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Comments Off on Gila River Smallies on a Fly Rod.. GOOD TIMES..

WOW… What a great trip…  Follow me on a Fly Fishing Smallie Trip in the Gila… I also come across a bunch of elk..


Draw Deadline has past!!!

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The Process was easy the decisions were hard!!!  You guys know I am typically pretty tough on the Dept of Game and Fish,  but they did a great job with the draw this year… Hear are some preliminary numbers..

139,111 apps

4,211 were by phone


5,999 Harvest Reports by phone

About 14,000 less apps than last year…

NM Fishing Report Dec 13th….

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This fishing report, provided by the Department of Game and Fish, has been generated from the best information available from area officers, anglers, guides and local businesses. Conditions may vary as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.




Animas RiverThe flow is 240 cfs. No report due to weather.

Chama River – No read on flow due to ice on the upper stretches. Below El Vado Lake, the flow is 382 cfs and the flow below Abiquiu Lake is 388 cfs. The Chama below El Vado Dam has the most consistent good fishing on the Chama. The stretch downstream of the village of Chama into El Vado reservoir is slowing down. The release out of El Vado is murky but fishable.The stretch below Abiquiu Dam is fishing good and the water clarity is getting better.

San Juan RiverUpper section – Catch and Release flow is 493 cfs.The habitat improvements and silt remediation project on the San Juan was completed last week. The work in “The Braids,” has been very productive as fish have moved into this new habitat where they previously weren’t. Good midge fishing and midge hatches during the mornings and good blue winged olive hatches in the afternoons. In the mornings, use a red midge larva as your point fly and trail a size 24-26 black or gray midge pupa. As the afternoon progresses, change your flies to baetis, such as a gray or chocolate RS2 or foam wing emerger.

Abiquiu Lake – Fishing is slow for all species.

El Vado Lake – No report due to weather and a lack of anglers. Ice is forming around the edges of the lake.

Heron LakeNo report due to weather and a lack of anglers. Ice is forming around the edges of the lake.

Jackson Lake Trout fishing is reported as fair using Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms from shore.

Lake FarmingtonTrout fishing is reported as fair using Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms. Best success is reported close to the dam.

Morgan Lake – No report

Navajo Lake – Trout fishing is reported as fair to good from the dam using spinners and streamers.




Cimarron River – No read on flows due to ice. The Cimarron is done until spring.

Costilla Creek – The flow is 61 cfs near the town of Costilla. Fishing is reported as slow below the Valle Vidal boundary, water levels are very low and there is snow and ice.

Red River – No read on flow due to ice at Questa and 38 cfs below the hatchery. Fishing for trout is reported as fair with better fishing on the lower stretches. Fish are being caught and all methods working. Please respect spawning fish and leave them alone while on their beds.

Rio Grande– No read on flow due to ice at Cerro. Flow is 446 cfs below the Taos Junction Bridge. Water levels are high and fishing is reported as slow to fair. Trout still seem to prefer the faster aerated water. Nymph the pocket water or strip streamers for the browns. Pike fishing is starting to get going. Best bet is to use large red and white lures or flies.

Rio Hondo – No read on flow due to ice. Trout fishing is reported as slow with snow and ice. Best bet is to fish at the confluence with the Rio Grande.

Rio Pueblo No read on flow due to ice. No report.

Charette Lakes – The lake has closed for the season and will reopen next spring.

Clayton Lake – The lake has closed for the season and will reopen next spring.

Eagle Nest Lake – The lake is closed to fishing until the ice is thick enough to allow it. The lake is also closed to boats for the winter. The New Mexico Game Commission will consider allowing unlimited take of northern pike from Eagle Nest Lake to address the aggressive species’ threat to the lake’s trout and salmon fishery at its meeting Thursday, Dec. 15, in Albuquerque.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya – No report

Maxwell Lakes – The lake has closed for the season and will reopen next spring.

Shuree Ponds No report.

Springer Lakes – No report. Closed to ice fishing.


