The Taos Pueblo Reservation encompasses the mountains on the west side of the Angle Fire Valley, all the way from Eagle's Nest to past the town of Angle Fire. A recent game survey on the reservation estimates 2,500 head of elk call these mountains home. Jantze has the reservation on a long-term trophy management program, taking only a fraction of the hunters he has permits for in order to continue building trophy quality here. Last year, he received 210 bull permits, but he booked only 32 trophy rifle hunters. All took bulls ranging from 305 to 363 B & C. Seven of those bulls scored between 345 and 363. Jantze also received 60 archery bull permits but booked only four bowhunts. All of these hunters had up-close shots at bulls coming into a call during the rut; two of them harvested animals scoring 315 and 345 B & C.
The hunting here is about as easy as it gets. Many of the animals use the same routes on a daily basis coming down from their bedding areas high up on the mountains to the valley below to feed. Last year, I took a nice animal from a ladder tree stand situated on a well-used elk trail that was within an easy walk of a logging road where we parked the vehicles. And a 70-year-old gentleman hunted from a box blind and harvested a big six by seven bull that scored 334 B & C.
Although Jantze's hunts are five-day affairs, shot opportunities at good bulls often occur the first day of this hunt. Hunters should have a good idea of what they wish to harvest, as multiple opportunities are common. In fact, the scores on bulls taken........(continued)