I hunted bull elk with a couple friends in Unit 51 in NM, but no luck. I think we just started in the wrong area, and by the time we figured out where to go, it was too late.
We spent the first few days hiking through some really dense shit, saw lots of sign, but they were either hiding REALLY well, or they had moved on. We watched a couple small valleys with running water, but no movement and little sign there also. My friend did scare up one bull at the top of a hill, but couldn't get a shot off. In hindsight, I guess we should have circled around the back of the hill before he started up, so he would have driven the bull towards us. We also had one bugling to us, but unfortunately we were fairly close to a road and someone drove by and scared it away.
On the 4th morning, we ran into two trucks with a bull in the bed (only 3x3's but I'd be happy with that!) within about 5 minutes of each other. Then we knew we were in the right area, but the only bull we saw was out of range across a valley and we couldn't find it once we got across. And the time ran out.
I had a great time though and learned a lot. Here are a few pics from the hunt. In the pic of all 3 of us, I'm the one without a hat.
Maybe next year...
took me three trys, on guided hunts no less, to bust mine.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for this weekend. I am hunting in an area where I know there are elk. I watched them all through deer season and know they will vanish as soon as it is there turn to be hunted.