View Full Version : New Mexico

09-18-2006, 09:27 PM
Anybody here from New Mexico? My wife and I want to explore some new areas for winter retreat and possible future residency. We've spent the past several winters in Florida, but have decided it's not for us. Too crowded, and too expensive. I met a fellow a couple winters back at a CAS shoot there who was from Silver City NM. He was also from Michigan originally, and moved there several years ago. From his description, it sounds like my kind of place. Just wonderin if anyone here is familiar with that area.

Denver :castmine:

09-18-2006, 10:12 PM
..............I've never lived there but some old friends of our's moved to Albuquerque due to both their jobs having gone there from So. Calif. How nice izzat!? Before they'd moved my friend (Gerry) called and said if I'd help him put a new engine in his Suburban he'd pay all my expenses the following year to go deer hunting with him in New Mexico. He's a smart man, but a screwdriver can get away from him and a pair of pliers has entirely too many moving parts ................ if you get my drift?

The engine deal was an adventure with him helping, and the next year so was the drive to, and from New Mexico :-) I won't digress though. Due to my scheduling most all the areas had closed except one up in the north western corner of the state, almost to Farmington. Little town called Cuba was the closest. Little did I know, but this hunting area was bounded to the east and west by indian reservations. Lottsa indians in New Mexico! Had I known that I'd have put it off another year so we could have hunted somewhere else besides between 2 huge indian res's.

This is up in the mesa country and it's pretty rural. Real wide open with some breathtaking scenery, and that's a fact. Lot of indian ranchers and agriculture but that didn't make a flyspeck against the vastness. All little bitty towns on 2 lane roads. Lots of high desert vegetation, Juniper, and various other evergreen trees. The air was clear as if we'd been in a vacumn, and since it was the fall as the sun went down it took on a crispness that'd make your teeth ache. Did I say the air was pure and clean :-)? That in itself was a treat.

While we were there we took a trip up on one of the mesa's. There is a kind of whole little world up there. Lots of'em you can't get a car on top of unless it's dropped off a helicopter. I swear I could see across the state into old Mexico.

I did only see that one part of the state and it was a lot different then Albuqureque. I'm a bit fascinated with small towns especially in the settings these were in. There are zero freeways up in that area and mostly all farm to market 2 lanes with cattle grazing along the shoulders or indians on horseback minding their sheep. It's pretty western. We stopped and had breakfast just outside Cuba at this little diner type place. Locals coming in don't just walk to a table and flop down. They have to walk all around and say hi to thier friends before they take a seat. Kind of a special small town thing.

Anyway, I only saw that small part of the state but I liked that part pretty well.


09-18-2006, 10:28 PM
I have lived in New Mexico on several occasions and am familiar with the place. I know Silver City quite well, having lived in Deming just South of there.

I have always enjoyed living in the state. It has an unusual culture that folks either like or dislike. If you want to talk off the board, you can email me at cgraff@stx.rr.com

09-18-2006, 11:53 PM
Would suggest you consider the southeastern quadrant. If interested, my e-mail is riverman@plateautel.net.
regards pecos

09-19-2006, 01:05 AM
Hi, Denver: Northern New Mexico shares its weather patterns with Colorado and Oklahoma but the south part of the state is a whole different climate zone, being the northernmost extension of the Chihuahuan Desert instead of the Rockies. I live just a few miles north of the Alamogordo area at a little place just off U.S. Highways 54 and 82 called La Luz. The areas of the Tularosa Basin below 5000 feet elevation are pretty nice in the winter compared to a lot of places (but not nearly as nice as Florida or Southern California), but it snows several times every winter. However, the snow normally melts in a few days but the temperature still drops below freezing at night for about six weeks in late January through to the beginning of March. In that area March most certainly lives up to its reputation of coming in like a jackalope and going out like an armadillo! The summers are pretty hot with 100° F the norm for several weeks at the peak of summer and everybody has swamp coolers, which work great because of the very low humidity and consequently a lot less costly to run than refrigeration-type heat pumps. If you decide to go to that area stay out of the west end of Boles Acres and the massive new housing tracts being put in on the flats west of Alamogordo out around White Sands because the wind blows so hard out there the rocks have to aerodynamically shaped to keep from blowing away. The foothills along the west slope of the Sacramento Mountains are where I currently live and are pretty nice. Fresnal Canyon and Dog Canyon are extremely nice, in Fresnal Canyon there are year round springs and small streams (not enough for fish, though). Cloudcroft, James Canyon, Mayhill, Sunspot, Timberon, Marcia, and Russia Canyon are way, way too cold in the winter up at 7500 to 9000 feet (The Sacramento Mountains are a southern branch of the Rocky Mountains), but you can't ask for better summer weather. Some of my in-laws live at James Canyon and Mayhill, but they can afford the heating bill in the winter better than most folks, including me.

