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Old 09-10-2022, 05:46 PM   #1
Bulldawg87
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Default Headed to The Gila!

Last year was my second year hunting elk and it was crazy good. Tons of bugles, a lot of encounters...I didn't kill but had plenty of opportunities on younger bulls, but the ranch I was on had several 320 ‐ 340" bull and we kept getting close.

This year, I was fortunate enough to draw a Gila tag for second archery. Extremely low odds to draw. I've never prepped for a hunting trip like this before...I also will likely be solo for the majority of it.

The tag is good for 9 days, and I will hunt all of them if that's what it takes.

One thing I'm excited about, I bought an ebike to help me silently cover ground. May even go at night and ride miles and listen for bugles. When I find them, pull out my Nemo tent and camp right there.

Last month, I went and scouted what I could, but got flooded out.

With the ebike, I can't decide if I should trailer a SxS out there or not. I'm leaning towards doing it, just in case as I think there is potential I can't get to a lot of starting points with the truck with all the flooding in the last month...but with a bike I may could.

It feels like being a kid waiting for Christmas! Just a few more days!

Last edited by Bulldawg87; 09-10-2022 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:10 PM   #2
kerrbow
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If you have it, you can use it. If you don't have it, you cannot. Might get you out of a tough spot, you never know. Good luck and camp quietly if you do the stealth camping.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:12 PM   #3
Gumbo Man
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Congrats on the draw.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:28 PM   #4
ByronB
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Good luck and have fun!!
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:35 PM   #5
Bulldawg87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerrbow View Post
If you have it, you can use it. If you don't have it, you cannot. Might get you out of a tough spot, you never know. Good luck and camp quietly if you do the stealth camping.
Thanks, that's my thought as well
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:40 PM   #6
Drycreek3189
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Good luck !
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:43 PM   #7
Burnadell
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Buena suerte!

I would take the ATV...a lot easier to haul elk out.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:47 PM   #8
deep n the heat
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That’s going to be a great hunt. What unit did you draw?
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:26 PM   #9
lmartin5
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Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:28 PM   #10
Bulldawg87
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Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
Buena suerte!

I would take the ATV...a lot easier to haul elk out.
I'm thinking, being solo...I likely will hire a packout guy if I get one on the ground
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:41 PM   #11
S-3 Ranch
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Pack some mosquito spray, just read a gila unit 23? Report and they had lots of bugs due to the weather
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Old 09-10-2022, 09:06 PM   #12
Bulldawg87
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Pack some mosquito spray, just read a gila unit 23? Report and they had lots of bugs due to the weather
I saw a similar report on one of the Facebook groups. I haven't used a thermocell since I lived in Mississippi. But probably need a new one, just in case.
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Old 09-10-2022, 09:15 PM   #13
Texas Grown
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You might contact Graybow on here. He used to run a pack in guide service in the Gila for over 30 years. But is now retired. Has put some customers on some incredible elk over the years.
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:12 PM   #14
Bulldawg87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Grown View Post
You might contact Graybow on here. He used to run a pack in guide service in the Gila for over 30 years. But is now retired. Has put some customers on some incredible elk over the years.
Appreciate that! I'll probably look him up and give it a shot
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:30 PM   #15
Reasonable
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I just spent 9 days in the Gila (16B). I can confirm that there are a boatload of mosquitoes, it is warm enough that you should have a packer in mind (unless you shoot one on a road) and packers are hard to come by. I suspect they will be pretty vocal since they were not last week. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about current conditions on the north side of 16B.

Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2022, 11:57 PM   #16
Bulldawg87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasonable View Post
I just spent 9 days in the Gila (16B). I can confirm that there are a boatload of mosquitoes, it is warm enough that you should have a packer in mind (unless you shoot one on a road) and packers are hard to come by. I suspect they will be pretty vocal since they were not last week. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about current conditions on the north side of 16B.

Good luck!
I do fortunately have a couple packers as possibilities. I'll probably hunt closer to east central side of 16C I think, so not too far from that area
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Old 09-10-2022, 11:57 PM   #17
Bulldawg87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasonable View Post
I just spent 9 days in the Gila (16B). I can confirm that there are a boatload of mosquitoes, it is warm enough that you should have a packer in mind (unless you shoot one on a road) and packers are hard to come by. I suspect they will be pretty vocal since they were not last week. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about current conditions on the north side of 16B.

Good luck!


Did you guys have any luck?
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Old 09-11-2022, 06:37 AM   #18
Huntingfool
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Hunted the Gila many times in years past. Awesome place to hunt and great elk in most sections - yes I would haul my buggy there - good luck!
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Old 09-11-2022, 07:23 AM   #19
Pernell
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What unit are you hunting? I will be in 16a, im leaving Tuesday morning and hunting 15th-24th.
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Old 09-11-2022, 07:55 AM   #20
Reasonable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldawg87 View Post
Did you guys have any luck?
Yes - managed to catch up with a nice bull on day 8. I never post, just lurk around...so I either don't know how to, or can't, post pictures.
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:22 AM   #21
Landrover
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Following!!!

