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Troy Wood
Guide • New Mexico
Troy Wood
Guide • New Mexico

Southern NM/AZ Archery Elk

Archery elk hunting can produce some of the widest temperature and weather pattern swings of any season. In southwestern states like New Mexico and Arizona, that could mean a very uncomfortable situation if not properly equipped. I have been fortunate to hunt elk in these areas for the past many years, and guiding here for about 7 of those years. I have been able to test a wide range of gear for myself and clients. Although I stay open-minded to new gear options, I rarely deviate from my proven system. I hope this breakdown of my preferred gear, clothing, and archery accessories will help someone looking to make a trip to this part of the country.
Troy Wood
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Optics
Backpacks & Gear
Camping Equipment
Food & Nutrition
Clothing
Firearms

Optics

For archery elk hunting, I typically prefer carrying a single pair of "do all" binoculars and a small, traditional, hand-held rangefinder. You will likely encounter opportunities to sit on a canyon rim and glass fairly long distances, but also be in tight, timbered bedding areas looking for an ear or antler.

Range Finder

Backpacks & Gear

When staying mobile and active, backpack and accessory choices can make or break the experience. I like carrying a comfortable and compact pack with a frame and the capability of packing meat when success is found.

GPS & Safety

First Aid

I built my own First Aid kit, but really anything that revolves around stopping blood loss. I carry two tourniquets, bandages, compression bandages, vet wrap, and band-aids to name a few. I also have some very basic, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, Excedrin, aspirin, and an antihistamine.

Aquatabs
If I don't carry enough water, chances are my options are going to be from pretty stagnant sources.

Game Bags

I used the Kuiu game bags this past year and will continue to.

Type III 550 Paracord
I always carry a roll of 550 type chord. I often choose to quarter meat and hang it in the coolest spot near me so I can pack it.

Accessories

The individual products I choose in this section are probably based more on personal preference than some of the others. Still, I am particularly fond of what I have listed, and believe them to be some of the best. The diaphragm call I prefer makes a great range of sounds for me, but you have to practice making the sounds you want to make well before a hunt.

Scent Eliminators

It is my core belief that you have to keep the wind right. You are mobile and sweating on hunts like this and staying scent free is unreasonable.

Dead Down Wind Evolve Field Spray
I will use the spray if going to sit in a blind.

Camping Equipment

The camping gear I chose depends on the unit I draw. Even in a relatively similar area, my choice may change depending on what is available to me. Much of the guiding I do revolves around a main camp or lodge we return to each night. I may choose to set up a camp trailer in some units, or a tent in others, depending on how far I'm traveling and how rough the roads are to get there.

Food & Nutrition

My choices of food vary greatly depending on where I'm hunting. Unless monsoonal rains have provided extra surface water, I know my water availability may be low. I typically don't pack dehydrated meals and a stove away from camp for the day. Instead, I'll carry a little extra weight and carry a lunch kit of food for that day.

Clothing

I am listing the most common of my choices in this section. I like several brands and clothing options including King's camo, Skre, Kuiu, and others. I also pay attention to forecasts and will bring heavier rain gear if likely to face severe rain or thunderstorms.

Firearms

Archery Equipment

I have been very happy with my bow choice, but I personally feel like this is one of the less important things to focus on. Several bow companies are making excellent bow options. I have shot bows I'd be happy with from Mathews, Hoyt, PSE, Bear, Elite, Darton, Prime, Bowtech, and Athens. I believe that proven, rugged accessories and fit are more important aspects of a quality setup.

Mathews Traverse Compound Bow
I have happily been shooting a Mathews Traverse since 2019.

Case/ Storage

Troy Wood
Guide • New Mexico
Hunting Guide for Armstrong Outdoor Adventures based out of Quemado, New Mexico
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*NOTE: The links to purchase certain products I recommend in this gear list may result in me being paid a small commission. I appreciate your support!