View Full Version : Help with Planning a NM Mule Deer Hunt

01-21-2014, 03:55 PM
My wonderful wife started planning a hunt to New Mexico with my Dad for this fall. We have a friend who is giving us permission for a private-land tag in between Tucumcari and Logan.

I'm very excited, but have some questions.

1) My dad is a rifle hunter, so we are mostly limited to the October seasons. How are our chances that time of year?

2) I don't have a pair of binoculars (hunting in the VA mountains doesn't lend itself to glassing), so looks like I'm gonna need some. I've been looking at the Vortex models in the $150-210 range. Likely 10x42. Will those get the job done?

3) What do I need gear-wise beyond my normal whitetail stuff? I've got the bow, boots, gutting gear, etc. I don't have a fancy pack, but do I really need one for day hunts?

4) Will my Realtree AP gear work or do I need a lighter pattern?

Thanks in advance for any help!

01-22-2014, 07:42 AM
Just my .02...

1) I think your chances will be based on what unit you draw. I live here and took one in Jan on an archery hunt but went with a buddy of mine in Nov and he tagged out in 2 hours with a rifle.

2) I didn't have any either when I moved here. I was on a limited budget and while great glass is the way to go there are options that won't break the bank. The Vortex Diamonds are in that price range or the Redfield Rebels. I have the later and was very pleased with them. 10x42 is the way to go. If you wanted to spring a little more I think for the price you will have a hard time beating the Vortex Vipers.

3) Really nothing, I hunted whitetails back east my entire life and use much of the same gear with a couple exceptions. Buy good boots! This cannot be overstated! You will hike your butt off. It may be sand dunes or mountains but you will have to get out and hoof it. Light weight rain gear, I had some Russell rain gear that kept me dry but man is it heavy. I bought some lighter stuff and it makes life easier. And I got a nice hunting pack. Day hunts are fine but what if you down a mule deer 2 miles from the nearest road. i'm assuming a DIY hunt here. You have to pack it out and a good pack like an Eberlestock pays huge dividends.

4) I killed my mule deer wearing realtree ap in the sand dunes. You just need something to break up your pattern. I do like the Predator camo in the 3d but haven't bought any yet.


01-22-2014, 11:16 AM
1) Do I still have to draw for a private-land hunt? From what I could tell, I just have to give the unit code when I purchase a private-land tag. The regs were a little hard to navigate though, so I might have misread that.

2) I was looking at the Crossfires and Diamondbacks. Both look pretty good, but was told the extra $50-60 for the Diamondbacks would be worth it.

3) I have a good pair of broken-in hiking boots that should work great. Because I'll be hunting a ranch, I'm not expecting to have to walk to far from a road. I wish I could afford a Blue Widow, but gonna have to make-do with what I have I think. I'll check into the rain gear.

4) Glad to hear the Realtree AP will work, especially since I already have a leafy suit in that.

Thanks for the help!

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01-22-2014, 11:55 AM
Nope...don't have to draw for a private land hunt...the ranch should have the tags already. My buddy got 8x32 diamondbacks this year and is pleased with them but he also has a nice vortex spotting scope that he uses in combo with them. Since you are on a ranch you shouldn't have any crazy long packouts i wouldn't think. I acutally used MOBU but think it is too dark. The AP works a little better.