New Hunt for New Mexico Desert Bighorn Sheep on Armendaris Ranch


Published: November - 2012

Correspondent Mike Bodenchuk sent us this quick note on a recent desert bighorn sheep hunt in New Mexico on the Armendaris Ranch. (See our August issue for a report on this property). Stay tuned for the full story in time to help you decide whether or not to apply for this permit or make a bid for the landowner tags. "New Mexico offered 16 desert sheep tags for 2012, including increased permits in the Hatchet Mountains, and White Sands Missile Range and new permits for the Ladron, Caballo and Fra Cristobal Mountains. The last is on the Armendaris Ranch. Hunting Report subscriber and good friend Bill Walters drew one of the two public tags here, and I jumped at the chance to accompany him. Here are some quick notes from that hunt: "First, this is typical, sparse desert habitat. The ranch has established numerous water catchments, but the big rams apparently prefer small springs in the mountains. All of the sheep hunting was by foot. The big rams were extremely wary and required careful stalks. "Public hunters are allowed full access to the ranch and hunters may hunt unassisted or with a guide. Bill booked with the guides from the ranch, but I was extremely impressed at the care shown for both hunters; the guides coordinated areas to allow both permit holders to have a quality experience. Our two guides knew the sheep and the mountain, and delivered the extra effort necessary to find a great ram. The quality of sheep was exceptional. I saw book-quality rams each of the seven days I was there. Both public hunters took 170-plus rams, and we saw some that were likely bigger. By agreement with New Mexico Game & Fish, public hunters will hunt first one year and private tag holders hunt first the following year. In 2013, the private tag holders will have first shot. As I write this, the private and youth tag holders have yet to take to the field, so the story of the first year in the Fra Cristobal Mountains has yet to be finished. As a side-note, New Mexico........(continued)
 
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