No need to draw a tag; landowner voucher included
Some of the best elk hunting in the West takes place in New Mexico, where tags are limited by the state. The nice thing is that 10 percent of all tags are set aside for outfitters' clients, so the chances of drawing a tag are better than if you apply for your own. In some units 100% of outfitter clients who apply get tags.
Some game management units consistently produce trophy-class bulls year after year because the state gives few tags, allowing a good number of bulls to grow old and big. Tags for those units are hard to draw, usually less than 10 percent.
Other units produce good hunting for average-size bulls with a fair number of mature, trophy-size bulls. The odds of drawing a tag might be 25 to 50 percent or more. It takes more luck to kill a wallhanger because the state issues enough tags that most bulls are harvested before they reach trophy size. We call these second-tier hunts, and we usually suggest that our customers apply for those areas as a second choice.
Finally, there are third-tier units, where the state issues more tags for the number of elk. There's a good chance of taking a 5x5 or 6x6 bull, but outstanding trophies are rare in third-tier units. Bulls exceeding 350 are not common in any unit but are particularly hard to find in third-tier units. Still, we've had friends and clients shoot some great bulls in third-tier units, including bulls exceeding 375 B&C points. These are good units for hunting elk but are not a good choice not if you intend to hold out for an exceptional bull.
We offer full-service and part-service hunts, and can adjust what is supplied to save money if you have the resources to provide your own camp and hunt with a low ratio of guides to hunters.
Note: You DON'T have to draw a tag in the annual computer permit lottery if you want to buy a landowner voucher. The cost of a voucher varies according to the quality and reputation of each unit. Prices can run $2,500 to $10,000 for landowner vouchers. Some archery and muzzleloader vouchers can be had for less money just before the season, but some years they're all gone by the time the season rolls around.