happy with just a decent bull. I am out there to just enjoy my hunt. I have a either sex tag and would be happy if I just got a cow. I am in it for just the thrill of the hunt and being outdoors. with that I will not look away from a huge bull and would gladly put a arrow in one but I will be happy with the experience and enjoyment of just being out there. I have been out there probably more than 15 times at least hiking and getting familiar with the area. It was great hearing about all the other hunts and really appreciate the advice.

From: Dyjack
23-Aug-21
Good luck, buddy. Enjoy the process.

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