A Noteworthy Hunt For New Mexico Mule Deer At Quinlan Ranch


Published: November - 2011

If you have a mule deer (and/or elk) hunt on your mind, subscriber Cary Renner has found a noteworthy spot in northern New Mexico at the Quinlan Ranch, a few miles south of the Colorado border. He hunted with Randy Slaughter of Rio Brazos Outfitters (505-863-3815). Renner booked his hunt at the last minute when his booking agent from Cabelas (800-346-8747) called him about the opening. The Quinlan Ranch is a single block of 17,000 acres, right in the heart of a major migration route for elk and mule deer heading out of the Colorado high-country toward wintering grounds in New Mexico. It also abuts the 20,000-acre state-owned Edward Sargent Wildlife Area and serves as a haven for animals moving away from hunting pressure there. Renner says this ranch is a purpose-built hunting operation, and that he was impressed both with the ranch and the management plan they have in place. He says, "This was a big cattle ranch, but they pulled most of the cattle and made habitat improvements, like clear-cutting and water dams. Grass is good, not beat up, and the ranch is clearly not over hunted. I saw lots of mule deer, and the quality was good. Success can depend on the weather, since most of the deer migrate through this area. But there are some (not a lot) of good resident deer, if that does not happen. A short, five-day season makes it tougher." Renner says that the ranch only takes six deer hunters per year. He took a 185-class buck but admits he would have held off if he'd had more time. He saw a larger buck on an adjoining property. Other hunters on this hunt took deer in the 185- and 170-class. "A 185-class buck would be a good average from what I saw, and the potential for larger trophies seems to be there," says Renner. Although he didn't hunt elk, Renner reports seeing many as they migrated through at a ratio of about five bulls for every cow seen. "The rut was over," he says. "The cows seem to........(continued)
 
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