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Strategy for NM first time applicant?
Okay all I have been planning for several years a Colorado OTC elk hunt. Have got location and dates set for that trip. Thanks too many bowsite members for the assistance in that process it has been greatly appreciated. Now for the question while my main plan is to hunt Colorado myself and my hunting partner are also planning to apply in New Mexico as well because of the random draw figure why not. With that being said what strategy would bowsite elk experts take? Do you put in for one of units in Gila low chances of drawing, or something that is going be higher chance to draw, and probably higher success rate than other states OTC? Looking forward to input on this, thanks in advance guys.
^^^This is pretty much it.
Two tips: 1. put your unit with the lowest odds as your first choice and the highest odds as your third choice. 2. Apply separately with the understanding that if one of you draws you will both go on the hunt, doubles your odds and you both still get to experience NM elk hunting if you draw. Have an understanding that you'll split the gas money and meat, etc. but the shooter buys the tag.
Some people put in for 3 tough-to-draw units, some put in for 3 easier-to-draw units, and some people start with a hard-to-draw unit and then taper down with #2 and #3. Some people go in reverse and there's a theory that this works better, but I've never understood how that could work.
Personally, I put in for the best tags in NM because I'd rather hunt moose in AK (my backup if I don't draw a good elk tag) than elk in a NM unit where shooting a 350+ inch bull is unlikely. You can potentially shoot a monster anywhere in the country that has elk, but NM has a lot of units where 260-320 is what you're most likely gonna see.
Mathematically, if you want a tag, put in for 3 tags with better odds.
Since this would be my first Elk hunt overall size of bull is really not a factor to me. Opportunity at any legal bull is biggest factor. Thanks for reply's so far!!
"Pay and pray." Same strategy if you are first time applicant or 20 year applicant. That is the beauty of NM, all NR applicants have poor draw odds no matter your history.
Just pick the Gila, anywhere. Seems no. Residents do very well drawing our hardest tags.
Your strategy should include watching Old Yeller a few times to prepare for the feeling you get when draw results are posted.
Honestly, it's as simple as picking 3 units you want to hunt, and applying for them in the order in which you'd prefer to draw them. My application changes yearly depending on tags drawn and other factors. With a new baby on the way this summer, my application will look MUCH different than it did this past year when I had zero tags drawn by the time of the NM deadline but had time to hunt.
It took me 9 years to draw my tag for NM. Let my brother and best friend put in with me, it was their first year applying. The next year I went to MT, my brother and friend both got drawn again for NM (second year in a row). 2018 I took the year off because of selling my business and starting a new job, guess what, yep you guessed it my brother drew for 3rd year in a row. You can bet I'll be putting in with my brother this year :)
Good luck- DJ