"I recently found a big game hunting opportunity that should appeal to both trophy and bargain hunters alike. I am referring to Bob Atwood's Blue Mountain Outfitters. Atwood is a likeable, long-experienced big game guide who cut his teeth in Idaho before starting his operation in the Land of Enchantment, where he specializes in quality elk hunts at a remarkably affordable price. Now you're probably thinking, acquiring a tag in New Mexico is a difficult proposition, but that's not a problem here.
"Atwood conducts his elk hunts on both private and public land. The tags in his areas are limited, but because a lot of the hunting is on private land, demand is not very high. Consequently, the overall draw success rate for Atwood's clients is about 60 percent. For those who do not draw, unit-wide landowner permits are available for a fee of $950. Compared to what landowner tags go for in other places out West, that's a bargain.
"Because the tags are limited here, the hunting pressure is light. Mostly primitive camps are set up near the hunting areas, so pre- and post-hunt travel times are manageable. Camp consists of either mobile homes with electricity or wall tents. A classic cook/dining tent serves remarkably good meals. A nice touch is the virtually unlimited supply of snacks made available by the outfitter. Hunters are encouraged to fill their pockets for later in the day.
"Elk hunting techniques here are typical for mountain hunting: locate the bulls by bugling or glassing, or both, and lots of walking. The terrain here is fairly rough, so a solid pair of boots is a must. The altitude is manageable for a flatlander, but due to the terrain and the distances that must be covered to find the bulls, being in good walking shape........(continued)