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New Mexico outfitter offers mule deer hunt in Sand Hills country with excellent tag drawing odds

Here's a chance to hunt mule deer in a unit with limited numbers of hunters at a great price.

The outfitter operates in several units in southern New Mexico, where hunting quality has been improving drastically since the state began limiting tags through a computer lottery. This hunt provides a good opportunity to take a buck in the 20 to 25-inch class, and there are a few great bucks in the 175 to 200-plus category. A buck scoring 221 was poached by a bowhunter, who shot it with a rifle during the January archery season.

This will be the fifth year permits have been issued by drawing in this zone. To hunt with a rifle you should book early enough to apply for permits that are allocated especially for clients of outfitters. If you apply for this hunt through the outfitter, you're almost sure to draw a permit. Sometimes there are leftover tags for the muzzleloader hunting.

This hunt is not for hunters looking for first-class accommodations and top-rated guides. Those hunts naturally cost more than this. The outfitter cuts corners to keep his prices down. This hunt is for the hunter on a tight budget who has never taken a muley buck or for the hunter who has a great deal of experience at hunting muleys and is capable of hunting mostly on his own but just needs a good opportunity.

Sometimes the outfitter can arrange to operate on private land at an extra fee, but the main advantage of this hunt is that you can get a tag to hunt an area where tags are limited adn bucks have a chance to attain maturity.

Hunt MD4731RO

Price, hunter:guide ratio
5-day muzzleloader hunt in September, 5-day rifle hunt in November, 6-day bow hunt in January
$3,900 a person 2x1, meals and lodging included

$2,750 a person 4x1, meals and lodging included

($500 discount per person for hunters who provide their own four-wheel-drive transportation, meals and lodging)

8-day combo NM archery deer/ Texas javelina bow hunt in January
Add $500 per person. Must have a minimum of two hunters.
Trophy size
100% shooting opportunity on 3x3 and 4x4 bucks. Many hunters hold out for one of the bigger bucks, and they're hard to find. Average bucks are 20 to 25 inches wide. Chances of seeing bigger bucks are good during the January hunt, which takes place during the rut. Truly big bucks are hard to find during rifle and muzzleloader hunts.
Licenses Area/terrain
You must apply by early April for rifle tags though the outfitter sometimes can find a private ranch with tags at an extra fee. Click here for the latest prices Southeastern New Mexico. Mostly flat to hilly with caprock, mostly mixed cedar/sage and brushy draws below the rims
Lodging and meals Notes
On hunts with lodging and meals included, lodging is either in a motel in Roswell with two hunters per room or in an old rented house near the hunting area, and the outfitter pays up to $30 a day per hunter for restaurant meals or provides meals prepared by his cook if he rents a house. This is hunt to consider for somebody who has never hunted mule deer or for a hunter seeking a relatively inexpensive semi-guided hunt. Semi-guided hunts (4x1) should be considered only by hunters who would take a 20- to 25-inch buck or by experienced trophy hunters who understand how difficult finding trophy-class bucks can be.