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Up Close and Personal with a Bull Elk - Hunting with Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

Up Close and Personal with a Bull Elk - Hunting with Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

"At one point, I had one bull standing over top of me, I had a hoof on each side of my shoulders, when he bugled, talk about loud! And all the while my feet were dangling off the side of an 80' cliff...."

 

If you go hunting with Chris, be prepared for the experience of a lifetime.

Offering fully guided hunts for Antelope, Black Bear, Deer, Elk, Merriam's Turkey, and predators, set in the breathtakingly beautiful northeastern New Mexico countryside, High Country Outfitters delivers an experience not to be missed.

In addition to being a skilled guide, Chris Moehring is a licensed taxidermist and knows how to properly cape the animals and to prepare them for travel. Don't want to fly with your rifle? Chris has quality firearms and optics for you to rent for your hunt.

Dream Sporting Trips 

Thanks so much, Chris, for taking the time to talk to us! How did you get into this business? What made you decide to become a hunting guide/outfitter?

Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

I have been a professional guide in New Mexico since 2007. I moved here from Iowa where I grew up hunting whitetail deer, pheasant, quail, and eastern turkey. I took a job with New Mexico State Parks and worked as a park ranger. I made some friends that were outfitters that first year I was in New Mexico. I was encouraged by those same people to obtain my guide license, so I did. That first year, I guided several hunts and have been hooked ever since!  

Over the past nine seasons I have learned an incredible amount about the specific behaviors of the different species that we hunt here. This has helped me to achieve great success rates for customers. I have made many friends in the outdoor industry, all of whom have strongly encouraged me to venture out on my own as an outfitter. Two years ago, I was encouraged by a friend of mine to lease some property for antelope hunting. I made the contacts I needed and obtained property and tags for the 2015 season and that is how I began the foray into the outfitting business when my wife and I created High Country Outfitters

Dream Sporting Trips

Where do you take your clients to hunt?

Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

Currently, I hunt in Northeastern New Mexico on several different properties. I have properties in Units 56, 57, 58, and 59. Most of the properties are located very near Des Moines, New Mexico, where I live and operate my business. I am working on a possible expansion into Texas where I will be able to offer hog hunts, Rio Grande turkey, and low fence whitetail deer.

Dream Sporting Trips

What is your favorite game to hunt? What game do your clients primarily request to hunt?

Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

Archery elk is my absolute favorite hunt. It is a very physically demanding hunt, so there is a big challenge in having to move quickly and quietly through the woods, but there is also the vocal factor of the elk. To make it easier to picture, imagine you are turkey hunting and having a big tom that you have been working all morning come in gobbling his head off to 10 yards or closer. Now, picture that with a 700 pound bull elk coming in looking to take that lost cow back to his herd, or fight the bull that took her away to start with. He comes in screaming and lets you know exactly where he is as he is coming in. I have great satisfaction when I place my client in exactly the right spot so he/she can have an opportunity on the animal we have been working. 

The game hunts that I offer are Spring Merriam's turkey, Pronghorn Antelope, Black Bear, Mule Deer, elk, predators and prairie dogs, so these are the animals that most of my clients ask for. 

Dream Sporting Trips

Is there a particularly exciting hunting adventure you'd like to share with our readers?

Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

I had located a very large elk on one of the properties and had spent over 100 hours scouting him over the course of late summer. I had him patterned pretty well and I knew that if I could find him the first morning of archery season, I could get my hunter close enough to kill him. I located him by his bugles in the dark and we worked to where I knew he would come out as he crossed from a wallow to the area where his herd was going to feed for a bit before they headed off to bed for the day. 

I had my hunter in place so I backed up and cow called. The entire hillside erupted with bugles. I had eight or nine different bulls calling back to me. I began working the call and they all started working towards me. I was able to pull the entire herd over the hill. I had three smaller bulls come right past my hunter and straight in to where I was.

I was backed up to the edge of the rimrock with nowhere to go behind me, so I crouched down onto my hands and knees, basically in the fetal position. I knew the big bull was coming up the ridge, but was not in position yet, so I had to keep calling. The three smaller bulls were all standing within 10 yards of me looking around very confused as they could hear the cow, but could not see her.. 

At one point, I had one of the bulls standing over top of me, I had a hoof on each side of my shoulders, when he bugled, talk about loud! Long story short, my hunter had a perfect 40-yard standing broadside shot at him but missed!  

When we got back together after it was all said and done, he told me what had happened on his end and I told him what had transpired on my end. He did not believe me until I turned to walk back out to a different herd and he asked what was on my back. I said I had no idea, I took off my backpack and saw that I had a very liberal coating of elk slobber all over my backpack.   

Dream Sporting Trips

Whoa! That's one we can't soon forget. What is the most commonly asked question you get from new clients? 

Chris Moehring, High Country Outfitters

The most common question is, "How big of an animal will I kill?" The second most common question is, "Can you guarantee I'll kill an animal?" 

Dream Sporting Trips

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I am always looking for new properties to expand High Country Outfitters. I have several properties I am working to obtain for 2017. My family loves having hunters come and be a part of our family. The food is great and the hunts are always a great time. 

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[below] Most of the bears we hunt are a color phase bear of some sort, lots of chocolates and cinnamon bears:

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[below] Belly crawled 400 yards and made a 90 yard shot with his muzzleloader, he dropped in his tracks:

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 [below] Two bull elk fighting:

[below] I stalked to 23 yards of this buck with my cow hunter last November. With my deer hunter during rifle season, we stalked to 15 yards before we could get a shot at this guy's big brother!



Ready for the hunt of a lifetime? 

For more information about High Country Outfitters, the hunts they offer, and how to contact Chris, click on this link: 

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