Recreational Opportunities

June, 2019

  • 13 June

    Hunter education… why wait!

    Students learning the importance of shot placement at one of the Hunter Education camps at Washington Ranch near Carlsbad.

    Firearms safety. Ethical shot placement. Respect for natural resources. These may be some concepts that come to mind when you think of hunter education. In the 1940s, volunteer sportsmen and women who had the desire to raise ethical behaviors and actions by hunters while in the field established hunter education …

  • 13 June

    Blind hunter sets no limits for himself

    Mike Sanders with a pronghorn he harvested last August. Department photo by Craig Sanchez.

    With the help of good friends and adaptive equipment, Mike Sanders goes after big game When Mike Sanders lost his eyesight in an industrial accident at an oil refinery 15 years ago, he thought he would never hunt again. Today, he will hunt anything he can get a tag for …

  • 13 June

    #MakingMemories

    Department photo by Tristanna Bickford.

    Merriam-Webster’s defines mentorship as the influence, guidance or direction given by a mentor. To me, mentorship means so much more. Earlier this year I was driving through Western New Mexico. It was pitch black, the complete cloud cover blacking out any hint of light from the moon and stars. The …

  • 13 June

    The art of the hunt… a daughter’s experience

    Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge wildlife biologist Jeff Sanchez guided Willow Springer during a youth hunt. The hunt is available only by annual lottery.

    You can hear the quiet — it’s that noticeable. Save for the silver tinkle of water trickling over an irrigation head gate on a small ditch several yards behind us, the pre-dawn dark is without sound, without motion. The stillness is as steady as the stars. I’m taken by the …

  • 13 June

    Selecting the best fishing opportunity

    Tingley Beach. Department photo by Ross Morgan.

    If you are an angler new to New Mexico fishing, there are a myriad of choices facing you. This goes for resident and non-resident anglers. These choices can be quite daunting to a newbie. I am sure that more than a few potential anglers “stalled out” and never pursued this …

May, 2019

  • 23 May

    What’s in a hunting dog?

    For some, the answer is everything. A dog can be a person’s best friend. A dog can also be used for work or therapy, service assistance, search and rescue and so much more. One dog profession that I am fond of is hunting. Hunters, mentors and guides gather on a …

  • 23 May

    Looking for a spring road trip?

    New Mexico offers a variety of opportunities to watch wildlife, learn more about our fish hatcheries and visit unique sites that can only be found in our state. Here are four places definitely worth the drive: River Ranch WMA Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery Bernardo WMA Clayton Lake State Park Be …

January, 2019

  • 7 January

    Recruiting New Hunters

    I sat on the edge of a cornfield with my son and his friend. White clouds exploded from our mouths with each breath. It was early November, and this sandhill crane hunt would be my son’s first hunt. He had drawn a coveted youth permit to hunt cranes on the …

  • 7 January

    Blast from the Past

    Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) Imagine a world where everyone waves as they drive past each other, no music blaring, youth acknowledge others with a yes ma’am or no ma’am, people of all ages shake your hand and look you in the eye, kids cheer each other on as the …

  • 7 January

    Winter bird feeding tips

    Ditch screen time for your window Bird alert! This is a note of fair warning before proceeding. The activities encouraged in this article could lead to an obsession with birds, feeding birds and identifying birds. Major side effects could result in a severe reduction in time spent staring at screens! …