Mathews Inc.
NM Elk Hunt Recap
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
TreeWalker 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
Korey Wolfe 16-Sep-19
Scoot 16-Sep-19
sdkhunter 16-Sep-19
EmbryOklahoma 16-Sep-19
jordanathome 16-Sep-19
buzz mc 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
Brotsky 16-Sep-19
bigeasygator 16-Sep-19
Trial153 16-Sep-19
Mike Castillo 16-Sep-19
Irishman 16-Sep-19
WV Mountaineer 16-Sep-19
Paul@thefort 16-Sep-19
wooddamon1 16-Sep-19
Bowfinatic 16-Sep-19
Treeline 16-Sep-19
Beav 16-Sep-19
sticksender 17-Sep-19
adogg437 17-Sep-19
altitude sick 17-Sep-19
bigeasygator 17-Sep-19
Grey Ghost 17-Sep-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 17-Sep-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 17-Sep-19
iceman 17-Sep-19
BOWNBIRDHNTR 17-Sep-19
Grubby 17-Sep-19
bigeasygator 17-Sep-19
GhostBird 17-Sep-19
SDHNTR(home) 17-Sep-19
Neubauer 17-Sep-19
bigeasygator 17-Sep-19
Jasper 17-Sep-19
From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19
Wanted to provide a brief recap of this year's elk hunt in NM and share a few more of the pics I took during the hunt. Unfortunately, I was without my phone for three of the six days so there aren't a ton of pics - but figured I'd share most of what I got as it never gets old looking at elk country.

Before I post the pics, I'll provide a brief recap. I started the drive from New Orleans to NM on the 4th of September, arriving in camp on the afternoon of the 5th. My first hunting day would be the 6th, and I had up until the morning of the 14th to make it happen with my schedule.

The first few days provided a few sightings and a few "opportunities." I say opportunities in that we set up on some elk, I had an arrow nocked, but never ultimately got in range of a shot. After the third day, things slowed down and we didn't have much in the way of sightings for 48 hours and nothing that approached an opportunity. The bulls were starting to check-in on the cows, so it was a mix of bachelor groups and small herds with a bull or two at this stage during the rut. The weather was HOT with daytime highs approaching 95 degrees. You basically had a few hours at most in the morning and a few hours at most in the evening when the elk were moving around - beyond that the best play was to get out of the heat and stay fresh.

On the evening of the sixth day (9/11 as a matter of fact), we spotted three bulls bedded below us in a bowl about a 1,000 yards away. It was hard to see just what the best one was, but with the activity levels and the time winding down, I was more than ready to make a play. As someone who was jinxed on my previous elk hunts, he looked plenty big enough to me. We cut the distance to about 150 yards and set up to try and decoy and call them in.

The plan worked perfectly and the bull I was after funneled in between a rock and tree outcrop I was concealed on and one about 30 yards away, giving me a 25 yard shot. He spooked a little when he cleared the tree that was concealing me but stopped, quartering away a bit. Given the angle, I held a bit further back and let the arrow go. The entry was a little further back than I wanted, but I was fairly confident the shot would be fatal.

He ran off 60 more yards before stopping at the guide's continued cow calling. Long story short, I was able to send the remainder of my arrows (six in total) at him at 80-85 yards, hitting him four more times. He never moved the entire time...it was kind of crazy. He went about 5 more yards and laid down, but still took longer than I would have hoped for him to ultimately expire (about 30 minutes in total). Given the entry and exits on the arrows, most of the shots caught intestine, liver, and the off-lung and three of the shots were complete passthroughs.

This was my seventh archery elk hunt and the first elk I've been able to put my hands on - you name the mistake, I've made it. I'd like to think I've had a lot of opportunities to learn, and no doubt without them I wouldn't have been successful on this hunt. Needless to say, I'm still riding fairly high.

With all that said, on to the pics...

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo
Pics typical of the terrain we were hunting.

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: TreeWalker
16-Sep-19
Congrats on the harvest. I had a whitetail doe stay at 50 years while I was shooting a longbow back in the 1970s. Usually, the first sound of the bow string twang and critters turn on the afterburners. She had a death wish and wanted to expire right there.

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo
I was told these are good luck and I need to pick it up. Based on the results, I have to agree!

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19

bigeasygator's embedded Photo
bigeasygator's embedded Photo

From: Korey Wolfe
16-Sep-19
Thanks for sharing. Excellent results!

From: Scoot
16-Sep-19
Awesome- many congrats!

From: sdkhunter
16-Sep-19
Great pics! Thanks for sharing! Nice looking bull!

16-Sep-19
Beautiful pics, beautiful country and GREAT bull! Congrats, Jason!

From: jordanathome
16-Sep-19
That was great and congrats. So.......are you gonna name him the Pincushion Bull??? ;)

From: buzz mc
16-Sep-19
Great story and congrats on a nice bull.

