In case you missed it, we recently highlighted our elk hunts in New Mexico’s primitive weapon units 13, 15 and 17. Even though we concentrate on these bow and muzzleloader-only units, we do offer guided hunts in some other great areas across the state. Here, we’d like to provide an overview of our elk hunting in New Mexico unit 10…
Like any elk hunting area, unit 10 comes with its own unique set of pros and cons. This can be an outstanding unit. There are lots of elk. There are some big bulls. And it’s easier to draw than many other units. So what’s the catch?
“We’ve had some absolutely phenomenal rut hunts in unit 10,” explains LOH owner, Jerry Blake. “When the bulls are bugling, it’s the kind of elk hunt you’ll talk about for the rest of your life. But when the bulls aren’t talking, this becomes a challenging area to hunt.”
One of our stellar guides here at LOH Outfitters, Brendon Rosales, explains that unit 10 is thick country. It’s dominated by ponderosa pine and juniper. Because of that, there aren’t many glassing opportunities. This means that hunters rely heavily on calling. When elk aren’t responsive, hunters must be prepared to cover a lot of country and work hard to earn their opportunities.
Unit 10 has great draw odds compared to other quality units in New Mexico. Subsequently, landowner tags are more reasonably priced. While the draw odds for most of our hunts run between 10 and 20 percent, odds in unit 10 hover between 40 and 60 percent. With good numbers of elk and overall trophy quality, these are outstanding odds for what could be the hunt of a lifetime. Hunters just have to be prepared for a tough grind if the elk aren’t talking.
Because of this, we usually recommend unit 10 as a 3rd choice in the draw for hunters who are willing to take on the challenge. If your first choice is a Gila unit and your second choice is one of our favorite primitive weapon units, this can be a great 3rd choice with excellent odds of getting a tag.
Our favorite thing about unit 10 in New Mexico? It has a gun season during the rut!
“Unit ten has a unique early season muzzleloader hunt that’s during the rut,” Brendon added. “This is before most of New Mexico’s other firearm seasons. A hunter can expect to hear a lot of bugling and experience the rut activity.
“Bulls in unit 10 can range from the 290 to 340-inch mark,” Brendon continues. “But every year, there are a handful of bulls that exceed the 360-inch mark.”
Our unit 10 hunts take place in classic wall tent camps.
“We set camps in locations that allow us to hunt right out of camp,” Brendon explained. “If you’re dying to hear bugling bulls but you’re not comfortable hunting with a bow, the unit 10 early muzzleloader hunt is a great opportunity.”
We should point out that New Mexico allows hunters to use totally modern muzzleloaders with scopes. If you have any hesitation about using a muzzleloader – please don’t let that be a barrier. Our hunters are welcome to use our Best of the West custom muzzleloaders, which are reliable out to 700 yards.
While the hunting in unit 10 can be challenging when the elk are quiet, it’s still far better quality than any over-the-counter option in a state like Colorado. And when the elk get fired up – be ready for the hunt of a lifetime!
For more on elk hunting during the rut read 3 signs a bull is going to hang up.
To learn more about our New Mexico elk hunts, please take a few minutes to look at our Elk Hunting Page. For current availability and other details, you can call Jerry directly at 315-374-8209 or send us a message.