Quinlan Ranch Elk Migration

Situated in picturesque Northern New Mexico near the well-known community of Chama lies one of the State of New Mexico’s best recreation ranches. The Quinlan Ranch boasts outstanding big game hunting, rivaled by few, if any ranches in the state. Consisting of approximately 17,072 deeded acres this is a superlative mountain hunting property. The Quinlan Ranch has been under only two ownerships since 1912 when the property was purchased and operated by Ed Sargent and later, his heirs, the Quinlan Family. The ranch features forests, scrub oak, meadows, scenic bluffs and mountains with wildlife including elk, black bear, mule deer, turkey and much more.

The Quinlan offers a substantial amount of proven water rights, privacy, accessibility, and scenery. This large holding features tremendous big game hunting opportunities, expansive vistas, fishing, limitless recreational activities, and numerous water resources that are complimented by excellent infrastructure and quality accommodations. 

elk herd running in valley

Unique Location for Wildlife

The Quinlan straddles the eastern slope of the Continental Divide between the Bill Humphries Wildlife Area (which consists of almost 11,000 acres) and the Edward Sargent Wildlife Area (containing 20,000 acres). Distinguishing the Quinlan from other western hunting properties is the fact that an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 head of elk from the San Juan Elk Herd migrate through the Quinlan and these neighboring elk preserves each fall. This is a favored corridor for the elk that migrate from Colorado to Rio Chama each fall and return in the spring. 

New Mexico’s Game Management Unit (GMU) 4 is highly regarded as a trophy elk and mule deer unit. The unit is comprised nearly entirely of private land and borders the famed Jicarilla Apache Nation – which is arguably the top trophy mule deer destination in North America. 

The Quinlan’s location in the north central portion of GMU 4 places it in a literal sweet spot between high country summer habitat to the north and lower elevation wintering grounds to the south. Not only does the ranch lay in the path of thousands of migrating elk each fall, its favorable elevation and habitat ensure it is home to a large population of resident elk throughout the year. Because of quality land management, sound hunting practices, and the development of food plots, the Quinlan is now retaining a higher number of migratory elk throughout the hunting seasons that would have otherwise passed through the property.

elk standing in mud

In addition to the elk, serious mule deer hunters will recognize that the ranch’s location in Rio Arriba County places it in one of the top trophy mule deer locales in North America. Mule deer drop their fawns on the property each spring and numerous bands of bucks and does reside on the property until the snows in late November push them to their wintering range just a few miles to the south. Strong populations of Merriam’s turkey as well as healthy numbers of black bear and mountain lions reside in and are hunted on the Quinlan.

bear in forest

Conservation Easement and Privacy

To preserve and protect wildlife habitat, the Quinlan Ranch granted a conservation easement on a small portion of the ranch to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in 1998. This easement is limited to 900 acres of mountainous land located in the extreme north end of the ranch. Under the terms of the easement, the ranch retains the right to hunt these 900 acres, but agrees to preserve and protect this area for the natural habitat and continued ecological benefit of New Mexico wildlife.

The Quinlan Ranch is a place where the timbered mountain slopes of the Southern Rockies meet the mesas, buttes, and dramatic cloudscapes of the American Southwest. Well-suited for both private and commercial use, the Quinlan represents an opportunity to acquire a substantial block of gorgeous deeded mountain property with unmatched privacy and big game hunting opportunities. The ranch has excellent access and is located just south of the amenities offered in Pagosa Springs, such as skiing and FBO capable of handling large private aircraft.  

elk hunt

Hunting Permits

The ranch sells and conducts over 80 guided wild bull elk hunts each year. Additional preserve elk hunts are also available within the ranch’s 2,000-acre Rim Rock Elk Park. This park or hunting preserve provides hunters with the ability to choose their own hunting dates and harvest trophy elk scoring up to and in excess of 450” SCI.

The Quinlan Ranch currently receives 63 rifle bull elk permits, 24 bull elk archery permits and 29 cow elk permits from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.  Numerous trophy elk and mule deer are taken here every year and the ranch has been featured on many outdoor pursuit television shows.

elk herd on a ranch

The Quinlan Ranch is priced on essentially a turn-key basis at $39,950,000. This includes all permanent improvements, all minerals, license to use the Quinlan Ranch name, all elk located within the Rim Rock Game Park, along with an extensive inventory of equipment/rolling stock. This fine recreational ranch is offered co-exclusively with Hall and Hall.

Learn More About the Quinlan Ranch