West-Central, including the Jemez Mountains


Jemez River, East Fork, Guadalupe and San AntonioFlow on the Jemez River is 20 cfs. The lower Guadalupe can be accessed below Gilman tunnels and is fishing fair in the warmer part of the day. The lower Jemez was stocked Nov. 11 and may be worth fishing for rainbows. The Valles Caldera National Preserve has closed the fishing program until next spring.

Metro DrainagesThe fishing is reported as fair with most methods catching fish. The drainages were stocked last week: Albuquerque with 300 triploid rainbow trout; Belen with 200; Bernalillo with 80; Corrales with 121; and Peralta with 250.

Bluewater Lake – Fishing for trout is reported as slow due to ice on the lake.

Cochiti Lake – No report. The lake is closed for the season along the Tetilla Peak side. The upper lake is also closed above Tetilla due to a log boom in place on the lake.

Fenton Lake – The lake has iced over and is closed to ice fishing because of dangerous ice conditions.

Tingley BeachTrout fishing has been good. Best reports are from anglers using salmon eggs and Pistol Petes. The ponds were stocked with 2,538 triploid rainbow trout. Reports from fly-rod anglers at the South/Catch and Release Pond have been hit and miss when using bunny leeches and black beetles.


East–Central, including the Pecos River


Coyote CreekClosed for the season.

Pecos River – No read on flow due to ice. The upper river is under ice, especially in shaded stretches. Fish the afternoon hours while the sun is on the water.

Conchas Lake – No report.

Morphy Lake – Closed for the season.

Santa Rosa Lake – No report.

Storrie Lake – Fishing is slow to fair for trout due to light traffic and cold weather.

Sumner Lake –Walleye are reported as fair. Fish are being caught in shallow water and off points and structure. The fish range from 14 to 20 inches and are hitting white shad lures. No reports for the trout stocked below the dam.

Ute Lake – No report.




Gila River – The flow is 66 cfs and fishing is slow with the best success in the upper reaches of the river on the West, East and Middle forks.

Rio Grande– No report.

Bill Evans Lake – Fishing for trout is reported as fair with most methods working. The lake was stocked with 937 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Caballo Lake – Fishing is slow and water levels are very low. Best bet is below the spillway on the Rio Grande at Percha State Park.Fishermen are catching a few white bass and black bass on the river; most walleye are too small to keep (less than 14 inches.

Elephant Butte Lake – No report due to light traffic and weather. The Rio Grande between Elephant Butte and Caballo was stocked with 1,700 triploid rainbow trout.

Glenwood Ponds – Fishing is slow for trout. The ponds were stocked with 199 triploid rainbow trout.

Lake Roberts – Trout fishing is reported as slow with worms and Power Bait.

Quemado Lake – No report.




Rio Ruidoso – Flow is 0.28 cfs in town and 6.6 cfs at Hollywood. Fishing is reported as slow on the lower stretches of the river where the flows are a bit higher.

Bonito Lake – Closed for the season.

Bottomless Lakes: No report.

Brantley Reservoir – There has been light pressure and no current report. A mandatory catch and release is in place at Brantley Lake because pesticides have been found in the fish. Do not keep or eat them.

Grindstone Reservoir – Fishing is fair for trout using worms, Power Bait and Pistol Petes. Best times to fish are reported from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Archery in the schools!!!

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I love this….

For the full article go to…


Is that a Bass on the Plate?

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SANTA FE — Gregory Lucero de Scargall’s design of a largemouth bass jumping for a lure with a New Mexico background of blue sky, white clouds and a Zia-symbol sun was selected as the grand-prize winner of a contest to design the logo for the state’s new bass fishing license plate.

Lucero de Scargall, of Santa Fe, was among dozens of entries from around the state and the country. He will receive $500 in addition to having his design on the specialty license plate. Motorists will be able to buy a plate for a one-time fee of $25 and an annual fee of $10 in addition to the regular registration fees. All but $10 of the fees will go to the Bass Habitat Management Program of the state Game Protection Fund.

Dominic Reyna, 14, of Clovis, and David Walrod, 13, of Clovis, were winners in the youth division for artists ages 17 and younger. They sill receive $50 prizes. Taylor Mirabal, 10, of Grants, received an honorable mention.

The New Mexico B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and the Department of Game and Fish are each paying half the prize money.

