New Mexico Florida Mt Ibex…the 2% club

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Well we did it… after a 10 year journey  of hoping, dreaming and planning for this hunt…. we finally made it happen… I say we… yes I was the “trigger man” and yes I am the one who diligently put up $1600 each year to try and draw a tag, but it was a team effort and I don’t know if I could have done it on my own… I’m happy to brag that my team is the first in the world to capture and archery kill on film (as far as I know)… Levi Paul is a beast 10 years filming me has never missed a shot yet… Listen in first hand tips and tricks to hunting ibex with Devin Leonard and with Ibex guide Derek Harris 

Here are some tips if you are planning on doing this trip:

  1. Get in shape…. I mean crazy shape.. try and do as much technical steep hiking as you can. If the area you live in doesn’t afford you that opportunity… then run stairwells..Also work on going downhill a bunch. Plus lots of core work..
  2. Practice very long ranges and very steep angles. But most of all practice ranging on the fly without a range finder and at moving objects.. I did a lot of pop up 3D, speed 3D and the thing that saved me the most is my years of hunting coyotes with a bow….
  3. From my observations every-time I came from underneath the animals on a stalk they ran straight up  giving short quick opportunities to make a shot off the rock wall… but when I came form above they busted down and away in every direction not providing even a small opportunity
  4. Pack light and fast you will be covering a lot of ground, merino wool is a must in January
  5. Spend at least 5-10 days scouting prior to your trip
  6. Be prepair for very hot to moderately cold weather in Oct and mild to bitter cold in January
  7. Get yourself some good boots and snake gaiters ( in oct)
  8. If you are afraid of heights don’t put in for this tag
  9. Get proficient behind the binos… you will be spending time glassing. For those of you who don’t use tripods.. learn.. get good optics
  10. Get yourself a team of buddies that are willing to glass for you and are proficient enough to give you directions via radio..
  11. Buy some good radios talk to Cody at Aircom
  12. Call Dennis Kauffman and take his Ibex School at the very least…
  13. Get a guide and up your chances at success… My friends over at Kiowa helped me tremendously… I am lucky enough to be friends with 2 of the most successful Ibex guides in the state so I had an all-star team of guys pitching in to help me get this done… don’t be stupid.. don’t be too proud to get help.. I’ve hunted in almost every state and for most of North America’s 29

So some statistics about this hunt and of course they fluctuate from year to year but just giving you a bit of background…

*The New Mexico herd was gifted to NM by Iran in the early 1970s.

*Persian or Bezoar ibex in The Florida mountains of New Mexico are the only free range huntable herd in North America.

*“The Rock” is 9 mile long x 6.5 mile wide mountain range that seemingly grows from the vast flats surrounding into the sky , and it is comprised of very steep, difficult terrain, that should not be taken lightly be prepare for some technical climbing

* It has the highest abandonment rate of any hunt in North America.. Meaning more people quit the hunt because they realize they bit off more than they could chew…

* 84 percent of the licenses for each hunt to New Mexico residents, 10 percent to residents or nonresidents who’ve contracted with an outfitter and 6 percent to nonresidents who have not contracted with an outfitter (verdict…. very difficult to draw unless you have a guide)

* Less than 13% of archers across both archery seasons have a chance of having a true shot opportunity

*On the January archery hunt the success rate is 3-5%

*On the October archery hunt the success rate is 2-3% (Hence the 2% club)

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