Zeno Kiehne is a 4th generation New Mexico rancher/land owner. In recent years the Gila National Forest area elk herd has increased in population to the point where the elk are now making it impossible for ranchers to earn a living due to the elk competing with cattle for resources. This resulted in Zeno and a group of other concerned land owners suing New Mexico Game and Fish for damages. Zeno shares their concerns this week as he routinely has had to run 400-500 elk off his 400 acres.

A likely resolution would be for Game & Fish to issue landowner tags to the ranchers so they can recoup their losses, something they have been unwilling to do so far. New Mexico Game and Fish hasn’t responded to my emails to get their side of the story. At the end of the day, there needs to be common ground for both the land owner and the wildlife.

Large elk herd roams freely on private land in Southwest New Mexico (Courtesy Hall and Hall)

Next, I spend some time talking elk hunting and scouting with successful archery elk hunter Brian Barney of the Eastman’s Elevated Podcast.

Brian has a wealth of knowledge on taking mature public land bulls with his bow. Looking forward to having him on the show this week to discuss all things archery elk. Topics include:

– digital scouting

– factors to consider for camp location

– navigating thermals

– ditching the calls

– avoiding other hunters

– spot and stalk backcountry black bears