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Jerry Barron's Corner

UPDATED: March 10, 2019 -- New Mexico added

One of the projects we support is happening now. Our club teamed up with the INWC to provide a capture net for use with the WDFW predator prey study in progress now. That net is here and has been tested. You can participate in the capture process (rodeo) if you desire. Let us know if you are game, and we will provide more information.

Big Game Draws

Montana applications for deer and elk are due March 15th
Although I have hunted and killed many deer in Montana, it is far from my favorite for these two species. If a general season tag, and a mediocre animal is Ok with you, or if you have connection to hunt on private ground, the seasons are long and you should get an animal. If you are looking for a mature animal, get your wallet out and pray for a lot of luck.
First, you must draw and pay for a deer or elk or a combo license, then you must draw a unit tag.
I don't try for elk, even though the Elkhorns and the Missouri river breaks hold some monsters. Between the expense and the odds there, I look to other states.
I do try for deer, in spite of the $639.00 cost, plus the bonus point, and the preference point, and the fees (another $100.00). Unit 270 has some big bucks. I accumulate points, but like Washington, they square those, so although I gain points, the draw odds get worse, not better. I don't draw, so I apply and get 80% of my $639 back. It ends up costing me over $200.00 for a not very good chance.

New Mexico applications are due March 20th
New Mexico is a great place to hunt, but getting a tag there is really tough. There are no preference points, but the nonresident allocation is a tiny 6%.On top of that, there is a $69.00 license and fee for starters. They formerly refunded that, but not anymore. Then all tag cost and application fees are charged up front. It gets a bit expensive. Remember that your first three choices are considered before they move to the next applicant.
Deer--- Mule deer or Coues deer are available. There are 2 prices, $283.00 for just a deer area or, $368.00 for a quality area. The areas with few tags bordering the Jicarilla Indian reservation are great for an opportunity for a trophy mule deer
Elk--- Again, two prices. $548.00 for regular, or $ 775.00 for quality. We hunted 16D and saw plenty of bulls. Should have killed one, but a 380 had our focus, and we were not willing to settle for a smaller one.
Antelope --- Previously, New Mexico assigned you to a ranch, but not anymore. So, it is get or pay for permission, or hunt public land. There are a lot ranches, but some BLM also.
Barbary sheep --- Tag is $373.00. These are sharp eyed and hard to find if you don't hunt on a ranch. I hunted 7 days a few years ago, before we located a small band. Success is less than 50%, so if a challenge is something you desire, try to find them on public ground.
Ibex --- Tag is $1623.00. Archery, Muzzleloader, or Rifle. Archery hunters don't get many. Archers with 100 -125 yard pins try, but that is a bit far for a bow. I did see one Ibex with an arrow sticking out. Rifle is hard to draw, but most hunters score.
Oryx --- Tag is $1623.00. Anybody who has been to Africa has probably eaten Oryx. These hunts are on the White Sands Missile Range. Fun hunt, and if you are too picky, it is fairly easy. My daughter-in-law shot a fairly young one that looks good on the wall, and was excellent table fare. My wife passed a 35 incher and ended up with tag soup.
Bighorn Sheep --- New Mexico has excellent predator control. Mountain lions that preyed on sheep have been thinned out. The sheep, both Desert and Rocky Mountain are doing very well. Tag is $3173.00, and the odds are horrible, but the trophy quality is worth the price.
Washington Multi season applications are due March 30th

See you at the Bighorn Show
Jerry Barron

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