New Mexico Outfitter ReviewContributors to this thread:
Review of Sierra Blanco Outfitters, Mora New Mexico. My brother in law and I paid for a 5 day guided muzzle loading elk hunt with Sierra Blanco Outfitters in the fall of 2021. The initial arrangements were for 2 on 1 guided hunt for $6500 each which included a landowner unit wide tag for unit 45 northeast of Santa Fe. The initial deposit was half or $3250 each. The reviews were decent with the only recurrent complaint being the owner, Peter Romero, was very hard to communicate with. After the initial contact with Peter, this indeed proved to be the case. Peter would generally not answer or return calls and volunteered very little information. Questions were instead directed to Jeremy, a part time assistant who I believe helped handle bookkeeping and website issues. Jeremy tried very hard to be helpful. During the ride from Florida to NM, we got to thinking about the 2 on 1 guide and wondered how that would be accomplished. A call to Peter got through and he advised that contrary to our expectations, the guide would not drop a hunter off at some likely spot while taking the other hunter ahead to hunt. Instead we were told that the guide must stay with both hunters at all times. This seemed to change the hunt from a 5 day hunt to more like a 2 and a half day hunt as we would have to “take turns” with regard to who would get to take the shot. We felt too much was already invested for this limitation so we asked about a change to 1 on 1 guided hunts. Peter advised that he would have to hire an additional guide and would incur other additional costs associated with this change. The cost to us would be another $1000 dollars each. We agreed to this and continued on. Now by way of background, we are both flatlanders. I am 67 and my brother in law is 72. Considering our ages, we get around pretty good but we did advise Peter that accommodations would need to be made as we couldn’t hike like billy goats. Upon our arrival at the ”lodge”, a functional double wide manufactured home, we were escorted to our room. We discovered that we would be sharing the hunt with another 8 rifle(modern) hunters, all from Texas, that would be hunting private land on the adjacent unit 46. Peter advised that he would be one of our guides and introduced us to the other, named Max. The group of Texans had begun their hunt the day earlier and on this, the second day of their hunt, had scored on a nice 6x6. Day one of our hunt began on public land in the NE section of the unit. Peter’s approach was to hike quickly and continuously up and down the trail scoping out the sign. Not till we reached a destination he liked did he actually stop and call for a few minutes. Afterwards he hiked us back where we had come from taking a few quick stops to call. As we returned to the lodge, I let him know that his pace was too aggressive for me and suggested we move more slowly and hunt as we go. The next 6 hunts were all more of the same. Peter would hike aggressively with no real breaks looking for hot sign. If he didn’t see anything he deemed fresh enough, he would stop after a couple of hours, call, then return to the truck. I complained more and more aggressively about not being able to sustain his pace. Frequently, even though he would be far ahead(50 -75 yards), I would take mini breaks as I simply had to catch my breath. I even told him that I had nitro glycerin in my pocket if he found me unresponsive and he would have to put the tablets under my tongue. By day three, I was even commenting to the group at large that “Peter hiked me in for 2 hours , we hunted for 10 minutes, them he hiked me back out to the truck”. Even though we had hiked over some excellent elk terrain with tremendous sign, it was never “fresh” enough for Peter to bother with. To say I was getting pissed was an understatement but I remained courteous with Peter to avoid burning any bridges. I advised him that I was not an inexperienced elk hunter and why didn’t we sneak hunt taking frequents stands as I had learned while elk hunting in Arizona and Colorado. He responded that he knows when elk are in the area and doesn’t want to waste his time if the sign isn’t fresh. I reminded him that it was mid October and the rut is mostly over and his approach could most likely only work under rut conditions. Finally, on the 4th day, he approached me and said since I didn’t like his style of hunting, he would take me to some private land and I could hunt it by myself. I told him I was all in! I hunted the private land(by myself), which had a little older elk sign, for the next day and a half. I enjoyed it immensely but saw no elk only a nice herd of mulies that I got within 75 yards of. The total elk harvest for the group of ten hunters was one mature bull and one yearling bull which was mistaken for a cow. I did not see nor hear a single elk in five days of hunting. One other point about the accommodations, the food was tasty but was mostly burritos and tacos or taco salad. If you required meat to survive you would starve. You be the judge…will I go back? LOL
That’s how all his guides hunt. Two hours of walking and 10 minutes of hunting. LOL.
post this in the review area, not the elk forum. that way others can read it. Sounds like maybe you were not nearly in good enough shape to elk hunt. I would probably stick to private land ranch hunts if you go back in the future.
FL, I’m not an elk hunter because I know my limitations, but it sounds to me like y’all paid for a few armed nature hikes.