Mathews Inc.
NM elk applications
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Scoot 23-Apr-18
Bake 23-Apr-18
Brotsky 23-Apr-18
elkmtngear 23-Apr-18
ohiohunter 23-Apr-18
Cheesehead Mike 23-Apr-18
LINK 23-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 23-Apr-18
mrelite 23-Apr-18
Bake 23-Apr-18
Charlie Rehor 23-Apr-18
mrelite 23-Apr-18
Bake 23-Apr-18
elkstabber 23-Apr-18
ohiohunter 23-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 23-Apr-18
Scoot 23-Apr-18
splitlimb13 24-Apr-18
IdyllwildArcher 24-Apr-18
Peter Denzin 26-Apr-18
longspeak74 26-Apr-18
From: Scoot
23-Apr-18
I see people draw NM elk tags every year and there are the obligatory follow up threads of "I drew unit x and I'd love to hear from some of you who drew it in the past". The response that inevitably happens is something like "Why on earth would you apply for an elk unit you don't know squat about?"

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...

From: Bake
23-Apr-18
I always get a kick out of the "why did you apply there" responses too.

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.

From: Brotsky
23-Apr-18
Nope, I have never been in the NM units I apply for either Scoot. I do have some contacts though that will give me some intel in those units and I'll do a lot of "internet scouting" and phone calling before I go. I don't think I'd ever start a thread about it though. I might PM a contact or two on here that I have talked to in the past that has hunted there before or something but that would be it. Good luck in NM!

From: elkmtngear
23-Apr-18
I applied blind as well. Because of my location, I don't make a habit out of walking around in New Mexico.

Fortunately, I knew someone who did.

From: ohiohunter
23-Apr-18
I can't speak for all, but when a new screen name pops up asking for "general" information within a week of the draw you know damn well as I do they've done nothing to better their knowledge of the unit they will be hunting. I'll be the first to admit I've asked for information, but I certainly did not ask before doing my own research.

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.

23-Apr-18

Cheesehead Mike's Link
Well, I guess I'm a complete jackwagon because I'm guilty of asking that question just today... But the reason I asked the question is because the guy asking about the unit apparently knows nothing about the unit, the quality of bulls, etc. and he wrote "... just trying to get a better understanding of what I actually drew." I thought about saying "you drew an elk tag" but that would have been even worse than being a jackwagon.

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... ;^)

From: LINK
23-Apr-18
I usually apply in NM for units I know and have been in. That said in Arizona I apply for units I have only casually been through.

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.

23-Apr-18
"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."

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.

From: mrelite
23-Apr-18
Cheesehead spelled it out perfectly!

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.

From: Bake
23-Apr-18
I get what you guys are saying, and certainly didn't mean to imply anyone was a jackwagon for asking that question. . . . because it can be a valid question.

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.

23-Apr-18
I say this time after time but with my many years of interaction and friendships on Bowsite and the Pope & Young Club it is not likely I’d draw a Tag without multiple folks to help share their experiences with me. I’m also able to share my experiences in a reciprocal manner by this networking. Like most things in life it takes patience.

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.

From: mrelite
23-Apr-18
It's no problem for someone to just apply in hopes and not knowing anything prior but the first knee jerk of some is to go for the instant gratification instead of doing due diligence prior to asking for guidance and I think that is the thing that bothers.

Edit; what really is due diligence anyway, could be construed in many different ways..... everyone has their own level!

From: Bake
23-Apr-18
It’s different in NM too. You never can count on drawing. Now in preference states when you might KNOW you’re going to draw, I would never put in without some pretty detailed info. But I’ve not been in the game long enough to ever have that happen ;)

From: elkstabber
23-Apr-18
Scoot, I'm about like you. If it's a long shot to get the tag it doesn't make sense to do any serious research. Especially since NM is totally random draw and tough odds it doesn't make sense to spend any time doing the research considering that I may never draw the tag. If I've built up points and have a good chance to draw the tag then I'll have done some research and will have a decent idea of what I've gotten myself in to.

From: ohiohunter
23-Apr-18
Far from a jackwagon Mike, the fact that you would call yourself a jackwagon -sarcastically- is every bit as genuine as your question. I know you did not intend to be abrasive as that question often suggests. After reading your post I knew you were legitimately asking the question, but more often than not those comments are more negative than actual questions. I share the same sentiment as the rest, as we have all seen these "help" threads pop up and disappear like a fart in a tornado.

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.

23-Apr-18
If you don't do some research on every unit there is, you're missing out on some units you'd put in for that you otherwise wouldn't.

From: Scoot
23-Apr-18
Ike while that's true how many units is a guy supposed to gain a thorough understanding of before he applies? How many units are there in North Dakota South Dakota Montana Wyoming Colorado Utah Nevada New Mexico Arizona for elk mule deer Whitetail sheep etc?

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.

From: splitlimb13
24-Apr-18
I understand NR applying blind. They don't have much choice really. If they do draw a good unit they have the option of hiring an outfit. I do not have Facebook but my friend showed me a post that a resident had posted "I drew 16A archery elk and 25 ibex,are these good hunts?" Talk about make ur blood boil.

24-Apr-18
Scoot, it took me about 4 years, but between 20I2ish and 2015, I went though every elk unit there is (Not states like the Dakotas and MN that are only open to residents), glanced at maps, looked at herd info that was available, and I've called every CO and biologist in every elk state, many of of them several times (some will talk more than others), and called just about every outfitter that I could find and talked with the ones that were willing to talk with a DIY hunter, which is about 1 in 3-4. I don't watch TV and I don't fish hardly at all. The research is fun to me, as is studying the draw/harvest odds/stats, so it's what I do on my free-time, which I have a lot of. And this is besides talking with anyone I can who's hunted specific units I'm interested in, which over time, is pretty easy to discern on Bowsite.

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.

From: Peter Denzin
26-Apr-18
I am in Scoot's boat. I apply in units every year I have not been in but I know what the unit offers. My time is precious so I don't waste it digging in deep until I have to. After many years I finally drew an archery tag in NM after many years and I am starting from scratch as I have never been there before.

From: longspeak74
26-Apr-18
Let me preface this by saying I've never applied for a NR tag as I tend to hunt OTC in CO...but technology has really changed things. I can do all my research on units and harvest data and Google Maps for specific drainages/areas all from the comfort of my home 1600 miles away. I understand guys are leery about giving up information on specific units when asked in a blind post from someone - Hell, I've asked the question myself, but I always know a bit about the unit before asking.

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