Although the Brotherhood Outdoors crew usually takes a union guest on a hunting or fishing trip of a lifetime, once in a while, the tables get turned when a union member invites us to their back yard. That was the case with Dan Reyes. Dan is the owner of Ridgeline Outfitters and a proud member of UA Local 412 out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
We all knew that a late season elk hunt would be a challenge and that hunting with a primitive weapon would add to the difficulty. Brotherhood Outdoors co-host Daniel Lee Martin gladly accepted the challenge and headed out west with his muzzleloader and a good pair of optics.
Prior to the hunt, Dan Reyes told the Brotherhood Outdoors crew that there would be a few necessities for this trip: comfortable hiking boots, high energy levels and a lot of patience. Instead of a traditional elk hunt where the bull is lured into range by calling and sweet-talking, this had to be a spot and stalk hunt through the mountainous region of western New Mexico. We all had our comfortable boots, our spirits were high and nothing could keep us from climbing the mountains to glimpse the bull elk in their natural habitat.
Hunting with Dan Reyes was just as entertaining as it was exhausting. He prides himself on being one of the only professional hunting guides in New Mexico who is also a member of the UA. He takes both of his jobs very seriously and even demonstrated his welding abilities to our crew while we were touring the Local 412 training facility. Dan is committed to the brotherhood and his fellow union members, and he brings that same commitment and passion into his work as an outfitter.
Daniel Lee is a good shot with any type of gun and a muzzleloader is no exception. The trick, however, is to get the animal within range of the primitive weapon, and Dan Reyes did his best to make that happen. On many occasions, we had our hands full with climbing up rock walls and mountainsides, so keeping the cameras rolling throughout the tough terrain was a challenge in itself. Dan Reyes taught us all about late season elk hunting, which is a whole different ball game than hunting elk during the rut, and he put Daniel Lee in front of some trophy bulls. By the end of our trip, we were all ready to re-acclimate to the lower elevations of home and rest our sore muscles.
Did all the miles over rough terrain pay off in Daniel Lee’s first New Mexico elk? Tune in to Brotherhood Outdoors on Sportsman Channel to find out.
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