Truth is, I'd bet the vast majority of people who apply for NM have never set foot in the units they apply for. I drew a NM tag this year and I've never been within 100 miles of the unit I drew. I know it's a good unit and I'm confident I'll figure out enough to be dangerous while I'm there, but I've never been there, never scouted it, and don't really know about it. I'd love someone to point me in the right direction in the unit, but I don't feel compelled to start a thread asking for it.
So... am I off base with my take above? Do most people have "foot on the ground" knowledge of the units they apply for in NM? Or do most at least have a friend or relative who has hunted there in the past? Just curious...
I live in Missouri. I usually apply for many many units I've never stepped foot in. I haven't won the lottery, so I can't pre-scout for possible units for every single hunt in every single state I put in for. That's just ridiculous.
Fortunately, I knew someone who did.
As for the "why did you apply there" comment, either someone is jacking around or they are complete jackwagons, while others investigate to some extent the units they will be applying for.
Cheesehead Mike's Link
In this day in age with the internet, etc. it's entirely possible to have a pretty good feel for a unit without having ever set foot there.
Obviously many of us apply for out of state hunts in units we have never set foot in but I at least have done some basic research and have a feel for the quality of bulls, amount of public land, access, etc. I don't just throw a dart at a map and apply for that unit and then draw the tag and begin my research. Elk season and my hunting time are too valuable to not at least have a little knowledge of the area I'm applying for...
That or maybe I'm just ornery because I didn't draw NM... ;^)
I think what pisses most off is the guy that asks for help and he hasn’t done any digital scouting and has no idea what part of the unit he even wants to target. I think when guys can tell you are giving the tag due diligence they are a little more willing to help.
I agree 100%. The fact of the matter is, a lot of folks on Bowsite tend to misunderstand the average applicant out there. While folks here may be very in tune with what they're doing and sitting on the edge of their seat biting their nails awaiting the results, there are a lot who don't and just put in hoping for a tag. Their odds are the same as everyone else's. Also, some people are new to the process and haven't had time to sort through the learning curve.
It may boggle the mind of the dedicated, passionate bowhunter, but from the eyes of many, they're just putting in and hoping for a tag and figuring it out if and when it happens. And that's perfectly normal for them. You don't have to have a certain measured level of desire for a NM elk tag to draw one; you just have to apply.
There is an amount of pre-scouting needed prior to applying for a tag in any particular unit. I applied for a unit in my home state of NM for coues deer and I have never hunted them and have never been in the unit but "before I applied" I was all over it like the plague, I knew exactly what I was getting into "before I applied". Now that I have a tag phase 2 of scouting has been in full force and will continue until I show up next January, I am sure I will lean on some people for info in some way but for now I prefer to be in my own world until I formulate some sort of game plan. I just got the tag and can name most canyons and areas in the whole unit. It's not hard to dissect maps of areas and it's super easy to find pictures of terrain or videos but some people want instant gratification and someone to just tell them, I guess those guys just get told what to do in their daily lives anyway.
Like Idyll said, its generally easy to tell on most of the posts. But I will say, I've been guilty of knowing nothing about an area when I applied. I will at least know that there's public ground there, and the trophy quality. . . . But I don't always know much else.
For example, I put in for one of the highest demand sheep tags in the country. I know nothing of the unit other than there's a lot of public, and world class sheep there. I've never dug deeper, because I may never draw the damn tag. If I ever draw it, I'm posting here. I can take the lumps :)
It's daunting to draw a tag sometimes and then start the digital scouting. . . I drew a very good NV elk tag in 2016 as a second choice. I knew the unit was good. I knew it was almost entirely public ground. I knew the trophy potential was outstanding. I knew there was a huge wilderness area. . . But that's about the extent of it. Fortunately for me, there were some guys willing to part with some intel, and I had a hell of a hunt, even though I didn't kill anything. If I knew then what I know now, I feel like I'd have killed something on that hunt. It was a daunting tag though. HUGE area, and the elk were scattered widely.
I also agree with Idyll that only a small % of us take this archery hunting this seriously which explains why some guys ask for help without any connections.
The most giving/helpful guy I’ve ever seen on Bowsite is Bigdan. He sets a fine example.
Edit; what really is due diligence anyway, could be construed in many different ways..... everyone has their own level!
I think technology is killing everything. I am eager to see the NM draw stats, bc so many people with so many apps drew nothing this year... my jaw dropped. I wonder if there is any connection between all the chatter on social media, mostly Facebook.
I earn my living as a researcher and when it comes to hunting I do a ton of research. However when I apply for hunts that have a 5% chance of success in drawing I don't waste a lot of my time researching it before the draw. I know enough to know roughly what I'm getting into before I choose it but not a lot in way of detail.
You don't have to do that much research to apply effectively, but I'm constantly amazed how I continue to learn more and more about places no matter how much I continue to look into it and it's really influenced how I apply. There are certainly units across the west that are undervalued and far more that are overvalued.