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New Mexico Valle Vidal hunt
NEED HELP I have two days left on my hunt in New Mexico but had to come back home home to sign closing papers on our sold house. I can not get the elk close enough to get a shot. They are still in their bachelor groups and will not respond to cow calls and only want to talk to each other and me without commenting to move at all. I am right in the middle of some groups but with out the rut the bulls are not even interested. This is my first time elk hunting and have stalked in between a few groups of nice bulls but cannot get them close enough to seal the deal. All the help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Head back later today.
Get the wind right and go to them. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive when the time is right.
Agree with Greg Stop calling and just stalk to them
The others have it nailed. Despite what the Primos videos show, most of the guys I know that kill elk frequently use calls to locate them, and then try to stay as silent as possible when actually closing the distance to kill them. Yes, calling can work - but I think you’re better off trying to slip in silently.
It’s always a gamble, when to be aggressive, when to sit back, and 9 times out of ten you’ll probably get it wrong (or more than that if you’re someone like me!).
As I mentioned on your other thread, one of the toughest parts of elk hunting in the VV is all the elk you have to contend with. It can require the stars to align to kill the elk you want - ninja skills, the elk to make a mistake and move off in a killable position, the wind to stay in your favor, etc
Stay with it. Get aggressive. Stay silent once you have them located. Welcome to elk hunting!
Rake a tree and break branches has caused several bulls to close the distance for me.
Just had young dude call me yesterday on his way home he actually found a small 5 point rack and he had several bulls close the distance using it. He said that it sure beats a stick.
I did that as well lol. It did get some interest but again would not get the final yardage closed. I have stalked mule deer and whitetail for 40 years and enjoy the spot and stalk game so it is on. My son is going with me and I have thought of maybe if it would work to let them smell him to get them to push them to me. as a last resort.
It can work. You'll have to have a good idea of which way the elk will blow out and need to be set up in the right spot. Might also be hard to stop them for a shot if they're spooked hard. It wouldn't be my go to strategy, but certainly as a last resort or under a certain set of circumstances it may be your best/only option.
Full moon is tough...you may have to sneak inn on them at o dark thirty to get close in the am...even full moon bulls will bed a few hours before light if not much rut.
Skip the "smell him so they come by me" approach. Better yet, have him say back and occasionally call, getting them to respond. Then move in on them when they are vocal, like was said above. Good luck and please post pics when you get back!
If they’ll respond to calls but not come to them have your son keep them talking while you slip in silently.
What Link said. Much better use of your son's help. It's very difficult to predict which way elk will move when spooked.
This day and age you can sign home closing papers without going to closing. Realtor and closing attorney should have known that and you never would have needed to come out. Great tag you have and hope you get a good one.
You have good advice above. Now go get him!
What Charlie said. You lost hunting time for no reason. That’s too bad! Good luck with “closing” the deal on the elk front! You’ll have to be there in person for that for sure.
He would of had to come out anyhow because there no or very little cell service in the VV. With a few days left I would get really aggressive. Have your son stay back as others have said and you move in on them close. Once you get close see if you can piss one off enough to come look for you. He only needs to come into about 40 yards. I killed mine at 35, my dad killed his at about 55 a few days later. You have nothing to lose. If the elk spook then go find more cause the VV is loaded with elk.
Have your son do a lot of cow and lost calf calling in place, no bull bugles but rake on a tree, and then you move forwards 50-75 yards, get the wind right, and ambush one as he come looking for the commotion.
Wild in Wild out you get a bull?
I was an elk hunting rookie when i drew a Gila tag for elk too. I think the only reason some people get these tags is because they are rookies. lol. Now that i have some experience, I cant seem to get back into the primo areas I hunted when I didnt know chit!
Doesnt sound like he connected or he would have returned to tell us i think.
Kenny I was the same way. Drew a Gila tag in 2012 abs tried hunting them like whitetails. The mistakes I made are ridiculous. I’m not a good elk hunter but boy would I love too have that tag now with several elk hunts under my belt. You guys that haven’t been but are sitting on points do yourself a favor and go on a couple of hunts before drawing a good tag.
My first 2 elk tags were Gila tags. (Dumb rookie) I did kill a bull on tag 2. But not a Gila monster.
