Zen Mocarski

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

October, 2016

  • 28 October

    It’s called hunting

    Seeing wildlife is always an exciting experience, but it can become frustrating when the animal a person is looking for can’t be found. While on a cow elk hunt, with the camera left behind, javelina, deer, and pronghorn antelope were all happy to make an appearance, but the elk remained elusive. Photo by Dan Williams. New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    We’ve all been there. At least I hope we’ve all been there and I’m not sitting here alone with the memories of the feeblest hunting experience. As the saying goes: Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. This is the category under which my personal hunting exploits would lie. It was …

  • 28 October

    Raccoons: did you know…?

    Raccoons are extremely adept climbers and have the ability to climb back down headfirst by rotating the hind feet so they point backwards. This cunning raccoon navigates a tree in search of food. NMDGF photo, New Mexico Wildlife magazine.

    Sly, adaptable and cunning, the common raccoon (Procyon lotor) likely ranks among the most recognizable animals in the United States. Probably the most distinctive feature is the black mask around a raccoon’s eyes, earning it the nickname “bandit.” This unique characteristic is believed to serve a purpose. “Much like an …

August, 2016

  • 15 August

    Photographing wildlife

    Master the basics to harvest the best images. For those who photograph wildlife, hunting season never ends. Whether you are looking through a rifle scope or viewfinder, hunting and photography have similar challenges. Both activities share a few common terms, such as the word “shoot” in its various conjugations. Whether …

  • 15 August

    Getting youths outside

    Game and Fish coldwater fisheries biologist Laurence D’Alessandro provides instructions to students from Questa Junior and Senior High School and Taos High School prior to a hike down to the Rio Grande to release cutthroat trout. Photo by Zen Mocarski, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Educators see value in getting youths outside. As society’s disconnect with nature has become more pronounced, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is making an effort to not only get youths outdoors, but also to get them involved. Call the class Conservation 101. It’s a class about the …

  • 15 August

    Pike numbers at bay

    Following the discovery of northern pike at Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists became concerned about the potential impacts this aggressive predatory fish might have on rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Efforts at Eagle Nest Lake seem to be keeping pike numbers at bay. Five years after rules were put into place to protect this northeastern lake, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish biologists are reporting what appears to be positive results. Following the 2010 discovery of northern pike in Eagle …

  • 15 August

    Modern conservation

    Fencing can impede movement of some wildlife, including pronghorns. Although capable of jumping, pronghorns ring to go under fences. Pronghorn-friendly fences include an 18-inch gap from the ground to the first strand. Fencing without such modifications impedes pronghorn movement. Photo, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    The need for modern conservation efforts In the last 100 years, development has boomed, cities have grown and the connections people have with the outdoors has been replaced by the internet, shopping malls, movie theaters and home entertainment centers. The roadways we use, our homes, fences and our workplaces are …

  • 15 August

    Cibola National Forest undergoing major facelift

    More than 40,000 cubic feet of wood has been harvested within a restoration area in the Cibola National Forest. New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    Rows of densely-packed ponderosa pine line the sides of the road traveling deep into the Cibola National Forest in the Zuni Mountains west of Grants. Dark shadows prevail and little can be seen beyond the first layer of trees. There’s a feeling of claustrophobia as a wall of ponderosas looks …

  • 15 August

    Special tools to survive

    While poor eyesight might suggest javelina lack the same defenses of other wildlife, they possess a good sense of hearing, a keen sense of smell, and a formidable set of tusks. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    No need to sell wildlife short. All have special tools to survive. Everyone has heard the saying, “defenseless animal,” but we might want to think twice before accepting that notion, especially when it comes to wildlife. “There’s no such thing as a defenseless animal,” said Stewart Liley, chief of the …

  • 15 August

    Unexpected findings

    A fox squirrel balancing on a small tree branch. Fox squirrels are larger and heavier than gray squirrels. USFWS photo by Gary Eslinger. New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    There are certain benefits to working for a wildlife agency, not the least of which is the opportunity to spend time outdoors enjoying what nature has to offer. As the editor of New Mexico Wildlife, I’m afforded many chances to spend time in the field with a diverse group of …

  • 15 August

    Greater roadrunner

    Greater roadrunners is a stealthy and efficient predator, feasting on reptiles during warmer months but also taking snakes, including rattlers, and small mammals. Most of the water a roadrunner requires is obtained from their prey. Photo by Dan Williams, New Mexico Wildlife magazine, NMDGF.

    There’s no beep, beep and they certainly can’t outrun a coyote, but the bird made famous by Warner Brothers does share a few traits of its cartoon character. They often are seen running across roadways, and they’re quite fleet afoot, although you won’t catch them racing a car. But the …