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:24 AM   #22
Slick8
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I believe I'd take the ATV as well. I like the idea of the E-Bike as well.

Tuned in and best of luck to ya.
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:40 AM   #23
Reasonable
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A few more thoughts on the area:
1 - I'm not sure what the next couple of weeks look like, but it's warm in the day.
2 - Winston, NM has a great convenience store with everything you need (including some archery & camping supplies). Very friendly staff.
3 - Plenty of people in the area.
4 - I saw bears and know there are mountain lions. Neither of those bother me. But the rattlesnake I almost stepped on - that bothered me. Glad they have a buzzer.
5 - As mentioned...mosquitoes are bad...but only the last 1.5 hours of the day.
6 - They've had a ton of rain the past couple of months (but not much the past couple of weeks). Everything is really green and there's lots of water...so sitting water wasn't terribly productive. Seemed like the elk were using smaller seeps/creeks vs. the tanks they typically would have to hit.
7 - In 16C, an ATV and/or e-bike wouldn't hurt at all.
8 - It's beautiful country and while there aren't giant elk behind every tree, there are some good ones out there...enjoy your time!
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:50 AM   #24
lanceodom
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Good luck!!
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Old 09-11-2022, 11:42 AM   #25
Clintk
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Good luck
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:44 PM   #26
Bulldawg87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pernell View Post
What unit are you hunting? I will be in 16a, im leaving Tuesday morning and hunting 15th-24th.
21A but have a few places along the 16C line I place to spends a good bit of time.

I hunted some private last year in 21B so have a couple spots in mind on the opposite side of the unit also.
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:46 PM   #27
Bulldawg87
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Hunt In: Wilson, Kimble, & Zavala County, TX - Indiana & Mississippi. Elk where ever I can!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasonable View Post
A few more thoughts on the area:
1 - I'm not sure what the next couple of weeks look like, but it's warm in the day.
2 - Winston, NM has a great convenience store with everything you need (including some archery & camping supplies). Very friendly staff.
3 - Plenty of people in the area.
4 - I saw bears and know there are mountain lions. Neither of those bother me. But the rattlesnake I almost stepped on - that bothered me. Glad they have a buzzer.
5 - As mentioned...mosquitoes are bad...but only the last 1.5 hours of the day.
6 - They've had a ton of rain the past couple of months (but not much the past couple of weeks). Everything is really green and there's lots of water...so sitting water wasn't terribly productive. Seemed like the elk were using smaller seeps/creeks vs. the tanks they typically would have to hit.
7 - In 16C, an ATV and/or e-bike wouldn't hurt at all.
8 - It's beautiful country and while there aren't giant elk behind every tree, there are some good ones out there...enjoy your time!

I hunted with the guy that owns the Winston Store last year, great folks!. I have a cabin right behind the store rented out as the home base and will spike out also, if it works out.
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Old 09-11-2022, 10:44 PM   #28
Lee230
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Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 09-11-2022, 11:24 PM   #29
CoachS
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Good luck Brannon.
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:40 PM   #30
Bulldawg87
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Leaving in the AM! Should get an extra day to scout now
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:43 PM   #31
Big Lee
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AZ or NM?
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:49 PM   #32
Bulldawg87
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AZ or NM?
NM
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:01 AM   #33
Chad_E
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Good luck guys! I look forward to hearing how things went.
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:25 AM   #34
lizardslick
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Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:30 AM   #35
Bryan11
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Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:33 AM   #36
jaker_cc
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Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:43 AM   #37
Duzy
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Good luck to you.


I get to…
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:44 AM   #38
chino
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Good luck and be safe!
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Old 09-13-2022, 01:54 PM   #39
03GruntUSMC
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Good luck, following along.
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Old 09-13-2022, 02:41 PM   #40
Bulldawg87
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Decided to pull the SxS. On the way
Attached Images
  
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Old 09-13-2022, 02:54 PM   #41
Hardware
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Good Luck!!
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:55 PM   #42
bsills
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Good luck, headed out to the Gila myself this Friday.
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:18 PM   #43
Bulldawg87
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Beautiful country! Saw a few driving in this morning. This evening found three bulls bugling, never saw them however. Going after them in the AM

This bull was on some private on the way in.
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Last edited by Bulldawg87; 09-14-2022 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:25 PM   #44
mossman500
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Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:35 PM   #45
lanceodom
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Here we go!!!
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:48 AM   #46
DaveC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldawg87 View Post
Beautiful country! Saw a few driving in this morning. This evening found three bulls bugling, never saw them however. Going after them in the AM

This bull was on some private on the way in.
What a Hoss and great picture!
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Old 09-15-2022, 04:38 AM   #47
RS3
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Good luck! Looking forward to following along!
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Old 09-15-2022, 06:56 AM   #48
stxbowhunter
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Good luck
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Old 09-15-2022, 07:24 AM   #49
MASTERS
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Good luck!
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Old 09-15-2022, 07:27 AM   #50
Uncle_Milty
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Good luck and enjoy it! I hope to hunt the Gila one day
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