Rifle elk hunts will be offered on the Steven Ranch for the first time in 2011. The ranch has never been hunted for elk before. The overall population of elk on the ranch is low to moderate, but the chances at a mature bull are excellent. Both archery and rifle hunts will be offered.
The Hunting Area
The Steven Ranch is approximately 10,000 acres and is located in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains in central New Mexico. The terrain is hilly with moderate amounts of juniper and pinon pine interspersed with abundant meadows.
Difficulty of the Hunts
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the easiest place possible to hunt elk and 10 being the toughest terrain on earth to hunt elk, we give this hunt a difficulty rating of 3.
The low difficulty rating stems from the lack of any extensive vertical terrain. The maximum vertical relief on the ranch is less than 1,000 feet.
Expectations for the Hunts
Every hunter arrives with high expectations for a hunt, as they should. But, there are many factors that affect the outcome of a hunt. The first and foremost factor, outside of weather, that will dictate the “success” of this hunt is patience. Much more than conditioning. That’s a change from most elk hunts we offer.
With all that said, what are reasonable expectations? Determining actual shot-opportunity percentages are difficult due to the extreme range of hunting abilities, conditioning, expectations, and hunters not sticking with their minimums (i.e. sliding scales). If you will hold steadfast on your minimum, and will stick with the hunt for the duration, the following shot-opportunity percentages are what our guides feel they can produce for a 1 on 1 hunter on the Steven Ranch, any given week:
|Minimum Size Class||Chances at a Shot Opportunity||Comments|
|260+||80%||Ranch minimum. Average 5 points and small 6-points.|
|280+||60%||Nice 5 & 6 points.|
|300+||50%||Good 5 & 6 points with decent success.|
|340+||30%||Entering the uppermost class of bulls. Asking too much.|
|360+||10%||Too high of a minimum. These bulls just seem to happen.|
|380+||2%||A gift from the gods.|
The archery hunts will rely on calling and hunting over water holes depending on the circumstances. The lack of any previous hunting pressure on bulls on this ranch will work to the hunter’s advantage. As a result, calling can be an effective tactic.
The early-season rifle dates will allow calling to be a vital part of locating and hunting the bulls as well. As always in rifle elk hunts, spot and stalk hunting will be an important component of the hunt.
Most days will start with glassing from one of the high points on the ranch. Once spotted, closing the distance to get the shot will be the next step. Glassing and more glassing can be expected. It’s where the patience issue becomes so important.
The hunting areas will be accessed by vehicle and all hunting will be done on foot. All hunters will be guided 1 on 1.
The accommodations for the Steven Ranch hunts are in a rustic ranch house. It is nothing fancy, but has all of the basic amenities including satellite TV.
Meals will be provided with breakfast and lunch consisting of easy-to-make items. A full dinner is prepared in the evenings.
Air service is available by flying into either Albuquerque, NM. You will need to rent a vehicle and drive to the ranch. The drive time is approximately 2 hours.
It is the first year the Steven Ranch has ever applied for elk tags. There is no history. However, we have hunted the adjacent Gordon Ranch for years and feel this property should deliver similar results. We expect it to produce bulls anywhere from 260 to 360.
2013 Steven Ranch Hunt Prices
6-Day Archery Elk Hunt
$8900 – (1 on 1)
5-Day Rifle Elk Hunt
$9500 – (1 on 1)
2013 Steven Ranch Seasons
6-Day Archery Elk Hunts
Sep 5-11, 2013
5-Day Rifle Elk Hunts
Oct 1-5, 2013
Nov 15-19, 2013
2011 Steven Ranch License Fees
Landowner Permit Elk License – Rifle – $634
For policies information “Click Here”
For rifle equipment information “Click Here”
For contract and booking information “Click Here“