Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finally got lucky on this years draws!

Well the New Mexico results are in and I finally got some luck!

When the emails came out last night all I got was an email notifying me that I was successful on my 3rd choice elk tag but didn't get any other emails. They only send out emails to the successful applicants so I figured I struck out on everything else.

I was still happy with the elk tag, but a little disappointed that I didn't draw my 3rd choice deer tag because this will be the last year with really good odds on it since New Mexico will be completely revamping it's drawing system for nonresidents and the odds for the unit I apply in for my 3rd choice are going to go from around 40% to somewhere closer to 10%.  I also passed on some decent bucks in that unit last year and shot an older buck instead so hopefully they will have all had a year to grow older and bigger!

The results post to their website at midnight MST time and I actually thought about staying up to check on it, but decided against it and went to bed. When I woke up this morning the first thing I did was go check the results though and was surprised to see 2 green boxes instead of just one for the elk tag. I drew my 3rd choice deer tag too!

Of course if I was REALLY lucky I would have drawn the sheep tag or the ibex tag, but I'll settle for the deer and the elk tag!

Here's my official results!
The 3rd choice elk tag is for a unit that I did a lot of research on the computer for, but I haven't stepped foot in the unit in person. The success rates are pretty good and the drawing odds were decent (about 30% last year for nonresidents) but it isn't known for it's quality. From what I understand a 300" bull would be a very good bull for that area, but that's plenty big enough for me.

The other interesting thing about the area I drew is that it is a Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This will be the last year that nonresidents are allowed to hunt them in New Mexico so that will be kind of unique too.

I've got the map of the WMA overlayed on google earth and have been looking at it already. I will definitely need to keep working on getting in shape, the unit is roadless and the elevation starts at 7,700' and tops out at 11,000'! Of course if I stick with my typical strategy I will want to go to the thickest nastiest spot in the WMA because that's probably where the elk will be!

Only negative is that my friend who hunted with me last year on my New Mexico elk hunt also applied for the same areas that I did and he didn't end up drawing. Hopefully I will still be able to talk him into going with me though!

That's it for now. Nathan

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I don't think I've blogged about this here on my blog yet, but I've somehow decided that I would like to hunt a mountain goat before I get too old to climb to the mountains where they live.  The problem with that is the only options are to get really lucky and draw a tag, or to spend some bucks and hire an outfitter in British Columbia or Alaska.

So far I'm opting for the getting lucky and drawing a tag, but it isn't working out very well so far.

My first rejection came from Colorado.  I actually applied for a nanny goat tag thinking that there wouldn't be nearly as many people applying for a nanny goat tag as for a billy, and I was right, but there still were enough folks applying for the 1 nanny goat tag that I wasn't lucky enough to draw it.

Here's my first rejection notice.
After Colorado came Idaho.  I did quite a bit of research and felt like I had a decent chance at Idaho, but when it comes down to it nonresidents are limited to a maximum of 10% of the tags in Idaho and what I thought were close to 10% odds ended up closer to 5% odds when it was all said and done.  That's still better than it is for most states, but I pulled another "unsuccessful" result in Idaho.

The next rejection came from Utah.  I really didn't have much of a chance in Utah so I wasn't really suprised, the only reason I even applied there was because I was already applying for elk and it was pretty cheap to add an application for bighorn sheep and mountain goat so I did.  The odds were well under 1% though so it would have been like winning the lottery if I had actually drawn in Utah.  No lottery winner here, some more unsuccessful results.

Those were the only 3 states that I applied for a mountain goat tag, but I'd been doing some research and decided to go ahead and start applying for elk in Nevada.  Of course since I was applying for elk I went ahead and decided to apply for deer and antelope as well since it was cheap to add them, but not to worry I was unsuccessful on all of them as well!
One interesting thing with Nevada is that they list out all the applicants.  I was suprised to see that there were 2 other Padens that applied and had the same bad luck as me.  Not sure if I am related to them but there is a chance that I am.

I still have some applications pending for New Mexico so there is still a chance that I may have another tag in my pocket before it is all said and done, but right now my Wyoming General Elk tag is all that I have other than my Lifefime Texas license.  I have a chance at my 3rd choice elk tag and my mule deer tag in New Mexico but both of those have less than 50% odds so I still need to get lucky.

Hopefully I'll be updating the blog with good news in a week or so!

That's it for now.  Nathan