A bill passed by the 2009 state Legislature authorized the Motor Vehicle Division to issue the special bass fishing plate for any private motor vehicle except a motorcycle.

Comments Off on Bowcast At the Bird 2010 Commercial

Hey Guys…

Have you seen our commercial?  Pretty cool… It is going to be a great shoot…

Francisco Jr’s Oryx Hunt

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Great Job Guys…



Stallion Range Oryx for Francisco Cortez Jr.


Last March 09, Francisco Jr. got the news that he had drawn his Once in a Lifetime license to hunt Oryx on the Stallion Range Center of the White Sands Missile Range. The hunt would not occur until January of 2010.

With almost a year to wait, we knew that he had a lot of time to plan and prepare for this hunt. Preparation involved Francisco Jr. shooting his favorite big game rifle a bunch! According my records and pile of empty ammo boxes of brass, Francisco logged approximately 250 shots from a variety of field shooting positions. This also included several sessions of sets of 20, “dry firing” his rifle at pictures of Oryx that we had on every wall in the house. He was asked to squeeze the trigger and call his shot… where the scope cross hairs were when the trigger was released. These sessions were supervised by me for safety reasons. Before each session, we made absolutely sure the rifle was unloaded visually and digitally. We inspected the rifle again and again just to be sure. No ammo was present to make sure we ended up with any bullet holes in the wall. To avoid interruptions that could jeopardize safety, we would do this when nobody else was in the house.

Preparation also included researching Oryx the animal and how to hunt these fabulous creatures. Books were read and contacts were made with several well respected Oryx hunting experts in an effort to learn as much as we could. All the information provided was soaked into our spongy brains. For this entire Oryx hunting insight, we are very much in debt to you all. Many of these individuals may read this someday. You know who you are. THANK YOU very much!

After almost an eternity of waiting, the hunt finally arrived for Francisco Jr. The final week included more shooting and getting all the gear ready for the hunt. Francisco Jr. was very excited. He had to sharpen every knife we had.

The Friday before the hunt came. We loaded up and drove down to meet my brother in law in ABQ. He was the fourth person chosen to join Francisco Jr., Santiago and myself on this hunt. I can remember a conversation I had with Francisco Jr. last March. I told Francisco Jr. that he could take three guests with him on his Oryx hunt and it was going to be up to him to decide who was going. I asked if I was going to get an invite. With a smile on his face he told me “We’ll see” After about a week of thought he came up with the Oryx hunting party. I was included. Yes!!!! I knew he would not forget his dad. I am the only one that knows the combo to the gun safe.

After what seemed to be short drive down to Socorro, NM, we check into the Super 8 and got some needed rest. As darkness was coming Friday evening, we decide to get some dinner. We went into the Denny’s and saw other Oryx hunters there. Francisco Jr. started to get a little nervous. We talked about the final game plan and gulped our food down and headed back to the room. On the way in the lobby we encountered several other Oryx hunters. Francisco Jr. was very nervous now. I’ll have to admit, I could feel something flying in my stomach too. Off to bed we went for a very short night. We had to be up at 3:30 AM the next morning.

3:30 AM seemed to come with a blink of an eye after putting our heads on the pillow. Francisco Jr. said he did not sleep at all. I think he did. I heard him snoring as I tossed and turned. I’m sure he had “Oryx dancing in his head”. At around 4:30 AM, we were on our way to the Stallion Range Center Gate.

At about 5:04 AM we were encountered with a long line of vehicle break lights at the gate. As we inched forward and a rather short wait, we were then greeted by a NMGF conservation officer and were asked to provide our vehicles insurance and registration. Francisco Jr. was asked to furnish his Oryx license that had been kept under lock and key for several months along with his Hunter Education Card. More on Hunter Ed. cards later. We proceeded further and were searched,   checked in, and asked to parking area to wait for the hunt orientation.

