New Mexico Elk Unit 34 Muzzleloader

Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
97
Just found out after 10 years of trying I drew a New Mexico Elk Muzzleloader tag in Unit 34. Oct 16-20. If anyone has any info to share wiith me on this unit I would really appreciate it. Of course I will call the warden and biologist but have had good lick on this sight with hard to draw areas. You can PM me or call me at 712-292-0699. Thanks for any help. Dan
 

Felix40

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Joined
Jul 27, 2015
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1,579
Location
New Mexico
It’s super hard to draw for a reason. Just show up and hunt. Theres plenty of elk.

The warden and biologist will tell you the same thing.
 

mproberts

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
366
I honestly wouldn't over think it. There are elk everywhere in that unit. I've seen huge bulls on the western heavy timber slopes all the way out to the drier eastern flat lands of the unit. If you just hunt it you will get on bulls. If you really want to make the most of the tag I know a guide that always has them patterned well for muzzleloader season. Good luck man that's a special tag!
 

MandRroofing

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Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
97
I will be out there for the 2nd archery season should be fun

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

MandRroofing

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Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
97
I will be out there for the 2nd archery season should be fun

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 
OP
D
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
97
I honestly wouldn't over think it. There are elk everywhere in that unit. I've seen huge bulls on the western heavy timber slopes all the way out to the drier eastern flat lands of the unit. If you just hunt it you will get on bulls. If you really want to make the most of the tag I know a guide that always has them patterned well for muzzleloader season. Good luck man that's a special tag!
Thanks I like DIY hunts better. I appreciate your response.
 

trophyhill

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Joined
Feb 27, 2012
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1,719
Location
Tijeras NM
I honestly wouldn't over think it. There are elk everywhere in that unit. I've seen huge bulls on the western heavy timber slopes all the way out to the drier eastern flat lands of the unit. If you just hunt it you will get on bulls. If you really want to make the most of the tag I know a guide that always has them patterned well for muzzleloader season. Good luck man that's a special tag!
The pattern is, hunt them just like you would if you were bowhunting in September. If you do it just right, you’ll have them in bow range ;)
 

Gila

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
312
Location
Socorro New Mexico
Just found out after 10 years of trying I drew a New Mexico Elk Muzzleloader tag in Unit 34. Oct 16-20. If anyone has any info to share wiith me on this unit I would really appreciate it. Of course I will call the warden and biologist but have had good lick on this sight with hard to draw areas. You can PM me or call me at 712-292-0699. Thanks for any help. Dan
Congrats! That tag is about as good as it gets for a smoke pole hunt. No sense in calling those folks. They will just point everyone to the same area to keep the “herd” together. I did that one season when I drew a tag in a unit that opened up for the first time and had never been hunted before. I scouted pre-season and found elk. Opening day hunters crawling all over the place and no elk. E-scouting will get you a lot closer to the action. Then it is a matter of putting your boots on and putting some dust behind you.

You will be hunting the tail end of the rut. The herd bulls will be moving the herds between the feeding areas and the bedding areas. You will hear them bugling to move cows at first and last light. The best hunting times will be the first half hour and the last half hour. Timing is everything. Pattern the herds and you will be in elk meat. The satellite bulls may come to subtle cow calls. Bugling at them will just move them out. Is your blood pumping yet? it will be....
 
OP
D
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
97
Congrats! That tag is about as good as it gets for a smoke pole hunt. No sense in calling those folks. They will just point everyone to the same area to keep the “herd” together. I did that one season when I drew a tag in a unit that opened up for the first time and had never been hunted before. I scouted pre-season and found elk. Opening day hunters crawling all over the place and no elk. E-scouting will get you a lot closer to the action. Then it is a matter of putting your boots on and putting some dust behind you.

You will be hunting the tail end of the rut. The herd bulls will be moving the herds between the feeding areas and the bedding areas. You will hear them bugling to move cows at first and last light. The best hunting times will be the first half hour and the last half hour. Timing is everything. Pattern the herds and you will be in elk meat. The satellite bulls may come to subtle cow calls. Bugling at them will just move them out. Is your blood pumping yet? it will be....
Yes I will be doing something to prepare every day till then. Already looking at Onx. Starting a work out regement. Getting gear ready. Thanks for the reply.
Dan
 

Jaeger62

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
40
Location
North Texas
I don't know how in the world I did it..... but I drew the same tag for this year on my first try. We are out of staters but we own some property in Timberon. I can't begin to describe how excited I am about this hunt.
 
