Gila Processor

holterross

Newbie
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Ohio
I was very fortunate to draw a once in a lifetime Gila elk tag this year. I will be driving from Ohio and hopefully headed back with a harvest. On previous trips to Colorado I have had the meat processed/frozen in a local town and transported back in coolers with dry ice. I have been able to locate some shops on I25 and around Albuquerque but would prefer to stay away from the bigger towns if possible. Are there any processors in the Reserve area? Old threads talk about a fella around Apache creek but I haven't been able to find any additional info.
 

yfarm

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
114
Location
Arroyo City, Tx
Spoke to a local processor in northern NM about turnaround time, said by rifle season he is backed up by 2 months.
 
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holterross

Newbie
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Oct 13, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Ohio
Spoke to a local processor in northern NM about turnaround time, said by rifle season he is backed up by 2 months.
Wow..... Ill be there for second archery season that definitely wont work in my case. Depending on the date of harvest I would have 3 maybe 4 days before heading back.
 

yfarm

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
114
Location
Arroyo City, Tx
Consider deboning and using dry ice in a cooler should be good for several days. walmart and safeways sell dry ice in Santa Fe, assume other cities the same. Had quarters hung last year, put in cooler with a little ice, drove to SF, bought dry ice and drove back to Tx, meat was frozen when I got home, had it separated from the dry ice by newspaper and plastic
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
641
I was very fortunate to draw a once in a lifetime Gila elk tag this year. I will be driving from Ohio and hopefully headed back with a harvest. On previous trips to Colorado I have had the meat processed/frozen in a local town and transported back in coolers with dry ice. I have been able to locate some shops on I25 and around Albuquerque but would prefer to stay away from the bigger towns if possible. Are there any processors in the Reserve area? Old threads talk about a fella around Apache creek but I haven't been able to find any additional info.
I do not understand how it is a once in a life time tag?

The only OIL tags in New Mexico are Valles Caldera and Valle Vidale for MZ.
 
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holterross

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Oct 13, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Ohio
I do not understand how it is a once in a life time tag?

The only OIL tags in New Mexico are Valles Caldera and Valle Vidale for MZ.
Not being a NM Resident and applying without a guide the chances of drawing a tag for 16A second archery season is .87%. Nine tags are given and there were 1745 applicants in 2021. So yeah there is an extremely small chance I could draw the tag again. Any knowledge on processors in the area?
 

Mojave

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Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
641
There are some guys in Las Cruces and Arrey. Google and Facebook. I cut my own up and I have not used them. Not sure of anyone in T or C, or Socorro. In the actual Gila there is no one that I know of.

What 16 are you hunting?

I would drag a big plug in deep freeze and debone it and put it in there. Bring a big plastic table to do it on, so you don't lose anything. Plug the freezer in every night on the way home when you are at the hotel.

That is how I handle these trips.
 

Mojave

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Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
641
There are some guys in Las Cruces and Arrey. Google and Facebook. I cut my own up and I have not used them. Not sure of anyone in T or C, or Socorro. In the actual Gila there is no one that I know of.

What 16 are you hunting?

I would drag a big plug in deep freeze and debone it and put it in there. Bring a big plastic table to do it on, so you don't lose anything. Plug the freezer in every night on the way home when you are at the hotel.

That is how I handle these trips.
And just to let you know, our own resident odds for most of the better hunts in the Gila is 1%.
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
641
But our system is not a straight lottery, as you can apply for multiple units and draw any one of your 4 choices.

Even a Monte Carlo calculation is a piss poor version of the odds. I assume you got this 1% odds from someplace like gohunt?

Odds suck, it is how it is.
 
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holterross

Newbie
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Ohio
There are some guys in Las Cruces and Arrey. Google and Facebook. I cut my own up and I have not used them. Not sure of anyone in T or C, or Socorro. In the actual Gila there is no one that I know of.

What 16 are you hunting?

I would drag a big plug in deep freeze and debone it and put it in there. Bring a big plastic table to do it on, so you don't lose anything. Plug the freezer in every night on the way home when you are at the hotel.