As the sun, was beginning to peak over the Oscura Mountain Range, the parking lot where the hunt orientation was to occur appeared to glow just as bright with all the blaze orange as hunters and their guests began to filter in. The hunt orientation began. The hunt officials shared their words of wisdom, the do’s, and the don’ts. They said be safe, good luck, and announced the start of the hunt.  With that the race was on. Literally, folks were running,….no sprinting to their vehicles to be the first ones down the road. I had been on two other “On Range” Oryx hunts before. Never had I seen the hunters and guests take off like they did that morning. It kind of reminded me of Wal-mart when the doors open for “Black Friday”. Heck the human nature in us almost made us take off running too. However, we took our time, got to the truck and drove out of the parking lot. We were probably one of the last ten trucks left. As we went down the road, everyone seemed to disappear.

We had gone south about half a mile or so on one of the main roads when we saw our first Oryx. It was a double broken horned bull. He was high tailing it away from the road. He probably had seen all the traffic. He was knew what was going on and did not want any part of it. We decided to let him run. If we would have decided to play this one, it would have been tough. So on we went to find a high spot to glass.

The game plan was to go to an area that I had been before on previous hunt that would lend itself to some good glassing opportunities. When we got to the spot we began to glass. Almost immediately we saw a 30 inch plus bull and two ugly broken horned Oryx. We decided to try to stalk the mature bull but were interrupted by three other Oryx that running behind us, parallel to our location. One of the Oryx caught our attention as it looked to be a very long horned cow. We decided to move on them to cut them off as they began to slow down. We confirmed that the cow had one very long horn on one side and broken horn on the other. I asked Francisco Jr. if he wanted to try to get a shot at that Oryx. It was confirmed as he turned away from me and chambered a round and put the safety on. The new stalk was on. As we angled closer to their location, it looked like the plan was going to work out. I asked Francisco Jr. again if he would be happy with a large broken horned cow. He said yes as we inched closer. It seemed like the Oryx were paralleling us when all of a sudden
they started angling toward us at a pretty good gallop. The big cow was second in line, quartering away from us. It seemed like they had not seen us. All of a sudden they stopped to look back to the direction that they were running from. I lasered ranged the long cow at a distance of 154 yards. The Bog Pods shooting sticks were deployed immediately. Francisco Jr. got his rifle on pods to get ready for a shot. Instantly, the Oryx caught our movement, flickered their long tails and began to take off moderately quartering away from us. Little did they know that Francisco Jr. was already locked on the large horned cow. Suddenly the roar of the .300 Short Action Ultra Mag. interrupted my words as I said “shoot”. Next was the unmistakable thumping sound when a bullet hits home. As Francisco Jr. chambered another round, I kept my eyes on the Oryx, we noticed it was hit pretty hard and began to slow down. The Oryx covered about 50 yards or so and stopped. Francisco Jr. was about shoot again, when all of a sudden the Oryx slightly reared up and fell over backward. We marked the spot the Oryx went down and cautiously approached the downed animal from the rear, ready to shoot again if it decided to get up. A second shot was not necessary. The first shot counted. From an ever so slightly downhill shot angle, the first 165 gr. Speer Grand Slam bullet had entered high just behind the last rib, traversing diagonally and downward to the top third of the lungs and exited in front of the far shoulder. The Grand Slam held together pretty good as indicated by the quarter size exit hole.

Francisco Jr. was very excited and hugged his dad. So was I so I hugged him back. You should have seen the way he was admiring his Oryx. He would not take his eyes off it the whole time. We could not believe the length of the good horn. Without putting a tap on it, we thought it might go 40 inches. Later at the gate, it was confirmed at 39″. I think it might have been the second or third biggest to come out that weekend out of 80 plus Oryx taken. As for the other side, no worries, we might get it fixed to match the other side. If not, that broken side gives character. We will probably do a European mount for now and maybe do a shoulder mount at a later date. We are very happy with how this hunt played out. I am very proud of Francisco Jr. How he prepared for this hunt both physically and mentally. This hunt could is tough. Francisco Jr. could not be happier with his Oryx. We have some great meat to share too. We hope to be out there again someday. It will start out by us applying now in February. Santiago wants to hunt Oryx now and wants to draw like his older brother.

