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#3229493 - 04/23/13 02:32 PM New Mexico, 2013. Finally..............
ChippewaPartners
10 Point


Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 3007
Loc: Pamelot, my farm near Catoosa

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In the northwest corner of New Mexico, is the area known as the “Four Corners” where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado all come together in a common point. These are legendary mule deer states and this corner of New Mexico plays a big part in that legend. Wherever trophy mule deer hunters gather, talk eventually turns to the storied canyons of Rio Arriba and San Juan Counties. You will find the record books well represented, if not dominated, by bucks taken there over the years.

This is New Mexico Game Management Unit 2.

Unit 2 is a uniquely placed environ with several factors which contribute to it's excellence as mule deer habitat. Situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, which soar to 14,000 feet to the north, this area is defined by three large river systems which flow from the snow capped peaks of the Rockies and eventually drain into the Colorado River and on through the Grand Canyon to the sea. The terrain was created by these rivers and their associated drainages as eons of erosion cut through the soft sandstone and left deep, multi- stepped canyons with broad sage flats in the bottoms and on the benches. Vegetation is predominately pinon / juniper ("PJ") treed areas interspersed with open brushy flats of sage, grasses and varied browse. The elevation is considerably lower than the mountains to the north. Average elevations in the unit are 5000-6000 ft. Snowfall is minimal compared to habitat even a few miles north. Mule deer love it. The rugged PJ bench country provides the cover they need with an abundant, nutritious food source at their feet. The main river systems flow year round and add great bottomland habitat and water sources to the mix. Winters are relatively mild and deer are not subjected to deep snows and winter kill. This is, and has been, their home for centuries.

Mule deer in Unit 2 have a semi-nomadic lifestyle as many of them will drift north into Colorado in late spring. As snow melts off the high peaks deer will seek out the cooler alpine areas on the mountain even as high as the crags above timberline. Many stay in the area and browse the thick, rich river bottoms and tuck away into the shady high cliffs of the canyon country. As soon as snows fly in the high country the deer come home. They come home to Unit 2 to rut, to feed, and to grow another little muley.

Mature mule deer bucks are a very reclusive nocturnal creature. For most of the year they are lounging away in the thickest darkest cover available and come out only after dark to feed and water. You'll not likely see them. Hunting success on a big muley in Unit 2 is deeply tied to the rut and and the return of the migratory deer. Normally early snows in Colorado occur around the end of October and trigger southward deer movement to their wintering areas in the sage country. The rut begins in early / mid November. As deer populations rise with the returning herds, the rut starts to engage as well. Then is when the bucks start to venture out a little and you start to see these phantoms. Large herds of does meander the flats and soon there is a war on for their affections. Smaller bucks will optimistically squire the does around as their estrus approaches and then are promptly booted off the prize as she comes into heat. There is no shortage of bigger badder bucks to spoil the dance.

The various hunt dates in Unit 2 start in late October and extend past mid November. The hunts which are deeper into November are the most prized, and the most successful because it’s deeper into the rut and the migration.

Every year, New Mexico Game & Fish receives complaints from hunters who have gone another year without drawing a permit or license for their species of choice. The competition is fierce for a limited number of licenses/permits, especially in prime areas. Luck plays a big part in the drawing. Always remember that there are no guarantees in the draw. Likewise, there are no guarantees in hunting. Success in the draw doesn’t mean you’ll harvest a trophy or even see an animal—even if you draw a prime unit.

New Mexico’s big game drawing is subject to a quota system. In accordance with state law, the draw attempts to distribute 84 percent of the licenses for each hunt to New Mexico residents, 10 percent to residents or nonresidents who have contracted with an outfitter and 6 percent to nonresidents who have not contracted with an outfitter (THIS IS ME!) (this does not prohibit nonresidents in the 6 percent pool from contracting with an outfitter if they are lucky in the draw). New Mexico does NOT grant preference to applicants who were unsuccessful in previous drawings. All drawing applications are shuffled like a deck of cards and randomly assigned a sequence number. A computer program then examines applications in order according to the sequence number assigned. When an application is examined, the computer attempts to fulfill the first hunt choice, subject to the quotas described above. If the first hunt choice is already filled, the computer will try to assign the second choice to that application and then the third choice.

If you want to hunt New Mexico, remember, we can’t all be lucky enough to draw a bull elk license in the Valle Vidal or unit 16A or 16D, or a deer permit in unit 2B. Most of the units that contain prime habitat for any species are very difficult to draw because numerous hunters apply for those areas. There is no harm in submitting a highly desirable unit as your first choice, but if all three of your choices are in prime units, your chances won’t be very good. Consider entering a less competitive unit for your second, or at least your third choice. It doesn’t hurt to be willing to travel for your hunt either. The words “too far away” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary if you really want to hunt big game in New Mexico.

