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Compass West Elk
New Mexico Elk with Compass West Outfitters
After some rifle practice on the range to make sure everything was zeroed in perfectly, Team BOG embarked on their New Mexico Elk hunt with Compass West Outfitters. Compass West is an outfitter BOG has worked with before, and Chris knows how to put hunters on big bulls.
Episode One – Jason’s Elk
The plan for day one was to take the Great Divide tripods out and search for some great bulls. It was BOG Brand Manager Jason’s turn to shoot a bull. With rut activity in full swing and bugling heard for miles, the guys were in a great area with an excellent guide and came across a beautiful bull within just a few hours of being out on the ridge. However, Chris suggested they pass it to look for something better. They came across a few mature bulls, but had no luck finding the perfect one. By the end of the day, Jason had his rifle zeroed in on a big bodied mature bull, but decided not to take the shot.
On day two the crew headed to a spot Chris called “The Honeyhole”, a location that earned its name from the way great bulls seem to all find their way there. They came across a few bulls, including a big 5x5, but Jason once again decided to pass up a shot. As the bulls made their way up the ridge, a 6x6 came out. As the sun went down, Jason took a shot at around 400 yards with the Deathgrip ultralight tripod. One shot dropped him, and Jason tagged out on the perfect 6x6 he had been searching for. Sure, he had to carve in the dark, but it was worth it.
Episode Two – Kyle’s Elk
After Jason bagged his 6x6, Kyle was up to bat on day three. As they took a short loop around the area, they found a nice, mature 6x6. However, he was surrounded by cows and vegetation that made it difficult to get a shot, especially with the wind conditions. That night, a rainstorm came in and the elk switched up their path with the changing winds. After this weather, it was difficult to find anything else.
As day four began, the guys knew there was a beautiful 6x6 hanging out in this one area. Kyle was determined to find it, so Chris led the crew up to a high vantage point to look down and see if they could locate this one bull. Sure enough, they found him pushing his cows. With the wind pushing so hard, Chris figured this bull would stay in this area all night. First thing in the morning on the final day, day five, Team BOG hiked up the mountain to find this bull again. What they didn’t expect is that he’d give them quite a chase having beaten them up the mountain. Chris led Kyle around wide to come in directly at the bull from the side. The approach proved successful; the bull walked through a clear patch of brush and Kyle took his perfect shot.
With a seemingly endless population of huge elk and a vast expanse of hills and valleys, New Mexico remains one of the premier elk hunt destinations in the country for firearm and bow hunters alike and is a favorite for the members of Team BOG. Unit 34 is a section of land known to be great elk hunting territory, sitting on some mountains to the side of White Sands National Monument. The location was perfect for this hunt, boasting excellent elk habitat complete with plenty of elevation and vegetation. During a rut, the bulls push the cows down from the steeper terrain into the flat brushlands and enabling hunters to find some great horns in the hills.