Here is a funny little story and learning experience for Santiago that happened on this hunt while on the Stallion Range. While hunting, he temporarily lost his wallet. In his wallet he had $240.00 (Christmas $$), Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Gift Cards, and his newly acquired Hunter Education Card. Well anyways, after we loaded the Oryx and started driving back to the gate, he noticed he was missing his wallet. He had set it inside the door handle pocket of the rear truck door, where he was sitting. For sure we thought it had to fall out of the truck at the gate when being checked it, at the parking area, or when we are got out to glass while hunting. We both were freaking out. I asked what the heck he was thinking of by carrying all his money and so on. He told me he wanted to buy some stuff at Sportsman’s. I asked when he had seen it last. He told me “the second spot where we all got out to glass”. We were headed to that spot see if it was there, when all of sudden, out of the blue he tells me…….”Dad, I really don’t need the money. I need my Hunter Ed. Card.” I could not believe he said that, but I guess I can relate. Anyways, we drove back to one of glassing spots and found his wallet with tire tracks on it. The first thing he looked for in his wallet was his Hunter Ed. Card.

Days 3 and 4 – DEER EVERYWHERE!!!

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It has been said that the love of the chase is an inherent delight in man-a relic of an instinctive passion. – Charles Darwin

Wow what a great quote…  I pulled it from my Runners World.  Hunters love the Chase.

Day 3

WOW… Great Day, I must admit that I have always hunted hard but I haven’t always put myself in the best position to succeed because I haven’t been aggressive enough or I didn’t have confidence in a spot.  This year I am in a new unit and I have nothing to lose.  SOOOO  What happened?  Well, I hope I don’t regret it but I passed on a 75ish buck this afternoon.  I think that there are some real monsters in this little area and I just need to be patient.  I am hunting a scrape line that was an old wagon trail.  You can still see the ruts from the wheels. It is a pretty neat area.  What I have found is that the deer in this area use these old roads as travel corridors and really make alot of scrapes along them.

The morning started out COLD and slow….  20 degrees and nothing was moving.  If you have ever hunted Coues deer you probably know that these deer just don’t get moving until the sun gets up and the weather gets a little warmer.  So I was praying for a calm sunny day and that is just what happened.  About 10:00 am I had a group of does walk up the scrape line so things were looking good.  My only concern is that they were not dragging a buck behind them.  That usually means that the rut hasn’t really kicked off or the bucks are on LOCK-DOWN.   So I decided just to stick it out.  Sooner a later a buck was either going to use this trail to scent check does or to check his scrape.

SOO the wait was on.  Sometimes I hate, hunting from the ground and today was one of those days.  For some reason I was just not liking the setup but around 1:00pm I heard a buck raking a bush so I got ready.  If the buck came up the trail it would be a easy 35 yard shot. Very doable.  Before I knew it the buck was crossing my shooting lanes, I saw that he was maybe pushing 75 inches so I decided that it wasn’t his day to take a dirt nap.  As he crossed my shooting lanes I grunt at him and drew on him for practice.  It could have been over but this buck at this time wasn’t right.  If I get the chance later in the week will I let an arrow fly at a similar or smaller buck?  I don’t know, but today this buck walked.

Day 4

Same spot as the day before, I have a good feeling about this little area.  It just seems to funnel deer. Before sunrise I packed and setup a ground blind.  Hopefully, it would be able to stay a little warmer and be a lot more comfortable.  Again it was cold as hell…. 16 degrees. brrrr… Oh well…  You are only cold until you go numb.

Again the wait was on.  Around 8:30 I started a calling sequence of buck grunts and doe bleats.   A  little buck came running in like a love sick puppy dog.  I love to watch these little young guys during there first rut, they don’t really know what to do or how to act.  This guys acted like little dogs chasing a ball.  He came in jumping around looking for a hot doe but all he found was a lot of nothing.

How about a view from the blind???

So the good thing is that I am seeing deer, the bad thing is that I am not seeing the deer I want.  That is okay, as far as I am concerned it has been a successful hunt,  I know that I could have killed the 75 incher.

So what are my plans?  Well, I really need to go and check a trail camera and I want to take spend some time in another funnel.  I just don’t know if I am going to make it in there before the season ends.

We will see….


PS… I have only been hunting the mornings because I need check in at home, but mom is doing a lot better.. Thanks for everybody’s support..