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Are you thinking about going on an oryx hunt in New Mexico? Do you want to take up the challenge of hunting oryx? Do you want to learn how to hunt oryx in New Mexico? Oryx is an exotic antelope that features an impressive long horn.
It can be challenging to spot them in the desert shrubs with their distinctive markings. Oryx hunts in New Mexico are a goal of most hunters. In this article, we provide information to improve the odds of successful oryx hunts.
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Oryx in New Mexico is originally from the Kalahari Desert region in Africa. Frank C. Hibben, an avid big-game hunter, is credited with the idea of introducing this exotic antelope to New Mexico. It was introduced in New Mexico in 1969 and from that time to 1977, about 100 oryx were released on the White Sands Missile Range.
This large African antelope can weigh up to 450 pounds and stand about 47 inches at the shoulder. Its horns have an average length of about 34 inches long.
White Sands Missile Range
The White Sands Missile Range is a United States Military testing area and firing range in New Mexico. The White Sands Missile Range was originally established as the White Sands Proving Ground on July 9, 1945. It is considered the “birthplace of America’s missile and space activity”
How To Hunt Oryx In New Mexico
New Mexico oryx hunts are free-range hunts. Oryx is a beautiful antelope with an impressive horn that serves as added motivation for hunters to return home with a beautiful trophy.
Oryx hunt in New Mexico is a low-elevation hunt in flat terrain. You must be prepared to walk hundreds of miles of flat, open sand country when hunting for oryx.
Glassing from a long distance is the technique used by hunters to locate oryx. After locating oryx, hunters will usually hunt them with the spot and stalk hunting method. Hunters also search for crossings and water holes for oryx hunts.
You will find some of the best oryx during summer, especially in the months of June and July. Oryx can be found in herds of 10-40 animals with one dominant male, a harem of females, and a few non-dominant males. Most males remain solitary and defend their territory by marking it with dung deposits.
New Mexico Oryx Tags
There are a few different options when it comes to New Mexico Oryx tags. There is the White Sands Missile Range hunt tag and there is the Off-Range hunt tag.
The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) is responsible for the White Sands Missile Range Hunt which offers a lifetime tag.
It is a tough draw; however, those who come out as the lucky winners, benefit from a 100% success rate on the oryx hunt. There is a high chance that you will see more than 100 animals per day.
The oryx hunts are 3 days long and you must abide by all of White Sands Missile Range rules and regulations.
Additionally, every hunter, and their allowed guest, are required to go through a mandatory background check before the hunt. A $150 per hunter access fee will be charged, with a 50% military discount available.
Moreover, a maximum of two people can apply per application, and those that are successful will receive the license/tag by mail unless they chose the E-tag option.
It is required that you attend a mandatory safety session, provide proof of liability insurance and hunter education certification, and follow WSMR regulations.
The “off-range” hunts are the other option to the White Sands Missile Range Hunt. The tags for the off-range hunts are available from June to March and are easier to draw. The tags are valid for a month. The off-range hunts also have a 100% success rate.
The off-range oryx hunting is more predictable and easier for an outfitter to guide you as the oryx can be more easily tracked because of the lack of water. This makes them gather together which makes their movements more predictable.
Hiring An Outfitter
Most hunters who go on New Mexico oryx hunts, do it by hiring an outfitter. These are professionals who have experience hunting this exotic antelope.
They know the terrain and where the animal can be found most of the time. Outfitters cut your learning curve and help you succeed when you go on New Mexico oryx hunts.
There are a number of different outfitter services that comprise lodging, food, travel, and more. Do your due diligence when hiring an outfitter service for your oryx hunt or hunt for any other exotic animal.
Oryx Hunting Equipment
The right hunting equipment, tools, and gear are important for successful New Mexico oryx hunts. Below are some of the things you will need for oryx hunts.
- High-quality binoculars or spotting scopes
- A pair of shooting sticks
- Hunting tripod
- Knee pads
- A good pair of hunting boots
- Good camouflage hunting clothing
- Good hunting backpack
- Satellite phone
Oryx Hunting Tips
- Glassing is the common method hunters used on oryx hunts.
2. Hunters also look for often-used crossings and water holes to find New Mexico oryx.
3. Oryx hunting can be done year-round.
4. The meat of oryx is high-quality wild game meat that is lean and healthy.
5. The terrain is flat and open country on oryx hunts in New Mexico.
6. Some of the best oryx can be hunted during the months of June and July in New Mexico.
7. There are two options for getting New Mexico oryx tags. There is the on-range option which offers a White Sands Missile Range hunt and there is the off-range hunt.
8. It is difficult to draw a tag for the White Sands Missile hunt although you get a 100% success rate.
9. The off-range oryx hunt tag draw is easier to draw and is valid for an entire month.
10. Hiring an outfitter service is a good option when thinking of an oryx hunt in New Mexico.
11. Oryx originated from the desert, steppe, and savanna ecosystems of Africa and the Middle East at elevations between 3,500-4,800 feet.
12. Oryx live in herds of 10-40 animals, comprising one dominant male, a harem of females, and a few non-dominant males.
13. Many males remain solitary and defend a sole territory by marking it with dung deposits.
14. Oryx hunts in New Mexico is in a flat and open country. Be ready to walk many miles on sandy terrain.
15. Practice long-range shooting as you will most likely be taking shots between 250-600 yards.
16. Bring along a pair of knee pads for crawling through sand and rocks for New Mexico oryx hunts.
18. You will need shooting sticks that you are familiar with for Mexico oryx hunting.
19. A good pair of hunting boots that have been broken is essential for oryx hunts. You can read a review of the best hunting boots here.
20. A hunting backpack with ample storage for snacks and plenty of water. If you are interested in hunting backpacks, you can read a review of the best hunting backpacks.
21. Good hunting clothing for the season that you will be hunting is important for successful oryx hunting.
The Bottom Line
Oryx, also called gemsbok, is a visually striking antelope with a long horn and distinct markings. It is an amazing and memorable experience with oryx hunts. Oryx can grow to more than 46 inches at the shoulder and six feet in length, oryx can weigh as much as 500 pounds.
With a flat and open country, the oryx hunt in New Mexico involves long-range glassing, walking for hundreds of miles, and using the spot and stalk hunting method. Its meat is lean and healthy and most hunters relish oryx hunting during their hunting careers.
In this article, we have shared information to help you successfully hunt oryx. You can also learn how to hunt aoudad, dall sheep, kudu, and nilgai antelope by reading how to hunt aoudad, how to hunt dall sheep, how to hunt kudu in Texas, and how to hunt nilgai antelope.