The photos are of the view out my front door, the snow in my back yard, and the forest about 25 miles east of me up at Bluff Springs in the Sacramento Mountains. Alamogordo is in the desert but good forest is close by, with elk for resident and out of state hunting by lottery.

There are two gun stores in the area, Dan's Guns is in Alamogordo up on 10th street and the other is the Tularosa Trading Post out at La Luz on U.S. Highways 54 and 82. The Tularosa Trading Post is a lot smaller but Mac, the owner, takes good care of his customers. There is a public range near there but any place far enough off the road where there aren't any houses within about three miles is a good place to shoot, like Dry Canyon on the way up to Cloudcroft from La Luz.

Over-all, most of New Mexico is about twenty-five years behind the rest of the country and if you liked 1981 you’ll like New Mexico.

Good luck wherever you settle.

09-19-2006, 05:33 PM
Good information guys. Thanks much.


09-20-2006, 08:22 AM
I guided in NM for about 10 years, 100 mi SW of ABQ. It has one of the most diverse geographies that you could ask for. Everything from desert to Ponderosa high country. I have not been there through the winter but the area that I worked was supposed to have mild winters and the summers weren't to bad at all. I was out there in July several years back and never got out of a sweat shirt. Now if you drop down in the Rio Grande valley it gets quite hot and I much preferred the high desert above 6000ft
It is very dry out there though and very dusty. I think annual rainfall is in the 14 in range. The roads are mostly dirt or gravel in much of the state that I traveled and in many areas there is no electricity. It is a hunters paradice though.
As Buckshot pointed out you can see forever. I have flown a good portion of the western central part of the state, (Mt. Taylor down to Silver City and west of I-25) and you really don't need a compass once you learn what the different mountain ranges look like. Visibility is in the 100+ mile range unless there is a forest fire or dust storm.
And as Buckshot pointed out about the little restaurant, the one I used to eat breakfast in the folks would come in and visit every table before sitting down to order. I don't know as I would like to live full time there but it truly is a wonderful place especially in the fall. Of course the bigger cities are just like anywhere else with the usual problems, but the wide open spaces are truly that.


09-22-2006, 12:22 AM
I've been lurking for some time on this board; trying to get smarter on cast bullets. This is the first thread I can contribute to as I've been living in New Mexico for the past 8 years.

Some areas in the northern part of the state are quite pricey like Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Taos. The touristy thing gets old pretty quick. I enjoyed my time in Los Alamos, but unless you are a PhD, socializing there is a bit weird. Housing prices are moving up, probably like everywhere else, and water is a big, big issue. Alburquerque and Las Cruces are still experiencing housing booms but that may start to moderate soon with prices going up. Even though it seems there is a lot of open land here, an awful lot of it is federal (military/national labs), national forest, and indian reservations. And there are people still squabbling over the old spanish land grants. Overall, I think the price of living is slightly higher than it was in the mid-western plains where I grew up. DUI continues to be a thorny problem, crack and meth seem to be in the news more and more. New Mexico routinely competes with Mississippi and Louisanna for the bottom of the national education rankings.

When I got my New Mexico driver's license back in '98, the inspector said "Welcome to New Mexico, the last remaining third world country in the United States!"

But I love the sunshine, the warm days, dry air, crisp falls, mountains, and the big skys. I've mountain biked in January, stomped home grown grapes to make wine, eaten some mighty tasty new mexican fare and fished trout out of a snowy stream. I shot my first elk here, a nice 6x6 that scored 320.

So, I like it here. Hopefully many more seasons to come.


09-22-2006, 09:41 AM
The ruralness is what I liked best about it. As far as land goes, even the remote stuff is pricey if your not buying a 100 plus sections. I looked at 80 acres that a rancher was trying to sell for $80k and it had nothing going for it except some Ponderosas. No water, no electric within big canon range, and a 2 rut track to get to it. But it was rural, and not far from really good Elk country (walking distance).


09-22-2006, 10:05 AM
I've been winnowing the fish and game dept. website trying to get some info on non resident hunting regs, but it's not too clear. They make reference to both "drawing" and over the counter licenses. Only a small percentage of permits go to non residents as far as I can tell. Also season date info is difficult to find. I've heard that NM and AZ aren't exactly non res hunter friendly compared to other western states. Don't know about now, but Colorado used to sell more out of state licenses than resident tags.

09-22-2006, 11:06 AM

I have done geological work in the Sacramento Mtns. for the past 25 years and have climbed all over the Dry Canyon area and that hill in your middle photograph ! Is that your home in the photo?

