Elk, mule deer, antelope and trophy auodad hunts
If you’re looking for trophy hunting in New Mexico or Texas, along with comfortable accommodations, all set in a family friendly Christian atmosphere, Redwing Outfitters may be the right choice for your next western hunting trip. We talked to owner Bob Daugherty to see what makes these folks so special and learn more about the types of hunts they offer. Here’s some of what he had to say.
Daugherty started the business way back in 1986 in Colorado. He’s since moved the operation to New Mexico and Texas where he and his family guide hunters to trophy aoudad sheep, mule deer, antelope, and elk.
When Daugherty and his family are not guiding hunters to trophy animals, they are working cattle on the ranch and in neighboring National Forests, which helps them understand how the animals move in the area and where to find the biggest bucks, bulls, and rams. This intimate knowledge of their hunting area, combined with decades of experience, allows the folks at Redwing Outfitters to guide their clients to a 100 percent success rate.
Daughtery said, “[Redwing Outfitters] is a family operation and we’re not looking to be a big operation. We’re just fortunate to do what we like to do and make a living doing it. We’re also a Christian family. So you’ll find a Christian atmosphere in our camp. We all love to hunt and we love to take other people and see them be successful. When you come hunt with us, you’re going to get a family atmosphere, a Christian atmosphere, and you can hunt with the confidence of knowing you’re going to be successful.”
Experienced hunters know that you can’t shoot a trophy animal if there isn’t one in the area you are hunting. Daugherty said, “Most of our hunting is on private ground. We’ve had these places for a number of years and have managed them for trophy quality.” Redwing Outfitters also does some of their hunting on National Forest lands where they run cattle and know the areas like the back of their hand.
Another factor that contributes to their hunters’ success is the relatively low numbers of hunters they host per season. Daugherty said that they generally have about 15 aoudad sheep hunters and six to eight hunters for elk, desert mule deer, antelope, and New Mexico mule deer per season. This allows them to be fussy about which animals they decide to target.
Daugherty said, “A hunter to us isn’t just a client. You’re going to get a lot of time put in just for you. A lot of times on an elk hunt, we may have three guides on one hunter. My son may be guiding and I might be out scouting for him in another area and my son-in-law may be in another area. That’s what you get with us on a regular basis. You just get a lot of help because we like doing it.”
Aside from the personal attention given to each hunter, Redwing Outfitters provides the best equipment available. Daugherty said, “We have the best equipment you can buy. All our optics are Swarovski and Leica and we have the biggest and best spotting scopes of those brands. My son is also a long-range gun builder. So we’ve got the long-range weapons that will kill elk out to 800 yards and even further. We give our hunters the option to use those guns if they like. They don’t have to, but most of them choose that for obvious reasons. We do muzzleloader hunts and we do the same thing there. These are custom built [guns] that would cost someone, if they bought one, $6,000-$7,000. If you hunt with us, you can use those guns. We have them for you to use so you get that advantage without having to pay the price. We use the best because that’s who we are.”
Aside from elk, all the tags needed to hunt with Redwing Outfitters can be purchased over-the-counter. If you have your heart set on a New Mexico elk and a hunt with Redwing Outfitters, there are a couple of ways you can make it happen. First, you can buy a landowner tag from Bob Daugherty for an additional fee and guarantee yourself a hunt. Second, you can apply for a draw tag in New Mexico. Since New Mexico does not have a points system, you could get lucky and draw on your first try, but don’t count on it. New Mexico’s ability to grow big bull elk is no secret and there are lots of applicants that don’t draw each season.
If you do draw an elk tag, a hunt with Redwing Outfitters will run you $5,000. Antelope hunts are $3,500. Mule deer hunts are $3,500. Aoudad sheep hunts are $5,000. Not bad considering the personal service given to each and every hunter.
Daughtery said, “Not too long ago, I had a guy that was on a mule deer hunt here at our ranch. I spotted this mule deer down in this oak brush. It was probably 300 yards away, but I could see just a part of his rack. I got a glimpse of just the right side of his rack from the back end. I never really saw his left side because he was hidden pretty good in the brush. I got [the hunter] over there and I said, ‘I can’t guarantee you what his other side looks like, but from what I saw on the right side, I would take a chance on him and just shoot him.’ The reason why I kind of rushed it and did that was because he was in such a nasty place we would probably never see him again if we didn’t get him when we could.
“[The hunter] said, ‘I’m good with that. I’ll take a chance.’ He shot him and we really didn’t know what we had down there. We got down there and walked up on [the deer] and [the hunter] just starts going crazy. He said, ‘Oh, Bob. Wait until you see this thing.’ I walked up there and it turned out to be a 194” mule deer, just a big, old, giant deer. It made it extra special because we didn’t even know for sure what we had. I knew it was a decent buck, but we just didn’t know how good.
