Zen Mocarski

Zen Mocarski

Zen Mocarski is the NMDGF Information and Education Division’s magazine editor. Letters and inquiries may be sent to Zenon Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife, P.O. Box 25122, Santa Fe, NM 87504. Telephone: (505) 476-8013. Zenon.Mocarski@state.nm.us. Digital downloads of New Mexico Wildlife are available at: Archived Editions.

April, 2017

  • 13 April

    Bear-resistant dumpsters

    Bob Osborn, assistant chief of private land programs for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, affixes a “Be Bear Aware” sticker to one of the new bear-resistant dumpsters installed at the Los Alamos Medical Center. NMDGF photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    Bear-resistant dumpsters benefit wildlife, people There is a difference between unintentional and intentional or negligent feeding of wildlife. Unfortunately, the end result is often the same. Bears are notorious for becoming quickly conditioned to human surroundings and habituated to human foods after consuming enticing treats found in garbage. Following such …

  • 13 April

    GAIN and outdoor enthusiasts

    It is easy to get caught up in the moment watching sandhill cranes standing on a frozen pond at the Bernardo Wildlife Management Area with a picturesque mountain background. NMDGF photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    GAIN changes benefit outdoor enthusiasts The scene is a bit like Jurassic Park, minus the dinosaurs, with eyes wide open, afraid to blink for fear of missing out on a spectacular experience. Faces pressed against the window of a car or eyes peering through binoculars or the viewfinder of a …

  • 13 April

    Pecos bighorn numbers

    While forage is readily available in the Pecos throughout most of the year, bighorn sheep are dependent on wind-blown areas clear of snow during the winter months. Wildlife biologists believe the population should be maintained at approximately 350 animals to avoid a potential die-off from starvation due to a lack of available food. NMDGF photo by Clint Henson, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    Pecos bighorn numbers are dangerously high There are times when words appear to paint a rosy portrait, but upon closer inspection the painting is found to be a forgery. Such is the case in the Pecos Mountains, where more is not always better. The most recent surveys in the Pecos …

  • 13 April

    Turkey vulture

    A pair of turkey vultures rest on a rock at Lake Roberts. With a wingspan of 5 to 6 feet, they are the second-largest bird species in New Mexico, next to eagles. NMDGF photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    Did you know…? Many people refer to this bird as a buzzard, which is incorrect. The term buzzard in the United States probably is the result of old western movies, but buzzard, in Europe, refers to a member of the buteo, or hawk family. The turkey vulture’s diet consists almost …

  • 13 April

    Ears, not eyes

    Kirsten Cruz-McDonnell, chief biologist for Envirological Services, Inc., walked a predetermined route in the Santa Fe National Forest, stopping at up to 20 points for 10 minutes identifying different bird species primarily by their calls. Photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    Ears, not eyes critical in documenting small birds Walking through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Santa Fe National Forest offers the opportunity to see wildlife diversity. Sometimes, however, seeing isn’t the best option. When trying to identify small birds, there are times it helps to close your eyes, …

  • 13 April

    When nothing goes right

    New Mexico Department of Game and Fish personnel set up a number of turkey traps in Raton hoping to capture about 40 that would be moved to the Lincoln National Forest. It became evident the first morning that reaching that number would be difficult with deer continually getting inside the trap. NMDGF photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    There are days when nothing goes right In my 14 years working for wildlife agencies, many exciting and sometimes frustrating experiences have presented themselves. Capturing wildlife certainly can get the adrenaline flowing when everything goes as planned. However, no matter how well everything is planned, success depends on animals doing …

  • 13 April

    More than illegal

    Sgt. Kyle Jackson and Capt. Ty Jackson, conservation officers for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, kneel behind evidence collected at the home of convicted poacher Esequiel Mascarenas. NMDGF photo, New Mexico Wildlife magazine Spring 2017 Vol60, Num1, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

    Poaching case – a reminder that it is more than illegal The photo tells a story: two conservation officers kneeling in front of two recently killed deer, a number of skull-capped antler mounts and the tools used for an illegal enterprise. The case involved brazen acts of poaching by individuals …

October, 2016

  • 28 October

    Sandhill crane youth hunt

    Braden Finnegan (left) and Ethan Walker stand at the ready in a Bernardo Waterfowl Management Area field. Finnegan harvested one bird and the two families shared a dinner. Photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Putting food on the table only part of the fun The hours passed for three young hunters who lay stealthily in tall alfalfa, waiting for the moment when time would stand still, the moment when their prey would come within range to strike. Nov. 7, 2015, they were in an …

  • 28 October

    Elk calf survival rates

    Shawn Carrell, Jemez conservation officer for the Department of Game and Fish, looks on after releasing a cow elk. The elk was fitted with a GPS collar and a vaginal implant transmitter. The transmitter is designed to be expelled during birth, allowing biologists to locate the calves quickly to affix radio tags. NMDGF photo by Nicole Quintana. Photo by Nicole Quintana, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Wildlife management can be challenging, especially when research data has yet to be collected and a theory needs scientific support. While wildlife surveys can provide New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists with insight to population trends, they don’t provide answers when a decline is documented. So, when biologists …

  • 28 October

    Positive forecast for elk

    Strong precipitation in the winter of 2014 and a good monsoon season last year helped produce an abundance of forage, which has been beneficial to the elk population and the overall health of herds around New Mexico. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    When habitat conditions are strong, wildlife tend to flourish and the overriding factor is precipitation. Adequate rainfall and snow in 2014-15 produced an abundance of available forage, resulting in healthy elk herds throughout most of New Mexico. “We had a prolific monsoon season in 2015, which created an abundance of …