Since 2006 I have been putting in for a New Mexico tag in Unit 2, next to the famed Jicarilla Apache Reservation. Finally, this year I drew a tag for the third rifle season, November 2 to November 6 in Unit 2B. I was really lucky. The odds were so small, somewhere between 3.39% and 7.41% using last years draw odds. To be certain, I am lucky and blessed. I never gave up the dream of having the opportunity. Like any hunter, I hope I have a shot opportunity on a great buck. May God keep my health intact until I get there! It's simply a great opportunity and privilege in a great unit to go as hard as I can and try to turn up a great muley. Turning 60 a month after this hunt I'll be hitting a milestone. I still believe the best is yet to come!




Dean T. Parisian
http://www.deanparisian.com
National Rifle Association, Life Member
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Life Member
Mule Deer Foundation, Life Member
National Trappers Association, Life Member
Minnesota Trappers Association, Life Member
Georgia Trappers Association, Life Member
Tennessee Fur Harvesters Association, Life Member
Fairfield Glade Sportsmans Club, Member

Investment Management across North America for Hunters, Trappers, Outfitters
_________________________
http://www.DeanParisian.com


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#3229636 - 04/23/13 05:44 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: ChippewaPartners]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1586
Loc: East

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Good luck.

I'm looking forwards to hearing how this goes. I was just thinking the other day that I needed to start adding NM to my list of states that I apply in.

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#3230205 - 04/24/13 09:18 AM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: Buzzard Breath]
AT Hiker
6 Point


Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 853
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

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Awesome! I just spent a couple days in the Lincoln NF and thought to myself..."man I need to start applying for NM". Good luck!
_________________________

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir




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#3230237 - 04/24/13 09:47 AM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: AT Hiker]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2652
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Congrats! That's an awesome opportunity!

Is New Mexico one of those states where you must pay a good bit up front with the quota hunt application, but get refunded most of it if the draw is unsuccessful?

I did a lot of research a year or two ago regarding elk quota hutns, but never pulled the trigger on going because I was so overwhelmed with selecting a hunt unit in a given state. My original plan was to build priority points on a hunt in Colorado so that, when I decided to go, it would very nearly be a guaranteed draw. I never worked up the nerve to start this process. Hats off to those like you that go through with the process!
_________________________
I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.

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#3230412 - 04/24/13 12:48 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: Crosshairy]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1586
Loc: East

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 Originally Posted By: Crosshairy
Is New Mexico one of those states where you must pay a good bit up front with the quota hunt application, but get refunded most of it if the draw is unsuccessful?

I did a lot of research a year or two ago regarding elk quota hutns, but never pulled the trigger on going because I was so overwhelmed with selecting a hunt unit in a given state. My original plan was to build priority points on a hunt in Colorado so that, when I decided to go, it would very nearly be a guaranteed draw. I never worked up the nerve to start this process. Hats off to those like you that go through with the process!

Going from memory, yes, NM requires you to pay for the entire license up front. Then, if you don't draw, they refund the fees back with a service fee subtracted. The good thing about NM is that everyone has an equal chance of drawing. They don't have "points".

If you want to start the points game, WY is a good state to start with. You can choose the points only option in August and just pay for the points. If you have been building points for a few years, then, out of the blue, a buddy wants to start buying points, WY will allow you to apply as a party and take the average of the points between the applicants. Most other states just use the number of points for the lowest applicant.

Having points is never a bad thing.

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#3254343 - 05/24/13 03:40 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: Buzzard Breath]
warpheagle
Spike


Registered: 10/10/09
Posts: 86
Loc: N. Alabama

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I hunted in unit 2 two years ago for elk during the muzzle loader season. We hunted in the canyon county S. of Blanco, which I think would equate with unit 2C of mule deer units. It was my first time out there and first elk hunt. Beautiful country, and lots of great memories. We both got a 5X5. I hope you have a good hunt, it is a better unit for muleys than for elk.
Best wishes.

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#3255303 - 05/26/13 07:33 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: warpheagle]
LA man
18 Point


Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 20171
Loc: spencer, tn/houma, la.

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good luck Dean. keep us posted and looking forward to the pics
_________________________
GO LSU

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#3256179 - 05/28/13 05:00 AM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: LA man]
tickweed
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 4741
Loc: medon,Tn.

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well deserved good luck
_________________________
The hardest thing about Bowhunting Turkeys is leaving the gun at home!

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#3418842 - 10/25/13 03:37 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: tickweed]
ChippewaPartners
10 Point


Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 3007
Loc: Pamelot, my farm near Catoosa

Offline
I'll be rifle in hand the morning of November 2.

Stay tuned for a report. Good or bad.

Lets see if I can get it done on a great buck.
_________________________
http://www.DeanParisian.com


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#3419015 - 10/25/13 06:25 PM Re: New Mexico, 2013. Finally.............. [Re: ChippewaPartners]
Buzzard Breath
8 Point


Registered: 07/31/06
Posts: 1586
Loc: East

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Looking forwards to it!!!
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