Overview of New Mexico Big Game Lodge
Nestled in the spectacular Chama Valley of northern New Mexico this 17,000 acre ranch is located on the Elk Highway in the southern San Juan Mountains. The San Juan Mountains are considered by many to be the most untamed and wildlife rich of all mountain ranges in the lower 48 states. One side of this ranch borders the Sargent Elk & Wildlife Preserve while the other side is the Continental Divide. Each year during November the entire Southern Colorado – San Juan elk herd makes its legendary annual migration from Colorado to New Mexico through this ranch. You have to see it to believe it!
This lodge is dedicated to providing unsurpassed service and personal attention to their clients in a relaxed family environment.
The lodge offers elk, mule deer & bison hunts on 17,000 acres of spectacular hunting bliss, including a 2,000 preserve which has a privately managed elk herd. Elk and bison may be hunted in the Game Park. The free range hunts for elk and mule deer cover the remaining 15,000 acres. The lowest elevation on this beautiful, rugged ranch is 8,000 feet so be prepared.
Guaranteed elk tags here! The elk rut or bugle is usually the last 2 weeks of September through the first 2 weeks of October. On free range elk hunts roughly 80% of the bulls score between 260-300 gross B&C and about 20% will score between 300-340 gross B&C. Their best was 358 gross B&C in 2018.
Mule Deer tags are a draw. All mule deer hunts must be confirmed by March 15th draw deadline. Draw success has been about 90-95% in the past. Historically hunters take bucks from 180-200+ gross B&C with an average in the 190’s! Their best in the last 10 years was 218 gross B&C! This ranch produces real trophy bucks!
All hunts are 6 nights/ 5 full hunting days normally 2×1 guided with 10 hunters in camp each hunt. 1×1 guided is available for an additional fee. Hunts can be tailored to your desires and physical abilities. If you are in top physical condition and want to climb the mountains on foot to pursue your trophy, you can. Most hunters prefer taking a four-wheel drive vehicle to a particular part of the ranch and spot & stalk style hunting from there. It’s your choice to drive more or hike more so just talk to your guide and let him know how you want to hunt.
Begin the day with a light continental breakfast and head out for the morning hunt, return for a big brunch/ lunch, nap or relax midday and then head out for the PM hunt and return for a big delicious dinner. They DO NOT hunt all day so the herds are not over pressured.
September Archery Elk:
This is a great place for bow hunters. The guides are very knowledgeable and are serious bow hunters themselves. Hunters have averaged 95+% shot opportunity from 40 yards or closer and many have had multiple opportunities over their 5 day hunt. The lodge offers 3 September hunt dates for bow hunters.
The 1st & 2nd hunts are pre-rut/ early rut so the bulls are on the move. Typically you will do some bugling on the morning hunt and then focus more on sitting at watering holes in the afternoon when the weather is hot as the elk are basically guaranteed to come to the water. Pop-up blinds are great around watering holes for shorter, easier shots plus they minimize the amount of hiking you do if spot & stalk hunting.
The 3rd hunt date is usually prime bugle which means spot & stalk, cow calling and setting up ambushes for crazy bugling bull’s as they come to your calls! It’s an amazing experience!
BONUS: September bow hunters can grab a rifle and go hunt in the Game Park if they wish.
October/November Rifle Elk:
The first rifle hunt is during the bugle and a great time to have a rifle in your hand! Bugle activity diminishes with each later hunt date. Once the bugle is over traditional spot & stalk hunting takes over for the rest of the season.
Unlike many lodges November is a fantastic time to hunt here because of the migration. Thousands of elk passed through this ranch each November migrating from Colorado to New Mexico. Typically the numbers of migrating elk increase throughout the month with the highest numbers during the last two hunt dates. You have to see this to believe it!
Game Park Elk: Sept 1-Jan 15
The Game Park is 2,000 acres that hunts much larger than that due to the canyons and hills. This is an authentic hunting experience with the opportunity to shoot a larger bull. Game Park hunters are allowed to use a rifle, bow or muzzleloader regardless of their hunt date. Pricing is based on the score of your elk. About 90% of the bulls here will score less than 400 gross SCI.
Game Park hunts are 1×1 guided. It’s “guides call” here for your protection. That means if the guide says the bull you’re about to shoot will score 370 but he turns out to score 380 you will pay for the 370 price point.
September Archery Mule Deer:
There are 3 September hunt dates. Guides are passionate bow hunters themselves so they can help you be successful. The ranch offers 3 September hunt dates. The first hunt is your best chance to take a velvet buck. Bow hunters have a realistic opportunity at a 180-190 class buck if they come prepared. You need to be in great condition and be a good stalker to get shorter shots. This is all spot & stalk hunting. Be prepared for 70 yard shots for those bigger, wiser bucks. About 65% of past shots have been under 40 yards.
October Rifle Mule Deer:
October rifle hunts are spot & stalk style hunts. Season dates are pre-rut so bucks are starting to cruise a little preparing for the November rut. Past hunters have enjoyed 100% shot opportunity and about 85% success on these rifle hunts. This is a place with a chance to bag a real trophy mule deer of a lifetime!
This beautiful, comfortable lodge will be your home during your hunt. It has 11 very comfortable bedrooms each with two full-size beds with pillow top mattresses and private bathroom, a leather chair or sofa and plenty of room for all your luggage and gear. The Grand Room is encircled by picture windows with spectacular views, has a gaming table, large screen satellite TV, a river rock fireplace and is furnished with large comfortable leather chairs and sofas which create several sitting areas for guests to talk about the day’s adventures.
There’s a comfortable open dining room where all the guides and hunters will enjoy delicious chef prepared meals together.
Travel Details & Location
We suggest commercial flights to Albuquerque, NM and rent a car for 3 hour drive to the lodge or Santa Fe for a 2 hour drive.
Private planes can go to Santa Fe or Taos, NM or Pagosa Springs or Alamosa, CO. You will rent a car for the drive from these locations as well.
The lodge has several activities they offer year-round should you finish your hunt early or if you bring along observers.
- Fly fishing
- Horseback riding
- Ride mountain bikes
- ATV (During hunting season ATV riding will be restricted to around the lodge so hunting is not disturbed.)
- Rifle target shooting
- and cooking classes
Internet & Communications
There is wireless Internet service for your convenience and cell service is typically excellent.
2020 Season dates and rates:
Archery Elk: Mule Deer:
Sept 1-5: $9,000 $12,000
Sept 8-12: $9,000 $12,000
Sept 15-19: $10,000 $12,000
Rifle Elk: Mule Deer: only 2 dates
Oct 3-7: $13,000
Oct 10-14: $12,000
Oct 17-21: $12,000
Oct 24-28: $12,000 $13,000
Oct 31-Nov 4: $12,000 $13,000
Nov 7-11: $12,000
Nov 14-18: $12,000
Nov 21-25: $12,000
Nov 28-Dec 2: $12,000
Muzzleloader: Deer ONLY
Sept 26-30: $12,000
Preserve Elk season September to January 15