Now I am more likely to get struck by lightning than draw again.
I think that you all making elk hunting much tougher than it has to be.
My first tag I killed a bull in Arizona during what was said to be a heat wave. Elk were not coming into calls at all. I ended up with a 6x6 on an afternoon hunt cow calling about every thirty minutes and doing young bull two or three times over about four hours. Ended up with the bull at seven yards.
My second elk hunt was in the Gila and I ended up with an old Kmart 8x6 that had a great frame but not much else! I could get cows to come in but had to move and shoot him at 35 yards.
My next hunt was again in the Gila and taught a neophyte driving cross country how to call by giving signals to cow call, bugle or rake a tree. Called in several bulls but ended up killing a 6x5 on the last evening setting on a tank.
My fourth hunt was in Montana and I went home empty handed but I did turn down a rag horn. This was by far my toughest hunt but got bit by private land. Plenty of just not on the adjacent public land..
My last hunt was back in the Gila in 2019 and I primarily used all the time trying to get my young counterpart his first bull but but we both batted zero after he turned down a young bull on the second day. My last day I ended up helping a guy look for a bull that he had wounded the evening before. Bulls were absolutely not coming to calls that so I marked the reason for not killing was trying to call and not closing in or trying to ambush the herd going to bed down.
I think that there is an amazing amount of information today to take a premium tag wonder in without doing your do diligence. It could and would be much tougher OTC in Colorado but personally I think that there no reason to not get an opportunity in the Gila. Ian sorry but Wild probably pissed away one of the best tags in the country by not doing what it takes to be successful.
I have found in most cases that success is most often in the preparation prior to ever stepping into the woods.
Best kept secret in archery elk hunting is... :^/
Ian sorry but Wild probably pissed away one of the best tags in the country by not doing what it takes to be successful.
Perhaps I’m in the minority, but punching a tag is only one measure of success on a hunt.
As mentioned on another thread, I drew this tag in 2011. I never punched my tag, but to this day it was the best elk hunt I’ve ever been on. It was only my second time hunting elk with a bow, I was in elk every day, I passed on opportunities hoping for something that never came to be, and at the end of the day, I learned more in that week of hunting than I had in my previous 20 years of bowhunting combined.
I’d hardly call it pissing away my tag. My guess is WiWo had a similar experience, and is a better hunter now because of it. For some, elk hunting is easy. For most, it isn’t. As I said on the other thread, the Valle Vidal hunt is undoubtedly one of the best tags out there in terms of quality and quantity, but there’s a reason that typically only 20-30% of the VV hunts end in a harvest.
Lol The "Gila Monster" shit cracks me up.
I got a buddy who shot a spike on his last Gila hunt. It went a long long ways with blood pouring out of it. That's a Gila Monster. Tough spike.
BEG, you may only draw the VV once so I would want to capitalize on that magnificent opportunity.
As you stated, you passed on bulls when hunted. That is entirely different than not having a shot opportunity.
WIWO, specifically stated that he needed help so while saying that he pissed it away maybe harsh but insight on how to go to new areas and hunt new game should not be a quest in frustration. There is just too much information out there to not have researched alternative methods, locations, a thorough knowledge of the area to be hunted.
As far as the success rate I am certain that it would higher if other hunters like you did not pass up any animals.
Many people view a lot the successful hunters as superior hunters but I t probably boggle some of their minds if they new how much they put into preparation prior to a hunt.
Most people come to these threads to share, learn, and improve on their skill sets so hopefully, WIWO will not take it to personal but will learn and grow in order to be successful the next time!
I PM'd him the very spot I shot my bull in 2017 and the behavior the elk have in that particular area. Witnessed it in 2013 and 2017. No reason to think it changed in 2021.
Hope he got the info and was able to use it.
If you don't fill a tag in VV, it isn't from lack of opportunity. Everyone I know that has had the tag, at some point in their hunt, had an elk within 30 yards broadside...
I have 2 friends who had the VV first season this year. They both killed decent bulls but they said there were very few bulls killed first season. To the best of their knowledge their bulls were a couple of the only ones that came out of there first season. They have experience in other good units as well as OTC and their opinion was that the VV did not live up to all the hype.