New Mexico Unit 21A Hunting Information

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Overview of NM GMU 21A Hunting Facts

New Mexico unit 21A is known for the trophy-quality elk it produces. Much of the land in this unit is public with plenty of trails leading into the Gila National Forest. Each year, hunters look for a chance to get back to this unit for their chance at getting a good bull.

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NM Unit 21A Species Hunting Info

INFO: Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 21A

Much like in other units, rut activity during the first archery season is low. Hunters have had success using the spot and stalk method, and by setting up near watering holes. By the time the second archery season comes around, the rut will be in full swing. Now is the time to take advantage of calling the bull in toward you. When the late-season hits, elk will have moved down into lower elevations. Set up in areas that are remote and that have dense coverage, as the elk tend to hide there as the snow begins to fall.
SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 21A
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 1 28.00%
Archery 2 30.00%
Rifle 1 55.00%
Rifle 2 45.00%
Rifle 3 38.00%

Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 21A New Mexico
Average Elk Quality 280″ – 320″
NM Area 21A Trophy Elk Potential 330″+
GMU 21A Bull to Cow Ratio 42:100
New Mexico Unit 21A Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

Available Hunts for New Mexico Unit 21A

No Available Hunts

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New Mexico Unit 21A Topo Map

Total Acreage: 300,000 acres over 469 square miles

Total Public Land: 293,500 acres or 97%

Land Ownership Mix: 3% Private; 97% Public; USFS: 293,760; USFS Wilderness: 82,432 acres

Species: Elk, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Sheep

Elevation Variances: 6,500 ft. to 9,000 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: Land cover includes 79% and 15% shrub/scrub


Lay of the Land in NM Unit 21A


Terrain in GMU 21A NM

Unit 21A consists of several mountains and rugged high ridges. In other parts of this unit, you will also come across meadows, valleys, and desert floors. The elevation in unit 21A ranges from 7,217 feet to 8,796 feet.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 21A NM

When hunting the lower elevations of unit 21A you will see flat-rolling yucca and hills covered in mesquite. You will also find juniper and ridgelines covered in scrub oak. The middle and high elevations consist of mostly pinyon, juniper, douglas fir, and ponderosa.

Access Points in NM GMU 21A

There are two main highways that go through unit 21A. One being Highway 59 in the north and Highway 152 in the south. Keep in mind that the dirt roads in unit 21A require a four-wheel-drive vehicle. There are a limited number of public access points here. Your best bet at getting public access is off of the roads, meaning you will have to hike in some of the areas where ATVs are not allowed.