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New Mexico Trophy Elk Hunting

Contact us today for a detailed travel itinerery for your next Big Game hunting adventure!



Hunt trophy New Mexico elk on the 85,000 acre Rio Costilla Park Ranch in north central New Mexico. Rio Costilla is located in New Mexico Elk Hunting unit 55A and borders Vermejo Park Ranch, Ted Turner's exclusive elk hunting ranch. Unit 55A consists of huge tracts of both private and public land professionally managed for quality big game.  Rio Costillo also borders the famous Valle Vidal, which is a once in a lifetime draw area. 

2015 was a good year with 80% success rates and many trophy bulls were harvested on the archery & rifle hunts.

Detailed 2014 & 2015 elk hunting results are listed below.

We practiced over 30 years of New Mexico Trophy Elk management, with a 5x5 or better policy you can be sure of trophy potential and trophy elk opportunities. This prime Elk hunting location offers opportunities at harvesting a 300”+ bull, many exceeding 320” and others over 350”. For the past 5 years Trophy elk harvest rates have been from 80% to 95%.   An experienced and professional guide who will ensure a successful trip and a New Mexico trophy elk opportunity. 

You will be lodged in a rustic comfortable lodge facility with double rooms, bathrooms, showers, warm and cozy common quarters.  Meals will be served by our professional Chef, who will keep you well fueled for a successful trophy elk hunt. The kitchen is open to you at all times with plenty of snacks, beverages and we can cater to special diets with advance notice.

We offer trophy elk hunts for rifle, archery and muzzleloader.  All our trophy hunts are trophy elk 1x1 hunts with the
exception of our management bull and cow hunts.  We require ½ of the cost of the hunt to book and hold your hunt.

 New Mexico Elk Hunting Lodge

Situated on the banks of the Costilla River in the the lodge offers warm accomodations in a rustic log home.  Just 50 miles North of Taos and close to some New Mexico's best Elk Hunting habit on the Rio Costilla. The 8,400 feet elevation along the river valley means that nights are cool and days are typically a pleasant 80 degrees during the summer months..

Elk Archery (Mid to Late September)

For September archery hunts, calling is our preferred method of hunting elk.  We utilize a variety of calling techniques to bring the Trophy bulls in to range.  Shots are taken from 10 to 40 yards and we have had success hunting from tree stands, ground blinds and using decoys.  For many hunters, the archery hunt is the most exciting of all elk hunts. Nothing brings more excitement and heart pounding action than a bull bugling in total rage less than 100 yards from your set-up. We are professional seasoned bow hunters and understand the special needs of bow hunters. This is a very physical hunt and requires that the hunter be in good shape and willing to hike the many miles required to stalk these fast moving creatures and in some case run to maneuver on set-ups or ambush.  The trophy bulls usually begin to rut during these bow hunts and the element of surprise offers excellent opportunities at Pope & Young trophy elk. You can expect a lot of action and activity on these Trophy elk hunts.

Elk Firearms (4 Separate 5 day hunts from October to December)

Early rifle hunts for trophy bulls are conducted in early October during the rut. Calling is a good method for locating bulls and most harvests are done by stalking and ambushing. There are a number of areas within the ranch that are used by elk to socialize and mate during the rutting period. We will set-up clients in strategic areas and wait for the game to enter. As we are always with you during the ambush, we can tell you if it is a harvestable trophy and even range him. We never leave you alone. Most rifle shots range from 75 to 300 yards. Other methods of hunting include walking, tree stands, ground blinds and the use of 4wheel drives to get to prime elk habitat. Later hunts are conducted utilizing 4wheel drive vehicles to get to strategic locations. Snow is usually prevalent, making tracking and locating of animals much easier. Bulls are found in bachelor herds and in the farmlands providing an excellent opportunity to harvest a trophy class bull. It is not unusual to see 300-400 elk in herd during the late season hunts.

Elk Muzzle Loader (Occurs the 3rd week of October)

The Rio Costilla incorporated this unique hunt in 2000. This hunt takes place in mid-October and actually replaces a regular rifle hunt. It is conducted right after the 1st and 2nd regular rifle hunts. The reasoning behind this unique opportunity is; since the bulls will be pulling out of the rut at this time, their concentration shifts from breeding to feeding. This is an excellent time to find bulls in a feeding frenzy in an attempt to build up weight lost during the rut and preparing for the long cold winter. The Rio Costilla Park allows only a few hunts during this black powder opportunity. We strategically set up tree stands and ground blinds in areas frequented by feeding bulls taking advantage of their need to feed. In some cases we use feeding calls to attract the elk into grassy meadows and open areas. This is an excellent hunt for the black powder hunter. The bulls will be forming bachelor herds for protection purposes as winter begins and colder weather sets in.

2017 New Mexico Elk Hunting Dates and Availability




License Fee


Trophy Bull – Archery

September 8-12




Trophy Bull- Archery

September 12-16



4 Tags Available

Trophy Bull-Firearm

October 1-5




Trophy Bull – Firearm

October 8-12




Bull Elk/Mule Deer 

October 21-25



4 Tags Available

Trophy Bull Elk

November 15-19



6 Openings

Trophy Bull Elk

December 6-10

Custom Late Dec. Hunts
(select 5 day hunt dates)



6 Openings


2017 New Mexico Elk Hunting Package Includes:

  • 5 days fully guided one on one elk hunting
  • Preparation of trophy and meat - processing can be arranged for additional charge
  • meals at the lodge
  • Beverages - Alcohol not included
  • Transportation when at the lodge

Not included - Tags, License, alcoholic beverages, shipment of meat and trophy

2015 Elk Hunting Results

September 29th update
Seeing lots of great bulls.  Unfortunately our archery hunters haven't been able to take too many.  Four wounded and eight missed shots.  Of the 20 total archery hunters eight bulls were harvested.  One great 340 class and a 330.  The rifle hunts should be great.

2014 Elk Hunting Results

Archery - 1 bull for 3 hunters.  270 bull taken and one larger bull not recovered.

1st Rifle - 5 bulls for 6 hunters.  Bulls include 360, 330, 320, 308, 280

2nd Rifle - 6 bulls for 7 hunters.  Bulls include 340, 320 x 2, 300 x 2, 270

Muzzle Loader - 1 for 3 with one 300 inch bull.

December Hunt -  2 for 4 with one 360+ bull.


New Mexico Elk Hunting Location

Elk Hunting Lodge Reviews

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