There is an amazing variation in climate and vegetation as you drive the short distance from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft !

Great area. :) :)


09-22-2006, 03:05 PM
It has been several years since I worked out there, but it depends on what you are hunting and what with. The state is also broken down into units. Bear tags for instance can be purchased across the counter and I believe that some Mule deer tags can be purchase over the counter but it depends on where you are hunting and what kind of weapon. I have had Elk hunters that would add on a deer tag or bear tag in case they ran across one. Almost all of the hunts that I worked were either Bow or Muzzle loader and they sometimes have different parameters.
You are right about the hunting guide though, it can be frustrating trying to figure it out because of the number of different units and rules for each.
Several years ago there was a lot of instate complainig about all of the out of state tags being issued and F&G cut way back. The Guides & Outfitters Asso. managed to get some of those back by pointing out how much $ was generated for the state and local ranchers and businesses. The outfitter that I worked for was generating about $800K each year gross.


10-14-2006, 02:39 AM

IF you like to fish for big stripers, try Elephant Butte, you can camp around there just by parking. Friendly area too. Fish to over 50lbs, big cats to over 40lbs.

Just a few miles south then west of Raton way up north on I 25 is the NRA's Whittington Center range's. Wide open country up there. But, very few draw hunts and the price would make Ted Turner flinch IF he didn't own half the state to the west of there.

I don't know much about the hunting down there, but, should be great muley and elk hunting IF you can get a tag and find open land along the CO line somewhere. IF not, just hunt in CO and enjoy buying tags over the counter, though pricey. Cows $250, bulls over $450, they went up but I don't know how much as I don't buy 'em.

When I was trucking thru NM. It was like entering and being in a foriegn country alright!! Until July '04 I hadn't been down there in over 20 yrs. things have really expanded in the big towns/cities. But, the hick towns haven't changed much.

Hope you enjoy your visit, it's a great state and WIDE open country for sure. Just be careful of the black ice in winter and the winds can blow so hard the rocks in the mtns will roll away with it if not sunk to bed rock! You don't want to drive I 25 during high winds, that's advice from experience. Great people, great little towns.

10-14-2006, 01:11 PM
We're planning on going to the SW part of the state around Deming and Silver City area for the winter months. I plan to take my motorcycle hoping for weather that we'll be able to do some touring on the bike. As the weather warms later in the spring, we'll do more farther to the North. We'll also have the Jeep for 'splorin the back country. [smilie=2:

10-15-2006, 02:31 PM

If the place you ate was the old Hotel ( I have not been there in years so I have NO idea what Cuba looks like today) then I will say the long ago owners had one of the most varied and extensive gun collections I have ever seen.

Imagine a gun rack in the basement (yes one can do that in the dry SW) along all 4 walls, with a lot of the center taken up by trunks of handguns. Most were taken in as room rent when ?Rent in those parts was pretty dang low.

Hernandez's (IF my memory was correct) were the long time owners of the hotel and back in the 60s it was pretty decent hunting in the area.

NM is a great state and as others have said a VARIED geography and geology to meet most needs!

Never been any place that has better quail hunting, but then I am talking about "back then" too so all things change!

10-15-2006, 06:17 PM
New Mexico is a great state and for the most part a rural state. My family and I used to live in Silver City until one of our kids needed to be in the hospital at Albuquerque alot. It is an eleven hour round trip drive. We liked the people and the area but land prices were getting ridicous when we left in 2005.
We found some land that was in our price range in the north eastern part of the state that would have cost us over 1 million dollars to have purchased it in Silver City area. Reason is that all the californians are moving in and paying big bucks for land.
You can find land if you look some and usually as far or close to other folks as you want. We will be 40 miles from anyting once we get our house built. We like it that way some may not. As for hunting and fishing just learn the laws and unit areas and you will be fine.
You will be much better accepted when you have your NM state plates as some states are known for bad encounters with the locals.
In Silver City they have a good rural hospital but if you need special care they will fly you to Albuquerque most of the time. Just something to think about. If my one kid didn't need to be so close to a hospital and we could have found land that we wanted at a price we could handle we would still be there.
I personally hate cities but that is where we are now until we can build on our land and get out of the city.
The wife is a nurse and a very good one at that and has had no trouble finding work. It helps to have a profession that is needed where ever you settle. It is a good idea to live the life style of the area you move into. Trying to keep up with the Jones isn't for the most part a good thing in a state with such a large rural and native population.
Some don't like the large number of res's in the state but I think it is great as i find them a interesting study and find nothing wrong in following their rules on there land.