Sugarite State Park – Hunting with the Bow Hitch

joestrow

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
317
Hello, fellow Roksliders!

First off, thanks to everyone who contributes to this amazing forum. I’ve learned so much just by reading through the wealth of information all of you are willing to share. In hopes of passing along some useful info myself, I wanted to give a recap of my mule deer hunt in New Mexico’s Sugarite State Park and also tell you about a great product called the Bow Hitch.

In my opinion, drawing any hunting tag is a win. So when I drew the “good tag” of Sugarite State Park, I was happy as can be. The summer was spent flinging arrows out of my PSE Carbon Air and by the time the hunt came around I was shooting great out to 80 yards. From my hat down to my boots, I felt confident in my gear. Given the absurd amount of research and testing I had done, I knew that if I screwed up the only thing to blame would be myself.

One of the most exciting pieces of new gear I had was called the Bow Hitch. It is a sturdy, reliable, and innovative piece of equipment used to carry your bow. In my eyes, the best way to describe it is as a “arm saver.” The Bow Hitch is a piece of metal with a hitch that attaches to a strap that can be connected to your backpack, belt loop, or bino harness. It transfers the weight of carrying your bow away from your arm and onto your hip/torso. My PSE Carbon Air isn’t all that heavy, but if you carry it for 8 miles a day, it starts to feel less like “air” and more like a dumbbell. I could be wrong, but I am guessing that most archers' accuracy would go down if they were asked to hike with a weight in their hand for several miles before letting an arrow fly.

In my past hunts I would carry my bow in a few different manners: 1) holding it by stabilizer with my off hand 2) holding it over my shoulders with both hands on the riser 3) holding it by the handle or 4) having it strapped to my backpack. All of these methods had their drawbacks. My bow was either causing unnecessary strain on my arm from carrying it or it was inaccessible from being on my back.

With the Bow Hitch, you can quickly (I’m talking seconds) put your bow on the strap or take it off and be ready for action. Given that I shot literally thousands of arrows in preparation for my hunt, the last thing I wanted to do was put it in the dirt every time I needed to glass/check my gps/drink some water. The Hitch keeps your arm happy and your bow clean. Plus, if it's elk season you can let a bugle rip without having to try and balance your bow between your legs.

So, onto the hunt. My gear and prep are great – the only thing left to do is kill a buck. Thankfully, around 6:30am on the last morning one presented himself right by Lake Maloya in the Park. My brother and I were able to get to around 150 yards before getting busted. He was staring right at us and started to head into the thick stuff. I thought we were screwed, but as we slowly got closer he didn’t jet off. 150 turned to 125 and before I knew it turned to 80. I maneuvered around to what I thought was a completely clear shooting lane. I let an arrow fly and the release felt great. My heart sank when I heard a branch break and saw a nice buck jet off never to be seen again. I went to where the buck was standing and looked back to where I was. Sure enough, there was a branch I didn’t see because I was too focused solely on the deer and not what was in the arrow's path.

At the end of the hunt, I was still happy. I achieved my goal of getting close enough to let an arrow fly and had a great time with my dad and brother. Also, I knew that I couldn’t blame anyone but myself – my gear did it’s part and user error was the reason I didn’t tag out. I find peace in knowing that a mistake I made can be a lesson learned for future seasons.

Some other tidbits for those fortunate enough to draw this tag in the future:

The park is SMALL. One road splits it down the middle. No need to bring a side by side or a fancy truck. If the pavement is clear, you’d be fine hunting out of a Civic provided you can get your kill on ice.

You will see an absurd amount of deer while driving into the park from Raton. They are a tease – hanging out in the front yards of all the houses right before you hit the park. Once you cross the park boundary, deer disappear.

BRING YOUR FLOAT TUBE! Lake Maloya is a perfect lake for a small boat or a float tube to do some fly fishing. We learned that a private group stocks the lake with big trout, and NM Game and Fish adds their usual stockers. If you can’t get a buck, get yourself a rainbow.

Consider staying in Raton. There is good food and it’s a short drive away from the park. If you give yourself an extra 10 minutes of travel time in the morning, you can sleep in a comfortable bed and take a warm shower.

Happy hunting all! Please don’t hesitate to give me a shout if you have any questions about my hunt – if you have any questions about the Hitch – you can ask the man himself @ElCapitan
 

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ZDR

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
766
Thanks for the write up. The bow hitch is a really good product that works as well or better than advertised. I used it for 10 days on my Gila wilderness elk hunt and it was an arm saver for sure.
 
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joestrow

joestrow

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
317
Didn’t see any bears, but saw a ton of sign on the trail leading up to Little Horse Mesa on the west end.
 
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