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September 26, 2011 by  
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Update on Tim’s New Mexico Elk hunt….

I wish I had an exciting and action packed post for you, but sometimes hunting trips just turn out badly. I just returned from a NM elk hunt in a prime unit in what should have been the rut. Turns out, me and a friend got taken to the cleaners by a longtime outfitter and the ranch owner. They sold us landowner vouchers for a 22,000 private ranch that looked like elk heaven. The problem was that there were no elk there. We heard not a single bugle in 5 days between us, and saw exactly 2 elk at about 700 yards. We found out later from the guides that the elk usually come in there in Nov. and Dec. to winter.

Another guy with us had a permit on another ranch that had elk, and he had encounters every day. I ended up going to call for him when his guide bailed out, and I called in a 5×5 to 20 yards that he passed up, and a BIG 6×6 to 21 yards that needed to take one step to expose its vitals. The bull ended up turning away with no shot. He hit a huge bull high on day 1, and drew on 2 other bulls during the trip as well.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard folks say, “You TV guys get to go to all the best places, and it’s a piece of cake to score every time.” That absolutely isn’t true. I did a ton of research on this one, and we spent a lot of $ on the hunt, but sometimes things just really go bad. I guess in a way I am glad I went and found out for myself on this one, so now I know never to book anyone into this camp and will never recommend them. To see more details – look at the outfitter reviews I’ve posted at

Gotta get up and get ready for the next one. I leave on September 27 for the Alaskan Peninsula where starting Oct. 1st, I begin a hunt for giant coastal brown bears. I won’t have any email up there, but if I can, I will try to call and give JT and update every now and then via Iridium satellite phone…

Good luck to all in the field and Hunt Hard…Tim H.


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