November Mule Deer Hunts
Today is December 9th I can’t believe how time flies! Before we know it, H&A Outfitters, Inc. will be applying hunters for the 2013 season. New Mexico Game and Fish are talking about moving the application deadline to sometime in March. It’s always been the first part of April and has seemed to work fine for years. But leave it to some inconsiderate dumb ass at Game and Fish to screw something up that’s been working for years! The New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides are against it. The main reason is because outfitters are doing sports shows all the way through March. We will see what happens.
Well I had a handful of mule deer hunters for the month of November. Me and one of my guides, Greg Tapia, leased a ranch for deer hunting in Southern New Mexico. This is a huge ranch - over 20,000 acres, and we’re working on getting the neighboring ranches and also going to work all winter on predator control. We want to kill as many coyotes and lions as we possibly can on these private ranches. There are some trophy class mule deer on the properties, we just need to manage the predators. There has really never been any kind of predator control on these properties in the past.
Our first hunt on the ranch was November 3rd thru the 7th. We had two hunters on the ranch and they went home without a deer. It was a tough hunt. Hot weather made it even tougher and turned the bucks 100% nocturnal. We did see deer every day and one shooter buck got away. We didn’t really see what we were looking for. Only saw small bucks and lots of does. Ten days later on Nov. 17th thru Nov. 21st we had 3 hunters on the ranch and it pretty much went the same way. Turning down small bucks and seeing lots of does. Towards the end of the hunt we did manage to find some shooter bucks but we couldn’t close the deal. One hunter shot a buck for the sake of having some meat for his freezer and it was his first mule deer ever and he was very happy with it. Another hunter missed a few shots at a running buck that might have went in the mid 160’s. What can I say? The ranch definitely has the deer but the 80 degree plus weather made it tough hunting. Hot weather all across New Mexico made mule deer hunting tough throughout the state. Even in some of our best draw units in the state, I had reports from other outfitters that the deer hunting sucked! Looking forward to hunting the ranches next year and hopefully the weather is more like it’s supposed to be that time of year.
Today is December 9, 2012 and there is still no snow and temperatures are 20 degrees above normal. We have 8 elk hunters coming down to hunt December 15th thru the 19th This hunt has always been 100% shooting opportunity and real close to 100% harvest. Stay tuned for my December post. Til next time,
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