Hunting elk in New Mexico

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O-1A
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Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by O-1A » Thu Jul 01, 2021 9:26 am

I have an elk hunt booked in New Mexico with a reputable outfitter. Ive, never hunted elk so this is all new to me. I was planning on taking my 1874 45-90 or 44-77. I asked the guide if it was okay with him and he said it is not allowed during the regular hunting season. I told him that these are center fire BPCRs and that it should not be a problem. He said that if it was loaded with blackpowder that it would only be allowed during the regular blackpowder season. I think he is misinformed because I looked at the regulations and it says that if it is .22 caliber and bigger with an expanding bullet that it is okay. The only problem is that our bullets do not expand very much. I personally have not found any bullets from deer I have taken, so don't know much about this.

Anyway, any input you all might have would be appreciated.
Bad Man Jose'

Dan O
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by Dan O » Thu Jul 01, 2021 12:27 pm

I think you would be better off by calling the N.M. FW&P and get the actual facts from them. I believe you are correct in it is legal to use black powder in either rifle. By Montana law you are legal use any cartridge during regular rifle season. But N.M. may have a different opinion so it is better to talk to the folks enforcing their laws and get the facts.

Dan

George Babits
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by George Babits » Thu Jul 01, 2021 12:41 pm

Sounds to me like the outfitter hasn't a clue as to what you propose to hunt with. Probably thinks it is a muzzle loader or something.

George

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desert deuce
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by desert deuce » Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:32 pm

Have not hunted Elk in New Mexico in several years and do not have current prospectus available.

Some how I thought the caliber restriction was .25, not .22, but it may have changed.

Possibly the outfitter is more influenced by past negative experience with BPCR Hunters than anything else and seeks to avoid a recurrence.

A rule of thumb for you is this: At what distance are you able to place 3 out of 3 shots in a five inch circle reliably. Surely, the off hand position which will be a far shorter distance than shots fired from the rested position. You owe it to the quarry and the outfitter to know and adhere to these parameters. The last thing an outfitter wants is to try to recover your wounded animal and fail.

Where I have hunted in New Mexico the shot distances exceed 100 yards and Bulls double lunged have run over 200 yards hit with a .300 Mag and 180 grain Partition before leaving a significant blood trail. On open plain the Elk will likely be running and in the mountains or timber on moving elk shot placement is truly critical.

There is a possibility the outfitter is committed to your success you know?
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

pete
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by pete » Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:31 pm

I looked at the New Mexico Game and Fish website for legal means and this is the relevant firearm requirements for general firearms.

"Legal sporting arms for deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, ibex, oryx, Barbary sheep and bear (big-game sporting arms): Any centerfire firearm at least.22 caliber or larger, any muzzle-loading firearm at least .45 caliber or larger, any shotgun .410 caliber or larger firing a single slug (including muzzle-loading shotguns), any bow or any crossbow. " Bullets have to be designed to expand.

So basically if somebody wants to use something more primitive/less efficient that the modern requirements it's ok as long as it meets the minimum requirements for the method chosen and yours does. Sounds like this guy doesn't want to deal with something other than the most efficient method.

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desert deuce
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by desert deuce » Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:51 am

So, who proposes to take a .22 Hornet Elk Hunting? It is, after all, a .22 caliber centerfire.
I fail to find the reasoning behind the regulation and suspect that close examination may suggest an uninformed decision leading to the rule.
A misprint may even be responsible, I don't know.

Which actually is avoiding the important issue. The issue is the client.

We still don't know the Outfitters reasoning. Can we presume he has at least a vague idea about Elk Hunting in his concession and is experienced?

What would his reaction be if a client showed up with a .22 Hornet? Legal yes. Practical? NOT!

Perhaps it may be a good idea to find out WHY he may object to a client of unknown capabilities, to him, bringing an otherwise primitive weapon Elk hunting. He is, after all, the key to your success.

The first thing our PH's did in Africa was take us to a range and have us demonstrate marksmanship proficiency with our rifles, rested and off hand, in the presence of our guides so they and our trackers would know our marksmanship capabilities, before we went hunting.

The final consideration then becomes your share in the success? Back to hitting that five inch circle 3 out of 3 shots in succession which is something your have to determine and be able to demonstrate to your guide upon arrival in camp. And, I highly suspect both you and he realizes that shooting at paper is a whole different matter than shooting at a moving animal.

As an ethical hunter you must know your own limitations. Realistically, what are they?

At what distance can you hit that 5" circle 3 of 3 shots off hand.

At what distance can you hit that 5" circle 3 of 3 shots rested.

Shouldn't you determine this before you query the guide further?
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

Dan O
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by Dan O » Sun Jul 11, 2021 10:31 am

A man's got to know his limitations. :wink:

cw50-70
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by cw50-70 » Sun Jul 11, 2021 2:55 pm

Back in the old days in New Mexico there were minimum energy requirements.

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O-1A
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by O-1A » Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:57 pm

Your comments make valid points. It may be the guide, which is quite capable because he has been doing it for many years, may not be familiar with BPCRs and doesn't know my capabilities. I am going to do my best to burn a lot of powder getting more proficient. I have shot Texas deer with all my BPCRs including one bison. All my shots were under 100 yards. At my age I don't trust my off hand shooting but do hunt with cross sticks or use a tree branch to steady the rifle. I do still practice off hand shooting on a 36" steel gong just because it is fun to do and show the young ones I can do it.

I plan to take my Remington 700 BDL in .308 along with a BPCR.

Thank you all
Bad Man Jose'

kwilliams
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by kwilliams » Mon Jul 19, 2021 3:23 pm

When I lived in New Mexico, one of the first things I did was to talk to a local outfitter about hunting elk with BPCR or a muzzle loader around Sierra Blanca He said it was not possible. Claimed you could never get close enough, I dismissed him immediately as ignorant of vintage arms. Went on my own guided horse hunts and got one with a muzze loader in their black powder rifle season at 20 yds, and another in the general rifle season with a BPCR 45-90 rolling block at 120 yds or so. And then there was mule deer with another black powder rifle. So unless NM changed their hunting rules, you should be good to go.
kw

High Desert Hunter
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by High Desert Hunter » Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:51 pm

General season is any legal weapon. There are specific seasons for archery and muzzleloaders, where those would be the only equipment allowable. During the "rifle" season, you may if you choose, use any legal means.

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desert deuce
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by desert deuce » Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:50 am

O-1A, Dan O makes the salient point and your decision as outlined on July 15th makes sense in your situation.
Will be interested to hear the after action report and wish you the best of luck and a thoroughly enjoyable hunt.
Sometimes you get the chicken, and sometimes you get the feathers!

77 sharps
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Re: Hunting elk in New Mexico

Post by 77 sharps » Mon Jul 26, 2021 9:23 pm

I have hunted extensively with a.45 caliber Sharps. I can tell you from experience that if you hit the elk with a reasonably placed shot, you will have a dead elk shortly. I have killed animals much bigger than elk with one shot.

You might want to talk to your outfitter and find out his thoughts.
But you need to remember, it’s your hunt and you are paying for it.

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