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I have been prepping for this hunt for awhile, i have hunted elk before but never with a bow. been to area 52 before but can not say i know the area. the most i know is san antonio and to the east of the toltec gorge. I have been hunting for many years but still consider myself a novice. I am looking for advice on hunting elk in this area, as i would really like to even just see something. going backpack in an out. and i was really wondering about jawbone mountain in the south west of the area as well if anyone has any info on that.will be going sometime early september, just not sure if i want to set up before the hunt or in the middle. 7 or 8 days will be my planned time. so again any info on where the elk generally hang out or advice on bowhuntin elk in general would be greatly appreciated. Also looking for a hunting partner as well.
If I can find my map ill send you the two locations where I heard or saw elk.
I can help, send me a private message, that's my second home...
If you look at the map you'll see there's only a few places you can really get away from a road. If you're gonna backpack in you'll see which one is the best choice. And I guarantee there's elk.
Two years ago, 'backpacked in' (saved a mile walk) and woke up first morning to a truck driving past at 40 yards -- take your humor with you-- it's NM and you will probably need it daily. The elk will be where you find them and until someone bumps them. It makes me laugh how people hunt the 'northern part' or 'basin' because it's some how 'better'. Yet unit 51 is right south, and there's a ton of elk all over that place. Good luck! (I know a guy that loves Jawbone area, but it's all subjective)
I second what outdoorsdude said. I hunted this unit a few times and I always find the animals im looking for the day before season only to have every side by side and z71 in new mexico drive through the meadow im setting in shortly after daylight opening morning. I will also be hunting 52 during the muzzy season and im sure if I get lost a Polaris razr will rescue me shortly!
52 is a great unit and dont let anyone scare you off of your plan. There is some good bulls in there. You just have to hunt between the roads. Also there are restricted access in some areas but there are a few of those who will run their Rzrs or atvs thru. Get the decriptions of party and vehicle abd report them. Thats the only way to curce their intrusions. Good luck and Jawbone is a grwat place too. Look up high and low because them.elk are there.
Sent pm. People with off road vehicles were behaving when we were there. Game warden said if you find one were it shouldn't be take a pic of your gps with the coordinates showing and the atv in the pic and he will make their day. Good luck have fun.
Game warden is f.o.s.! We have done that so many times and nothing happens. Had so many RO hunters on public property last year and did exactly that with pics to prove it ,4 wardens showed up to our camp and nothing was done!
splitlimb13, that's the same thing I've heard from numerous other friends in various units. I've yet to hear of anyone being taken seriously when they attempt to provide photo/gps/etc. documentation of off road vehicle abuse. I'm not suggesting to stop trying to get them ticketed, but it's unlikely that anything will come from it. Which is why the abuse is rampant...no consequences.
When I hunted NM last year in 6C we had a perfect afternoon set up. Hiked for 1/2 to a "secret tucked away meadow". Got all set up for prime time. At 7:00 PM a Phucking truck drove by us at 20 yards. The unit was over run with off road vehicle abuse.
Wilbur, unfortunately that is why one of the things I look at closely on Google Earth is are there any 2 tracks nearby. I have a couple new water holes I'm looking at hunting. One has a faint 2 track going to it while the other one only shows cattle/game trails. Guess which one I'm going to check out first? They may both be great. They may both have nothing coming to them or the one with the 2 track could be gold and the other a bust. There may also be a 2 track I can't find in the photos but I'm certainly going to do my best to avoid them. With that said, if someone drives up on me where the roads are closed, I will take their pictures and send them in both to the Forest service and to NMG&F. I had a forest service officer come out to our camp, look at our pictures of two trucks driving right by the "Road Closed" sign who took their info and said they would receive citations in the mail. Was he blowing smoke? No idea but regardless, it felt good.
Bertram, never received your message
For what NM charges for a high demand/quality elk tag you think they would do a better job enforcing their use of off road vehicles, I’ve also had similar experiences in a high demand unit in NM, not to mention rifle hunters or muzzy hunters in the unit “scouting “ weeks before their season opens. I’ve ran into guys calling in elk who didn’t have a tag, just out there scouting. Really ticks you off after finally drawing a tag and paying a premium to hunt.
Technically there's no laws against calling elk in without tags, unless you're aware of hunters in the location. Otherwise everyone and their brother would be breaking the law mewing at bulls from a car to get a picture.
Public land is a double edged sword for sure. Labor day weekend hunting shows it the most. Others just trying to enjoy our land too. But without the same thought as us. I saw some video posted by a backpack hunter scouting for deer. There was a huge party of people that hiked into the basin yelling and partying all night into the day right where the deer usually bed. Can't even hike away from hikers anymore. If you inform them of a hunt taking place and they still call/shout I think that's grounds for interference with a legal hunt.
In 52 they also don't make it very apparent what roads are closed even on maps like onx. It's always changing. And most of the new signs get plucked by locals anyway. I had a Texan tell me a road was closed as I drove out of it. Which I called to check and verify that it was closed (my bad, no sign or map they said locals punk the signs to get away with partying back there.) But that dude had driven a four wheeler as far in as I went and even dropped his shovel I found a mile in before complaining about me driving lol. Hypocrite.
I have a muzz tag this October in 52 and I hope I have a pleasant experience with no side by sides off roading. A lot say they have great experiences and the wardens work 120 hours a week enforcing atvs laws in unit 52. Im not buying it but im hopefully optimistic. good luck to all with a tag...and a side by side! As long as its on the designated roads...
Actually, the closed/open from a legal standpoint is now solved. Its called an MVUM and they are available online at the link I posted and free paper copies are available upon request at any forest office. Saying that they are changing all the time is an excuse to drive on closed roads. With that said, they need to start enforcing them. Yes people tear down signs about as quick as they can put them up. However, if they would post large signs on the highways (And major entry points) stating that only roads on the MVUM are legal then people would be without excuse. Put game cameras pointed at the signs and prosecute anyone who damages them.
Thanks for the link, Darrell. I have a deer hunt up there this year.
I downloaded the district map. Good to verify.
Thx Darrell. Friend in NM witnessed vehicle abuse on roads closed per the Gila Forest Travel Management Plan. He complained to Forest office and was told that they really couldn't do anything because someone had torn down the "closed" sign, so it could have been an honest mistake. My buddy responded "what the heck is the TMP for then? I guess what you're telling me is if I tear down the sign I can drive anywhere I want to" and stomped out.
I had a bad experience in 52 last muzzle season . i had set up camp two days before the hunt to return with trailer the next day. Left 2 tents restroom chairs all my gear and some assholes came dropped there trailer right on my shit I had half a mind and almost shot the Mother f ers.
That is the unfortunate reality in much of NM. However, I have been "assured" by the forest service employees in the area I'm hunting that they will ticket anyone they find on non MVUM roads. Now is that assurance actually worth anything is a completely different question.
My problem with that line of enforcement is that it means it only keeps the honest people off the roads. The whole goal of the MVUM is so that there isn't a question of "was it marked as closed," and did the person know they were driving on a closed road. Yes, honest mistakes happen but even honest mistakes come with consequences. If I honestly don't know its my responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic as I enter a freeway and hit someone in the right lane who didn't move over for me, guess what? I still get the ticket and have to pay for the damages to their vehicle and mine. (Won't even go into what happens if someone gets hurt or killed.)
Anyway, I know you well enough to know I'm preaching to the choir but it just chaps me that I drew a tag that I had a 4% chance of drawing, likely won't live long enough to draw again and know that I'll have to deal with the yahoos because, to this point, enforcement has been spotty at best and non-existent is more the norm.