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Hi, can anyone recommend an area in Valle Vidal for the first hunt (sept. 1-14)? We have 7 days left, it’s been a full moon this week and also seems as though it’s too early for bugling as we hear nothing even at night. My son has a bull tag and we’re tired of walking all over to see little activity. Does anyone know of a place we can get to with minimal walking where we might have some luck? Thanks in advance
Check waters and hunt those with sign.
Cool front moving in Tuesday morning early, might get them moving a bit more. Hot and dry everywhere, maybe look for some deeper, shaded gullies and canyons.
Great advice! Any particular area you could point us to? Thank you
Thats elk hunting, you should expect to walk at least 4 to 10 miles every day to find them and each day change your tactics and spots. You can also get in a good area and call a bull in, often in early hunts they will come in silent. The most important thing is to have fun no matter what and staying positive is mandatory.
Lots of elk in the VV. I would hunt high and not the area low around McCrystal. You still need to get quite a ways away from the main road. If the elk are quite then that’s how you hunt them. Maybe some cow calls really early in the morning and a very light bugle here and there. Once you do that stay put for about 45 minutes.
When I hunted it bulls would bugle early in the morning even in July on scouting trips. When we pulled into the Cimarron cg guys were pulling out telling us how the elk weren’t bugling and it was hot. We stopped at the main valley and heard a bull bugle before we pulled in the campground. We just smiled to the guys and said “ok.”
go up toward Little Costillo PK and always keep the wind in your face. there are lots of elk therein the VV.
Something does not add up if you are covering ground in an area with a healthy elk population. The harder you hunt the more you will appreciate elk hunting.
Definitely don't need to walk 4-10 miles a day to find elk in the VV. Might be a bit early for the elk to really be bugling a lot. When I hunted they were talking some at times but often it was a matter of seeing them, not hearing them. Find spots where you can see a good ways through the burns. If they aren't there, move somewhere else.
Just because the elk are quiet and elusive doesn't mean they are not there. Look for FRESH elk sign. Find FRESH elk sign and you have found elk. Droppings that still have color and appear wet are a prime example. Fresh rubs are a dead giveaway as well. Good luck!
My buddy who drew the first season NR archery tag said they saw close to 300 elk in two days when they scouted in early August. Hard to believe a person can’t find the elk in that area.
Ask a local where the"mailbox" is. Walk in slowly in the evening and cow call once in awhile. Have the time of your life.
I have the VV muzzy hunt next month and I am paying very close attention to this thread. This is a once in lifetime hunt, seems if someone could help his son out with specific locations that would be very generous. PM him but it's not like you can ever draw it again. From what I have learned in my research the key is to get a couple miles in away from main roads. I have also read about many of the archers having a tough time on both the early and late hunts. Especially the early guys.
Seems odd that they aren't even talking. I spent the last four days in a central AZ unit around 6,700 ft and the elk were going crazy from 5:00 am to about 8:00 each day. I wish your son good luck and look forward to you posting up a picture of your son with a big bull.
Your research is right Knothead, get away from the main roads! the elk are experts at receding away from the roads each morning, a good plan is to be a ways in there before light. It doesn't matter too much where you go as long as you get yourself tucked back in there before light and don't come out of the hills until it's dark. It's also true that some people are lucky enough to spot elk and kill in easy situations but many early VV hunters go home with tag soup.
What's the word, Taffy? Having any better luck?
Good morning everyone, thank you all for the suggestions, only one person we know of has tagged out so far, we have gone in early, come out late, found fresh signs etc., but the winds are tricky, I think we’re getting winded. No talking, no responding, the guy we know tagged was a Rambo type hunter, he deserved to get one, we’re resting today, going back in the morning, road is treacherous from washboard!
A buddy of mine got one in there early like on 2nd or 3rd day Was the guy that got one you know of a sawed off fella with a caveman beard and a recurve
Yeah we met him, heck of a nice guy, we’re so happy for him, he deserved it get one!
I took one in Tuesday that was a nice 7 X 7 from the VV. He was going in with horses everyday south of Comanche creek. I killed mine west of there in 2013.
I'll be there second rifle, I wish I had info to share for you. Good luck the rest of the way.
Good morning everyone, the bugling started in full force at Valle Vidal. It’ was unbelievable. At 6 to 7 am and 7 to 9 pm was the most. It changed everything, at first a dull hunt of seeing only cows and deer, to a ton of activity. We found a spot and called in 3 bulls at the same time, two were running around us reacting to the bugling. One stayed at the treeline You could see him, he was a big one, a low grunt kept them in the area, a few times I did horrible bugling but they stayed, a couple others from further away were grunting coming in as well. Anyway, We got one within 30 feet of my son and it winded him, the bull jumped and my son shot but the bull quickly was out of range. It was a 5x5, I was watching the one on my right but it stayed hiding in the tree line, the one on my left was a 6x6 breaking branches and grunting, huge massive bodies, these other two were out of range for him. I moved and they all disappeared. After that, we called in 4 cows and a spike, my son didn’t want to shoot. We couldn’t stay another day, he’s an engineering student and had to start class Monday. My son and I want to thank everyone who responded to us on the site and privately for their kindness. We are forever grateful.
Maybe next time. Goes to show you and your son the amount of effort it takes to be a successful elk hunter!
Prehunt preparation like shooting distance , gear, tactics, SCOUTING, go a long way to get the kill.
Great stuff, sounds like you guys really got into em at the end of the hunt. Hopefully there will be many more great hunts to share with your son in the future.
Sounds like fun!!!! I would have called and said I have Covid, should I show up for class tomorrow? No? Oh ok...send me my stuff online and I’ll quarantine!
Glad you finally got into them, Taffy! That kind of experience is what brings people back out elk hunting and what makes me think about chasing elk every single day of the year. Hopefully you two can get back out again next year and have a blast. Congrats on an amazing trip and experience shared with your son.
Elk showing up on the last day of a hunt seems to be a common occurrence. Or it just takes me a week to figure things out.
It’s an incredible place and when they start bugling it’s total chaos! It becomes a matter of not knowing which bull to go after there are so many bugling. They bugled all night and the next day till about 11-12 then started again about 1:30-2:00 everyday on my hunt. Best elk hunt I’ve ever been on.
Sounds like fun if they get fired up! Pretty sure I would not have been able to leave with all that going on:-)
How many years or minimum pref points does it typically take to draw an archery tag in Valle Vidal?
Crestedbutte, it's a straight random draw, so it all depends on how lucky a person is in the draw. The hunt is designated as once in a lifetime once drawn.
It took me one try. Second choice, second archery hunt. It was only 7 days in 2013. I know some guys where it has taken 15-20 years. Some only a few years. All random draw.
crestedbutte, It also took me one time of applying and I drew the only NR unguided muzzy hunt that starts Oct. 10th. It was also my 2nd choice. Lucky would be an understatement. I would really like to talk to others that have hunted VV. I am all ears.
I feel like the VV turns on around Sept 9-15 every year, early you see big herds of cows with a 5x5 acting like a herd bull and around that time he gets his a@@ kicked..... the next morning is moping around the herd all bummed out. Last week just riding horses and not even trying we heard easily 20 different bulls bugling and called some really nice bulls into less than 10yards. Always works that way when you don't have a tag!
So a straight up random draw with no pref. points or weighted points. Is there a yearly application fee or is it free to apply? Many Thx!
Just like applying for any elk tag in NM, pick the unit and pay the fee. You get most of the fee back if you are unsuccessful .
So..... any reports back from the archers that hunted valle vidal? How was the bugling action and quality of bulls this year.