Zen Mocarski

Zen Mocarski was the New Mexico Wildlife Magazine Editor for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

October, 2016

  • 28 October

    Thriving in Rio Grande Gorge

    ith exceptional vision and climbing ability, steep rocky terrain is the ideal habitat for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Since being introduced into the Rio Grande Gorge, bighorn sheep have adapted well and their population has grown from 48 to about 280. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Wildlife agencies across the nation have many success stories to share when it comes to restoring wildlife populations. Sometimes the wildlife get much of the credit. That’s been the case in the Rio Grande Gorge, where a few dozen Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep released in 2006-2007 have multiplied to a …

  • 28 October

    It’s a trophy

    Game and Fish biologist Eric Rominger takes elk antler measurements. While it was a large rack, the measurements came up short of the record book minimum. Photo by Martin Perea, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Ask a hunter about the trophy mounted on the wall, sitting on a table or neatly placed in a cabinet, and a story will unfold — of outdoor experiences, an important hunt and deeply held values. The term “trophy” generally refers to a large game animal that has been mounted, …

  • 28 October

    Geese numbers dangerously high

    Habitat and birds suffer as light geese numbers rise. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF

    Mid-continent populations of light geese are currently at levels never before recorded. They have surpassed critical mass and efforts to stem their growth over the last 20 years has been ineffective. “It’s a difficult concept to explain,” said Casey Cardinal, turkey and upland game biologist with the New Mexico Department …

  • 28 October

    Control of feral hogs

    Feral hogs destroy wildlife habitat. Laws now exist that prohibit the importation of feral hogs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services is in the midst of a five-year project to lethally remove the animals from New Mexico. The effort will end in September 2017, but additional funding has been requested. Photo courtesy Wildlife Services.

    Laws and additional control measures appear to have been effective in putting feral hog concerns to rest in New Mexico. At least for the moment. “I think we’ll always have to stay on top of it,” said Ryan McBee, regional wildlife biologist in Roswell. “They are a prolific-breeding invasive species. …

  • 28 October

    Driving: protect yourself & wildlife

    Wildlife in the roadways can be dangerous for those in a vehicle as well as the animal. Even smaller animals, such as cottontails and jackrabbits, can prove to be hazardous as motorists break or swerve in an effort to avoid a collision. Photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF

    As the colors change and the temperature’s drop, hikers and wildlife enthusiasts are spending time outdoors and hunters are getting gear ready for time in the field. All are signs of fall, which also means the days are getting shorter and more vehicles will be on the road at times …

  • 28 October

    Bear population study

    Determining an accurate minimum population of bears has been difficult, but understanding bear behavior and using modern technology make it possible. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF

    Finding a needle in a haystack might sound like a difficult, painstaking process, but it pales in comparison to estimating the number of bears on the landscape. Wildlife agencies across the nation face a notoriously difficult challenge trying to estimate bear populations, but new methods offer the ability to more …

  • 28 October

    Passion for outdoors

    (right to left) Christy Wall with the New Mexico Wildlife Center works with Cruz Sandoval and Loren Vigil to test water samples pulled from the Rio Chama. The students were asked later what might influence water turbidity, temperature and pH levels. Photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Share with Wildlife: Helping youth develop passion for outdoors To help students develop a respect for nature, one northern New Mexico program is trying to close the gap between classroom education and outdoor engagement. The New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española is hoping hands-on science activities will develop a generation …

  • 28 October

    Helping feed the hungry

    Hunters take aim at helping feed the hungry. New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Fall is a time of year when many people begin to think about charity . . . and hunting. Now, the two can be combined to benefit those in need. The New Mexico Hunters Helping the Hungry program started by the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico, with support from …

  • 28 October

    Iconic mammal takes center stage

    Primarily a grassland animal, bison will graze for a period of time before resting and chewing cud. While the bison population has grown to approximately 500,000, the majority have interbred with domestic cattle. Several locations, including Yellowstone National Park, still have populations of pure lineage. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    It took 240 years, but the United States finally has a national mammal: the bison. Fans of the bald eagle have no need to fear; the national animal since 1782 has not been replaced. Instead, the bison joins other national symbols such as the oak as the national tree and …

  • 28 October

    Open Gate: stamp funds provide opportunities for hunters & anglers

    The Open Gate program improves access and enhances hunting, angling and trapping opportunities around New Mexico. The program is funded using a portion of the Habitat Management and Access Validation stamp revenue. Photo by Martin Perea, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    As the autumn wind begins to blow, it becomes clear hunting season is near. Those gearing up to hunt begin preparing their equipment and open a map to formulate a plan. For even the most dedicated sportsmen and women, this is where it can get a little complicated. “Exactly where …