Results from Unit 16C, New Mexico
I arrived out in “No Where” New Mexico on Thursday afternoon 9 Oct. I ran into my old friends brother on my way back to our meeting place. We set up camp and were about 45 miles from anything resembling a store; probably 75 miles north of Truth & Consequences, New Mexico. We set up camp and then went out scouting that afternoon.
We didn’t see anything that afternoon, but before I arrived he had seen a herd with some nice bulls that Thursday Morning. Friday morning, my friends brother and myself scouted down a mountain and up and on top of another mountain. I found a nice 4x4 mulie skull cap and rack, but no elk sign. Then we went to the area behind where Ivan had seen the elk that Thursday morning. Sign was everywhere, tracks and excrement still fresh. We made a plan and with a few alterations we stuck to it.
My friend arrived Friday night, looking pretty resilient, after another rough night of being single!!!!! We got up Saturday morning, the first day of the season, and my friends brother headed to approach the area from the North; my friend and I headed together to approach the area from the West and South East.
When we arrived at our area it was dark with a full moon, no need for a flashlight. We went our separate was and soon heard six or seven bulls bugling. So many in fact, we all thought that other hunters were out there already…but there couldn’t have been. There were no other vehicles. But there were loads of hunters in the area. I even heard two bulls fighting. Wow!!!
Aout 730 I heard a shot over in my friends brother’s direction, a few minutes later another. Then a few minutes later I heard a different shot from the same direction. I’m thinking “I hope one of those was him.” Well the elk were still bugling and I picked out the last bull (closest too me) and started stalking. I was headed down into some Ponderosa pines. He would bugle and I would make my way in his direction, after a while I would stop and wait. He’d bugle and I would make my way in his direction. I break into a cow elk call a few times and sometimes all the bulls would bugle, other times maybe one or two (awesome). One time when I had stopped to glass for the bull I sat down and was looking down under the bottom branches of the pine trees (I was on a down hill slope of a mountain) and all the way at the bottom of the mountain something moved. It was about 120 yards away and I got a good look. It was the bull I was stalking. His antlers were so far back he could’ve scratched his butt. No way to shoot because not only was it thick but, I was practically laying flat on my back looking down through my feet to see him. He meandered his was out of there and I eventually made my way down there. I marked the spot with my GPS, figuring I would be back there over the next few days, and started to make my way back to my pack which I had dropped earlier because it was making to much noise. About that time I heard a shot over in my friends direction, a few seconds later another. I was hoping he got one, it was about 855 in the morning. I was about 2/3rds of the way up the mountain just casually walking along watching my GPS. Then to my right I heard an elk bugle, I pocketed my GPS and ran about 40 yards. I heard the bugle again. It was about 80 yards away on another mountain side. I started glassing the mountain through the pines. Then I saw a cow elk, then another, then a calf, then a cow, then the bull. I dropped my binoculars and flipped my gun off safe. As I was standing behind two pines the elk were coming from my right. I knew they would either come in front of me or cut to my right along the side of the mountain. Things were quite for a few minutes so I slowly and methodically leaned forward to look. Crap!!! The lead cow was staring right at me. So I didn’t look her in the eye and slowly lead back. She relaxed and started to make her way right in front of me at about 60-65 yards. Then the next cow, then the calf…I needed to raise my gun but couldn’t because I could see all their eyes. Which meant they could see me. I needed to get my gun up because the bull was about to expose itself. Then the good lord was with me. All their heads went behind trees and I brought the gun up to my shoulder and looked through the scope. I had a square area of of about 2 feet to shoot through the pines. I saw the cow, then the bull. My 7mmMag let loose a 160 grain nosler partition bullet and it hammer the big bull; right in the left side of his chest just behind the shoulder blade. Instincts took over, I lowered the gun and chambered another round. By the time I had the gun up I heard a thud, then when I got the scope to my eye all I saw was four feet in the air. No need for a follow up shot. I walked over and said a prayer to god thanking him for this opportunity. It was 925 in the morning. My hunt ended four days early.
Unfortunately, when I dropped my pack I left my gutting knife. I admired my bull for about 15 minutes. Then went and picked up my pack and headed onto the truck to see if my friend was there. When I got there no one was there, but mother nature came calling. About 20 minutes later he showed up. We traded stories and then went back to get his truck and ATV. Then we reached his brother on the radio and passed on our good news and his to us.
We got all the elk out and back to camp about 530 that evening. What an evening it was.
In the photo, mine is on the left.
Priorities: 1. God 2. Family 3. Hunting/Kentucky Basketball
Nothing else matters
Last edited by BlueStew; 10-29-2003 at 08:38 AM.