Cow hunt in NM, advice welcomed

David658

New member
Oct 24, 2021
2
Last year my wife and I took a cow, and have a tag in the same unit.  Only the second elk I have taken, the first was in 1992 or so.  I have hunted occasionally in "futile" mode, but hunted deer extensively in the intervening years.
Last year, the night of opening day it snowed/rained/blew/froze, so much so that I laid awake worrying about my trailer (dumb, it wasn't gonna blow away like a tent or fly might), and decided not to head out until about 1000.  We hiked up and stopped for lunch (the ubiquitous sausage on a biskit), and then on up a ridge to see what was on the south-facing side.  What was there was a very large herd, and I took my shot on the one nearest bedded down.  Thankfully my wife realized that if she shot one, I'd have two to carry out, so we managed to be satisfied with one. 

I had kind of figured the elk would be sunning someplace after that previous night, and for one time I called it right.  Otherwise, it was more or less blind luck.
Any general advice on hunting cows?  The country we are hunting is rough, near a river (couple miles), right at 9000', timbered with occasional old burn scars in that timber.  We (well, I, since the wife is unable to hike this season) are not afraid of getting off the road on foot, but my age and hikeability limits just how far in I go (no 15 mile days these days).  Sure would appreciate anything you have to share.
DavidNM
 

cohunter14

Administrator
Jul 10, 2017
5,265
David, the easiest thing to do is to find high points to glass from into some country you believe the cows could be in. Let your eyes do a lot of the 'hiking' for you. Once you find them, then put a plan together to go shoot one. At least that's primarily what I do for rifle season cow hunts.
 

David658

New member
Oct 24, 2021
2
David, the easiest thing to do is to find high points to glass from into some country you believe the cows could be in. Let your eyes do a lot of the 'hiking' for you. Once you find them, then put a plan together to go shoot one. At least that's primarily what I do for rifle season cow hunts.
Well, the 2021 hunt was short - very, very dry, and my back went out. By the end of the second day, I was having trouble moving, so we pulled out early. This year I am a bit more optimistic, but my scouting this weekend was mostly fruitless. We have had so much rain, there is food everywhere and no need to concentrate on water since it is all over the place. So, starting saturday, going to put the miles on and hope I cross trails with the girls.

David
NM
 

cohunter14

Administrator
Jul 10, 2017
5,265
Good luck David! Keep us posted on how it goes. And don't look at your scouting as fruitless - consider it time well spent finding out where the elk aren't. It just makes it easier to find out where they are!
 

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