New Mexico Unit 52 Hunting Information

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Overview of NM GMU 52 Hunting Facts

Game Management Unit 52 sets on the Colorado border. The Carson National Forest, San Antonio Mountain, and the Cruces Basin Wilderness make up the majority of this unit. Since the majority of this unit is public ground, the access to hunters is exceptional. This unit has a wide variety of terrain, which includes open prairies to aspen-choked hillsides. For more information on unit 52 check out “Info for Cities Near Unit 52 “ section on the right.

Table of Contents

NM Unit 52 Species Hunting Info

INFO: Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 52

When hunting for elk in unit 52, keep in mind the weather for whichever season you choose to hunt. During the first archery season, you can expect to see higher temperatures. Although there is water located throughout the unit, hunting next to a watering hole has proven to be helpful. Hunters who have hunted the last half of this season have seen success by bugling to locate bulls. Try to hike away from busy roads as it is easier to get bulls to respond to bugles and cow calls. Although the rut is coming to an end during the muzzleloader season, you will still come across some bugling bulls during this season. During the rifle seasons, the bulls tend to split from the cows. Try hunting in areas that are heavily covered and are in close proximity to water and food.
SUCCESS RATES for Elk Hunting in New Mexico Unit 52
5 Year Estimated Average for Elk
Archery 1 25.00%
Archery 2 20.00%
Muzzleloader 30.00%
Rifle 1 30.00%
Rifle 2 20.00%
Elk TROPHY QUALITY for Unit 52 New Mexico
Average Elk Quality 270″ – 310″
NM Area 52 Trophy Elk Potential 320″+

New Mexico Unit 52 Elk Hunting FORUM Coming Soon!

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NM Cities Near Unit 52


New Mexico Unit 52 Topo Map

Total Acreage: 270,000 acres over 422 square miles

Total Public Land:250,000 acres or 92%

Land Ownership Mix: 8% Private; 92% Public; USFS: 203,712 acres; USFS Wilderness: 18,880 acres; BLM: 37,440 acres; State: 6,848 acres

Species: Elk, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Sheep

Elevation Variances: 7,900 ft. to 11,000 ft.

Terrain Difficulty Overall: Mild to Moderate

Land Coverage/Vegetation: Land cover includes 47% grassland/herbaceous, 28% evergreen forest, 15% scrub/shrub and 7% deciduous

Unit 52 Boundaries: Unit 52 starts at the intersection of United States Highway 64. It borders the Tierra Amarilla Grant and runs north along the eastern boundary of the Colorado-New Mexico state line. To the east of the state line is US HWY 285. To the south is US 285 and US 64.


Lay of the Land in NM Unit 52


Terrain in GMU 52 NM

GMU 52 consists of high plains that range from 8,100-9,100 feet above sea level. On the northwest side of the mountaions are several small lakes. The San Antonio River is located on the east side of the mountain.

Vegetation in GMU Unit 52 NM

Unit 52 has a wide variety of vegetation. Grass and low brush cover the higher elevations. It also has several creeks and rivers running throughout the high elevation. The lower elevation consists of pinyon pines, ponderosa pines, and junipers. You can also expect to see aspen forests as well as conifer forests with spruce, firs and pines throughout this unit.

Access Points in NM GMU 52

Overall this unit has great access points. There are some private grounds and areas where vehicles are not allowed in the Cruces Basin Wilderness, but for the most part, getting around is fairly easy. We recommend a four-wheel-drive vehicle for getting around the areas that are not on the main roads.