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I have personally been on archery hunts with Art Orthman of Premier Hunts of New Mexico for elk in the Gila Wilderness Area. When Art applies for you in the draw, you have a better chance of receiving your elk tag. Each time I have applied through his outfitter service I have received a tag.

He is also at 100% shot opportunity for archery in the last 5 years of so, both in the Gila and in his eagle nest private land hunts. Land owner tags are available for that hunt.

I have had a shot opportunity on each hunt. The 1st hunt was a 6x6 320 class at a water hole in the afternoon. The lower limb of my recurve hit the blind I was in and the arrow sailed over his back. The sheer size of that bull at 20 yards was so impressive I am totally hooked on elk hunting.

The 2nd hunt was calling as Art had 4 bulls working towards us. With a 5x5 300 class came charging in at 18 yards facing me, he turned so I let loose but had the cedar shaft snap off as he was down the drainage. Totally unharmed, we called the bull bugled back and forth for another hour. He left the area unharmed. We worked bulls every day despite the 80 degree temperatures. The last day we had a group of 7 bulls in a herd of 30 or so cows going ballistic, wind swirls were the demise but I had 6 or 7 sets of bulls within 20 yards 3 different times. Once they had enough of the close encounters we watched them go over the ridge with a 380 class leading the way with the smallest being a 250 class.

I can honestly say Art is an excellent outfitter and guide, as he used to live in the Gila area for about 8 or 10 years, so he knows it like the back of his hand. The camp is wall tents with a large cook tent. Good meals, water and soda are provided along with snacks. Hot showers are also provided. Very comfortable with extra large cots.

If anyone is interested in hunting with an honest hard working outfitter and guide please consider Art Orthman of Premier Hunts of New Mexico.

If you have any questions on his hunts please contact me.

-Joe Callahan