I'm in ABQ, NM and although I didn't pull an archery tag I drew a late season (early Dec) rifle bull tag for 7W. I successfully hunted 7W archery back in 2011 so I have a decent feel for the unit itself.
I have a few questions regarding locating bulls in the unit in the late season. Please PM me, as I don't think it wise to post specifics publicly.
I made one brief scouting trip a few weeks ago just to refresh my memory of part of the unit. I found plenty of elk in the same area I hunted back in 2011. If elk were there in Sept, and there in June, it seems likely they will also be there in Dec. Am I missing something?
I realize that weather can vary quite a bit depending on winter storms, but in general I'd guess that early Dec won't have much snow (especially given the pathetic moisture pattern in recent years). I assume that bulls won't really be pushed by snow conditions? Do they migrate very much in the unit from their Sept range?
Will they hit water that time of year (assuming it's dry)?
Do the bulls generally retreat high late in the year or do they stay in the low country?
Are there any general migration patterns in the unit late in the year (e.g. do the elk move east, south or some other direction)?
If bulls do have a general migration pattern when would my scouting time be most effective? Beyond identifying general terrain and habitat is scouting time during the summer/fall generally a waste of time? Should I wait until Oct or Nov for more effective scouting?
Thx for any insight.
you drew my tag