That is how I handle these trips.
I drew 16A second season archery. I may end up having to do that depending on when/if I harvest. I have to be back in Ohio on the 27th and last day of the season is the 25th so processor may not even be a possibility. The place I have used in in Colorado usually has a 2-3 day turn around. Was hoping to find something similar in NM.
 

Wapiti7

Junior Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
27
Location
NM
I kinda doubt that you are going to be able to find a processor that will have your meat done before you are ready to head back home. If you really want this done, I would reach out to a processor in advance and tell them you are prepared to pay a premium (they just don't turn meat around that fast around here). The gal at Green Valley meats in Albuquerque might accommodate you. I always drop my mounts and meat at Heads n Tails Taxidermy (Joe Don Autry) in Magdalena (which is about half way between Reserve and Albuq)....not sure he has the man power to get it done that quick (he's also guiding).

There are game coolers around reserve if you want to cool the meat, then stop at Walmart to get dry ice(T or C, Albuquerque, Santa Fe all sell dry ice) on your way home. Or haul a freezer, like mentioned before.

16A 2nd archery is an amazing hunt!
 

loopmtz

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2020
Messages
201
Location
Denver, Co
I was near there the other day scouting. I know for sure they're is a processor/cooler in Magdalena. You might reach out to them I forget the name of it but it shouldn't be hard to find. Probably about an 1.5 drive. Good luck!
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
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Jun 13, 2019
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641
Live near Cruces. Our Taxidermist is awesome Robert Major.
 
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holterross

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Oct 13, 2017
Messages
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Location
Ohio
I kinda doubt that you are going to be able to find a processor that will have your meat done before you are ready to head back home. If you really want this done, I would reach out to a processor in advance and tell them you are prepared to pay a premium (they just don't turn meat around that fast around here). The gal at Green Valley meats in Albuquerque might accommodate you. I always drop my mounts and meat at Heads n Tails Taxidermy (Joe Don Autry) in Magdalena (which is about half way between Reserve and Albuq)....not sure he has the man power to get it done that quick (he's also guiding).

There are game coolers around reserve if you want to cool the meat, then stop at Walmart to get dry ice(T or C, Albuquerque, Santa Fe all sell dry ice) on your way home. Or haul a freezer, like mentioned before.

16A 2nd archery is an amazing hunt!
I apricate the info I will definitely reach out to some processors along my route home to see if they can accommodate. I don't mind paying a premium to expedite the process if possible.

I have only talked to one other person who has hunted the hunt and he expressed the same excitement about the unit. I am used to hunting OTC so I am pretty excited about the experience.
 
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holterross

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Oct 13, 2017
Messages
7
Location
Ohio
I was near there the other day scouting. I know for sure they're is a processor/cooler in Magdalena. You might reach out to them I forget the name of it but it shouldn't be hard to find. Probably about an 1.5 drive. Good luck!
Yes there is its called heads and tails. Odd it never popped up in my previous searches until I zoomed into the town. Thanks for the info.
 

Gila

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
533
Location
Socorro New Mexico
For a non-resident...16A is the hunt of a lifetime for sure! Even a resident has a difficult time drawing those tags. Gila and Eastern Apache bulls are huge. Probably the largest on the planet. Whatever conditions that made the Merriam’s elk so large, definitely makes the 16A bulls exceptionally large.

There are several coolers in the area between Reserve and Datil, Magdelana to Socorro. I don’t know any of them but Outfitters do it all of the time for their clients. Try calling these folks for info:

Eagle Guest Ranch (Datil) : 575-772-5612

Apache Creek Store (they sell ice too) : (575) 533-6800

Sent you a PM with some info as well
 

Jethro

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
433
Location
Pennsylvania
I drew 16A second season archery. I may end up having to do that depending on when/if I harvest. I have to be back in Ohio on the 27th and last day of the season is the 25th so processor may not even be a possibility. The place I have used in in Colorado usually has a 2-3 day turn around. Was hoping to find something similar in NM.
Just a FYI, the last day of season is the 24th.
 
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