OP
D
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
97
I don't know how in the world I did it..... but I drew the same tag for this year on my first try. We are out of staters but we own some property in Timberon. I can't begin to describe how excited I am about this hunt.
Good luck I cant wait. Let me know how you do?
 

Wapiti1

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Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,584
Location
Indiana
I've hunted 34 twice on a muzzy tag (2010 and 2014). Finding elk isn't a problem. Finding a bull over 300 is more of a challenge. Lots of big 5's and small 6's. Now, if you want non-typical, that unit has more than I've ever seen. I almost shot a double main beam 5 in 2014, but a much bigger 6X6 walked into the meadow after him, so I shot the 6. Both bulls that I shot were in the 320 area.

As noted above, it is an end of the rut hunt, and you'll hear bugling. Response to bugling or cow calls will be mixed. A few of the big bulls will respond looking for a late cow. Others will be tied up with their harem. The best strategy I had was to bed them, sneak in and get a look at the bull in the morning and then sit the meadow they were feeding in the evening if I thought the bull was worth a better look. They would bugle late into the morning and made easy targets where I was at.

Really fun hunt.

Jeremy
 

Jaeger62

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
40
Location
North Texas
I've hunted 34 twice on a muzzy tag (2010 and 2014). Finding elk isn't a problem. Finding a bull over 300 is more of a challenge. Lots of big 5's and small 6's. Now, if you want non-typical, that unit has more than I've ever seen. I almost shot a double main beam 5 in 2014, but a much bigger 6X6 walked into the meadow after him, so I shot the 6. Both bulls that I shot were in the 320 area.

As noted above, it is an end of the rut hunt, and you'll hear bugling. Response to bugling or cow calls will be mixed. A few of the big bulls will respond looking for a late cow. Others will be tied up with their harem. The best strategy I had was to bed them, sneak in and get a look at the bull in the morning and then sit the meadow they were feeding in the evening if I thought the bull was worth a better look. They would bugle late into the morning and made easy targets where I was at.

Really fun hunt.

Jeremy
How challenging is the terrain in this Unit? I know the elevation is pretty high around Cloudcroft area and down by High Rolls/Timberon is a little lower. But haven't done just a ton of hiking around the area yet. I'll head out in June and then once again in August for some scouting. Wondering just how steep of country I've got myself into on this one.
 

mproberts

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Messages
366
As far as elk hunting terrain goes I'd probably put it at 3/10 on a difficulty scale. Much of the unit is pretty easy terrain.
 

JLane330

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
211
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I've hunted 34 twice on a muzzy tag (2010 and 2014). Finding elk isn't a problem. Finding a bull over 300 is more of a challenge. Lots of big 5's and small 6's. Now, if you want non-typical, that unit has more than I've ever seen. I almost shot a double main beam 5 in 2014, but a much bigger 6X6 walked into the meadow after him, so I shot the 6. Both bulls that I shot were in the 320 area.

As noted above, it is an end of the rut hunt, and you'll hear bugling. Response to bugling or cow calls will be mixed. A few of the big bulls will respond looking for a late cow. Others will be tied up with their harem. The best strategy I had was to bed them, sneak in and get a look at the bull in the morning and then sit the meadow they were feeding in the evening if I thought the bull was worth a better look. They would bugle late into the morning and made easy targets where I was at.

Really fun hunt.

Jeremy
They've moved the ML hunts back a week or two since you hunted in '14.

OP, they'll still be bugling a little, at least the satellite bulls, but the bigger boys will most likely be gone from the herds at that point. The feedback about how they'll respond to calls and bugles is spot on imo. The Cloudcroft area is really neat, and can be very steep and rugged. There are a lot of ATV trails in 34, and that can help you get away from others (or right in the middle of traffic depending on the area). If you have an ATV, consider bringing it, but look into the registration requirements...NM requires a sticker on it that you'll have to purchase.
 
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