New Mexico is a seriously long drive from Montana! We’ve been scouting for a few days prior to the season opener today and have found quite a few elk. I wasn’t lucky enough to draw an archery tag in New Mexico this year and with a love of elk hunting that is insatiable, I couldn’t help but purchase a landowner tag (so much for my life savings, guess I’d rather live it up now than “hopefully” do so later!).

This country we’re hunting reminds me of the Missouri River Breaks back home with deep coulees and ridges dotted with sparse timber patches and little water. With the addition of native pinon trees the landscape offers elk an unlimited amount of places to disappear. We’ve spent countless hours glassing in the past few days and found a herd of a dozen cows with a 340″+ bull yesterday morning. Of course he wasn’t there this morning. Big bulls are like ghosts.

Last night when we weren’t distracted by the rattlesnakes, we glassed up quite a few elk. The biggest herd contained 20 cows with a small 5×5 bull running the show. It seemed that his time was limited and that he was just waiting to get kicked out of the herd by a big bull. No bugles have been heard yet. The rut just hasn’t quite started. The temperatures are in the low 80’s today, but with a low-pressure system in the forecast and the sound of raindrops on my tent wall as I type, there’s some hope the rut will kick into gear soon.

I feel very confident that I’ll find a great bull!

– Mark Seacat