New Mexico Elk Hunting

The Draw System

There are three different draw pools a hunter can choose from in New Mexico. One pool is the “resident pool” which garners 84% of all the tags in that unit or area. The other pools are for non-residents who garner the remaining 16% of the tags in the unit. Of those 16% of non-resident tags, 10% go into the “outfitters pool” for hunters who book hunts with an outfitter, and 6% go into the general pool. When a hunter applies under an outfitter, he/she is entering the pool containing more than half of the available nonresident licenses (and usually less applicants) therefore increasing the odds of a draw.

Hunters can apply singly or in groups, with up to four applicants allowed per group submission. With group applications, either everyone draws a license or no one does.

When the draw takes place, Game and Fish will consider the hunter’s top three choices before they move onto the next applicant. This provides an opportunity for hunters to mix and match choices. For example: a hunter’s first choice might be the second archery season in unit 36, their second choice might be the rifle hunt in unit 34, and their third choice might be the muzzle loader hunt in unit 34. A hunter could also choose both archery hunts in unit 34 and one archery hunt in unit 36. Under this mix and match system, the possibilities for customizing hunting choices and experiences are vast.

The draw deadline is usually mid to late March. The results will be posted on the New Mexico Game and Fish website near the end of  April.  The total license fee is due at the time the application is placed. License fees are $565 for standard hunts and $790 for quality and high-demand hunts plus a big game license that is $65.

Top Notch Outfitters offers draw hunts in several different areas:  the southern Sacramento Mountains, unit 34 and unit 36 in the Northern Sacramento mountains and unit 37 in the Capitan mountains.  All of the units that Top Notch operates in are quality units and fits into our “quality over quantity” motto.  Again, draw hunts are less expensive and are equal-opportunity. When a hunter enters the draw under an outfitter, it only increases the chances that the draw will be successful.

New Mexico Elk Hunting in the Sacramento Mountains, Unit 34 and 36.

The Sacramento Mountains are located in south central New Mexico and borders the Mescalero Apache Reservation. The two units that are in this region are unit 34 and 36.  Units 34 and 36 are similar in numbers of elk but the noticeable differences between unit 34 and 36 is the terrain.  Unit 34 is much more moderate terrain where unit 36 has some easier to moderate country but a majority of 36 is difficult to extreme terrain.  The Sacramento region, both north (unit 36) and south (unit 34), has a large number of elk, including quality bulls.  Hunters have a legitimate chance at finding a 350 class bull with most bulls falling into the 260 to 320 range. The Sacramento Mountain area is 6500 to 11,000 feet in elevation, and the terrain is moderate except for the wilderness portion in unit 36 which can be extremely rough. Again, Top Notch Outfitters recommends that hunters be in the best shape possible for an optimum hunting experience.  Top Notch offers New Mexico Rifle Elk Hunting along with New Mexico Archery Elk Hunting and New Mexico Elk Muzzle loading in the Sacramento mountain area.

The Capitan mountains, unit 37 is on the north side of unit 36. Unit 37 has some very rough country in it but the majority of the areas we hunt are lower elevation and more moderate to easy terrain. The elevation runs from 6,000 feet to 10,000 feet but we are usually hunting 6,500 to 7,000 feet. This unit has fewer elk than unit 34 and 36 but has some great bulls through out the unit. Most bulls in this unit will score between 270 and 330 but you have a chance of finding a bull that would score 370+.

Lodging will be in local cabin rentals in unit 34 and our hunting lodge in unit 36 and unit 37 .  Click here to see more information on lodging in units 36 and 37

Policies : Click here to read about our wounding policy.

Rates for the Area

New Mexico Archery Elk Hunting for the Sacramento Mountain area

1 on 1     6 Day = $6000        2 on 1     6 Day = $5000
1 on 1     8 Day = $7000        2 on 1     8 Day = $6000
1 on 1     10 Day = $8000      2 on 1     10 Day = $7000

2024 Archery Elk Dates in unit 34, 36 and 37

September 1st-14th (6,8 or 10 day hunts)

September 15th-24th (6,8 or 10 day hunts)

New Mexico Muzzle Loader Elk Hunting for unit 34, 36 and 37.

1 on 1     5 Day = $6000         2 on 1     5 Day = $5000

2024 Dates

October 12th-16th in unit 34

October 5th-9th in unit 36

October 1st-5th in unit 37

New Mexico Rifle Elk Hunting for the Sacramento Mountain area

1 on 1     5 Day = $6000        2 on 1     5 Day = $5000

2024 Dates

October 19th-23rd in unit 34

October 12th-16th in 36 and 37

October 26th-30th in unit 36

To book a hunt in the Sacramento Mountains click here


Message Us Today To Book Your Hunt Now!