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19
Jordan, that came to mind, as did Voodoo or Porcupine! Thanks everyone!

From: Brotsky
16-Sep-19
Awesome bull Jason! Congrats! It always amazes me the varying terrain elk can and do call home. Can't wait to someday hopefully get the chance to hunt NM.

From: bigeasygator
16-Sep-19
Brotsky, I hoped the uniqueness of the terrain came through in the pictures. Much of this region is straight up desert. If it isn't clear, those bushes in the first picture are cactus - and there's plenty of it to go around down there. You'd think no way elk would live in a place like this...but they do. It's really cool country to hunt. Not as high and steep as other areas, but it's deceivingly thick and difficult in spots. It's amazing how herds can just hide in it.

From: Trial153
16-Sep-19
Good work Jason

16-Sep-19
Great bull! What Unit were you in? I am looking at buying a LO tag next year in NM and considering different options...Mike

From: Irishman
16-Sep-19
Nice job Bigeasygator. Nice bull. I have a friend who also shot a bull years ago that I called the Pincushion, due to all the arrows. His moto is "If in doubt, quiver out" - Ha! He does kill a bull with his bow just about every year.

16-Sep-19
Congrats BEG. Great Bull.

From: Paul@thefort
16-Sep-19
Nothing wrong with that! Nicely done. Paul

From: wooddamon1
16-Sep-19
Nice one, congrats!

16-Sep-19
Congratulations Nice bull! Elk are some tough critters no doubt

From: Treeline
16-Sep-19
Many years of a misbegotten youth spent in that country guiding, fishing an occasionally getting the chance to hunt it myself...

Not as easy a hunt as most would like to think and have worn out many pairs of boots just trying to lay eyes on a bull down there.

The horny toad thing has worked more times than most would imagine! Although I began my time in NM as a true skeptic, I became a true believer!

Congratulations on a well earned bull!

Beautiful!

From: Beav
16-Sep-19
Congrats on the bull! I say if they stand there keep firing! Well done.

From: sticksender
17-Sep-19
That’s a really great looking bull, congrats to you!

From: adogg437
17-Sep-19
Awesome! Great looking bull.

17-Sep-19
Nice looking bull. Love hunting that type of country

From: bigeasygator
17-Sep-19
It is really cool country to hunt. If you can get eyes on elk, it can become very bowhunter friendly - save for the multitude of volcanic rock you have to contend with in some parts. It's some of my favorite terrain to hunt for sure.

But like Treeline said, it can be very difficult as that part of NM has lower elk densities and getting eyes on elk can be tough. There's just enough breakup in terrain to conceal them and the juniper and cedar can hide a whole herd if you don't have a great vantage to glass from. If they aren't bugling (and they weren't talking much last week) it can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It's my second time hunting the unit I hunted and the first time I never nocked an arrow. If I hadn't found that horny toad who knows how this hunt might have ended!

Thanks again everyone for the kind words!

From: Grey Ghost
17-Sep-19
That’s a helluva way to get the monkey off your back, Jason. Congrats, brother!!

Out of curiosity, what broadheads did you use?

Matt

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
17-Sep-19
Awesome bull and pics. Thanks for sharing with us. BTW, my son picked up a horny toad last year in Arizona. Same day he killed a muley and the next day I shot mine....probably should have brought him back to Iowa with us!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
17-Sep-19

From: iceman
17-Sep-19
Congrats again, killa!

From: BOWNBIRDHNTR
17-Sep-19

BOWNBIRDHNTR's embedded Photo
BOWNBIRDHNTR's embedded Photo

From: Grubby
17-Sep-19
Very nice!! Congratulations!

From: bigeasygator
17-Sep-19
Thanks Matt!

Broadhead-wise, I carry both fixed blades and mechanicals in my quiver (a 7-arrow Tight Spot). The fixed blade were Solid Broadhead Company Legends with the 1/2" bleeder and the mechanicals were Nap Killzones and one Grim Reaper to round things out. All of them in 100 grains.

The original shot passed through at 25 yards (with the SBC) and I got two complete pass-throughs at 80 yards (one with the SBC and one with a Killzone). Two others penetrated to the fletching (one SBC and one Killzone) and one hit him in his off leg as he was standing (the Grim Reaper). The other two went low into the dirt.

From: GhostBird
17-Sep-19
Congratulations.... very nice.

From: SDHNTR(home)
17-Sep-19
Awesome! Great bull. Congrats Jason!

From: Neubauer
17-Sep-19
Congratulations! Who did you hunt with?

From: bigeasygator
17-Sep-19
Frontier Outfitting run by GT Nunn. My guide was Dave Montoya.

From: Jasper
17-Sep-19
Great story and hunt! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sitka Gear