New Mexico Elk Hunt Days 2&3

The monsoons have arrived! The biggest rains since June have been pounding our camp and the adjacent mountain ranges for the past two days. Just outside of camp we have a wash to cross each day in order to get to the drainages on the ranch where 90% of our hunting takes place. Yesterday we couldn't cross! We're sharing the camp with three guys from Mississippi on their first elk hunt. Excitement got the better of them yesterday afternoon as we were attempting to cross the wash. As we made the decision to turn around, they decided to go for it. Eventually, they made it back to shore, but not after the water was running over the hood of their truck. Last night at dinner one of the hunters, Richard, was laughing as he said, "I wouldn't be surprised if fish are still swimming around inside Neal's doors!"

This morning the rains broke and we made it across the wash with water over the tires in the Tundra. Glad to be on the other side, we decided to look over a herd we've been glassing for days. We hiked in above the herd and put ourselves in position to sneak down on top of the elk. It worked like a charm. The bull we had hoped was a big six from our glassing point turned out to be a 280" 5x5, just a little small for harvesting on day three of this hunt, but beautiful to get in on just the same!

Right now as I type we're sitting on a glassing point over-looking two of the four drainages we're focusing on for the hunt. It's raining so our visibility is very limited, but hopefully the weather will break in time for us to spot some elk to chase tomorrow. The rains are great for all of the ranchers in the area... it might as well be raining dollar bills. The big bulls are still hanging out just beyond our unit up on the Gila and all this rain will slow them from coming down into the lowlands for water... we're hoping the rut will begin and the bulls will head for cows before our hunt concludes.

I feel very fortunate to be hunting a new and beautiful piece of elk country, but I can't fight my wandering mind to the honey holes back in Montana and the bulls that are no doubt beginning to rut far from any hunters. It's good to be here, but the photo messages are starting to come in from my hunting partners in Montana and I can't help but miss my home! Congrats to Brent and Joey on some fine bulls. Crow and Drake... get it done this weekend fellas! Send some positive energy my way if you get the chance!