“Then it got better from there. The next day we just kind of kicked back in the ranch house and didn’t do a whole lot that day, but he had a bear tag and he said, ‘Why don’t we go bear hunting?’
The next morning we got up and didn’t get in a real big hurry, we drank coffee for a while and ate a big breakfast and drove the four-wheeler up to a little windmill on our ranch where the road ends. I was going to walk up a canyon there and as we were getting our packs on and everything ready to go, I looked up on the hill and there about 400-500 yards away and I see this bear up there. I said, ‘Look. There’s a bear right there.’ We wanted to get a closer look because he was a long ways away and we couldn’t really tell what he was. We started up the canyon and the bear kind of got higher and not really closer to us. He got in a bunch of oak brush and was eating acorns and we couldn’t see him too good and you could tell he was a mature bear, but that was about all. Finally, he cleared the brush enough to where we could get a shot and this was probably a 500-yard shot. [The hunter] set up and he hit the bear and the bear came flopping down the hill. [The bear] kind of piled up in a little canyon there out of sight. So we didn’t know what we had there either. We looked over the rim of this little draw canyon where he ended up and we were like, ‘Dadgum. That thing looks pretty big.’ We walked down there to him and I said, ‘I think we killed a brown bear!’ He just missed Boone and Crockett by 1/8 of an inch. That was a pretty memorable hunt because he killed two gigantic animals that we really didn’t know what we had when we killed them. The surprise and shock of it all when we walked up on them made it even more special and more memorable.”
In case you’re thinking that hunting ranch lands and the bordering National Forest doesn’t offer a wild enough experience for you, read on to learn about another one of Daugherty’s most memorable moments in the field.
Daugherty was checking a new water tank he had installed in a wilderness area near his ranch. After driving his four-wheeler to the ranch boundary and hiking 2-3 miles into the wilderness he checked the tank and found that everything was okay. Since he was not on a hunt, Daugherty was accompanied by his Yorkie/Chihuahua mix. After ensuring that everything was okay with the tank, Daugherty and his dog went shed hunting. Daugherty was toting a snub nosed .357 that he always carries in his backpack, just in case. While stopping for a rest, he noticed movement as he glassed the opposite side of the canyon. The “movement” turned out to be a big tom mountain lion.
The cat was about ¼ of a mile away. Daugherty said, “I’m just watching him and he comes off the rim rock and you could tell he was hunting.” The big tom hunted his way towards the bottom of the canyon, and closer to Daugherty, still oblivious to the presence of the man and his dog. Daugherty said, “I’m watching this lion and he’s probably 150 yards away at the most and he’s coming up the canyon at me. I’m thinking, ‘I probably better get my pistol out.’ I just decided to see how close he would come, but I knew I had my gun so I just decided to get my gun out.”
Daugherty retrieved his pistol from his pack and laid it on the ground beside him. By this point, the lion had closed the distance to around 100 yards and Daugherty decided he’d better check that the hammer was on a live round. He opened the cylinder of his revolver to find that, not only was the hammer not on a live round, but the gun was completely unloaded. It turns out that Daugherty’s son Walker had been making him a holster, emptied the gun, and never replaced the ammunition.
Daugherty said, “I thought, I better just run him off. So I stood up and waved my arm and made some noise. Instead of running, [the lion] crouches down and just starts looking at me. Then he just starts walking in that crouched position and he starts coming right up the hill towards me in that position. I picked up a rock and by then he’s at 70 yards maybe and I throw this rock at him. As soon as the rock hit in front of him and bounced towards him, he saw my movement and he charged. He came on a dead run right at me. I figured I had about two seconds or he was going to be on me. I figured if I could get over the back side of the hill before he got there, I could at least hide, because a lion hunts by sight. So I figured, if I can get out of sight of him I’ve got a chance. Me and my little dog jumped in a bunch of thick oak brush. The only thing I had on me was my pocket knife in a scabbard on my belt, so I pulled it out and I got the blade open. I decided what I was going to do was, if he attacked me, I was going to give him my left arm, let him bite that, then I could stab him with my pocket knife. In my heart, I knew it was either me or him.”
Luckily, after losing sight of Daugherty, the lion must have lost interest because when Daugherty and his dog emerged from the oak brush, the lion was nowhere in sight. Daugherty said, “It was about an hour’s walk up there to where I was, but I think I made it back to the four-wheeler in about ten minutes.”
If a Christian atmosphere, Texas and New Mexico hunting, tons of personal attention from your hosts, and an average 100% success rate on trophy animals sounds like the hunt you are after, contact Redwing Outfitters or