New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 11, 2010:

 

TROUBLESOME TURKEYS RELOCATED TO NEW HOME IN RIO GRANDE VALLEY
WILDLIFE AREAS CLOSED DURING CRITICAL PERIODS FOR DEER, ELK
SANTA FE FANS WIN NATIONAL AWARD FOR EDUCATIONAL EVENT
TROUT UNLIMITED CHAPTER GETS GRANT FOR TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM
'NEW MEXICO WILDLIFE' TV SHOW FEATURES BIGHORNS, ELK
EXPECT ROADBLOCKS STATEWIDE DURING HUNTING SEASONS

TROUBLESOME TURKEYS RELOCATED TO NEW HOME IN RIO GRANDE VALLEY

SAN MARCIAL -- Seventy-one wild turkeys that were becoming a nuisance on a Tucumcari-area farm recently were trapped and moved to the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque.

The Rio Grande subspecies turkeys will join existing flocks in the area near San Marcial. After they were trapped, the birds were inspected by Department of Game and Fish biologists and then placed in individual transport boxes and a trailer donated by the National Wild Turkey Federation.

New Mexico has three native subspecies of wild turkey: Merriam’s, Rio Grande and Gould’s.

WILDLIFE AREAS CLOSED DURING CRITICAL PERIODS FOR DEER, ELK

CHAMA -- As winter slowly draws to an end and people start thinking about outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding and shed antler hunting, the Department of Game and Fish is reminding everyone to give wildlife a break so they can rest and give birth.

Some state wildlife areas, including the Rio Chama Wildlife Area and the Humphries Wildlife Area in northern New Mexico, are closed to protect deer and elk until after they have their calves and fawns. The only exception is for hunters who draw for the special April 15-30 turkey hunt.

"Wildlife Management Areas are purchased to allow wildlife a safe place during crucial breeding and wintering times,” said Bill Taylor, Game Manager for the Northwest Area.  “Deer and elk need a place where they can be free from human interaction during this time,” he said.

The Humphries and Rio Chama will reopen Memorial Day weekend for shed hunting, horseback riding and hiking. The areas are open to hunters and anglers who have a current Habitat Access and Management Validation with their license, and people ages 18 and older who have a Gaining Access into Nature (GAIN) permit. Permits are available at all license vendors and Department offices.

For more information, please call (505) 476-8000 or visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

SANTA FE FANS WIN NATIONAL AWARD FOR EDUCATIONAL EVENT

SANTA FE -- The Santa Fe Fans, a chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, has been honored with an inaugural award for the Best Jakes Cooperator Event in the country.

The award recognized the National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration Sept. 26, 2009, at Fenton Lake State Park. The Santa Fe Fans worked with the New Mexico State Parks Division and the Department of Game and Fish to introduce hundreds of young students to New Mexico’s outdoor opportunities and wildlife heritage.

The name JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship. The children who attended the event were introduced to turkey calling, falconry, fly-tying, fishing skills, archery, pellet guns and outdoor cooking.

“This was a big honor for the Santa Fe Fans,” said Shirley Martinez, treasurer for the group. “It was very rewarding to know that our group’s efforts are held in such high regard at the national level.”

Fenton Lake State Park is owned by the State Game Commission and managed as a state park by the State Parks Division. It is stocked with trout and patrolled by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

TROUT UNLIMITED CHAPTER GETS GRANT FOR TROUT IN THE CLASSROOM

The Truchas Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently was awarded a $1,500 grant from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation to start a Trout in the Classroom program at Pecos Middle School.

John Wright, the chapter's youth education director, was instrumental in writing and procuring the grant. He also started an after-school program at Pecos Schools emphasizing fish, fish biology and fly-tying. The Department supplied rainbow trout eggs, expertise and training for Chapter members and teachers.

Trout in the Classroom is a school-based program developed by Trout Unlimited that teaches students to rear trout from eggs to fingerlings in a classroom aquarium.  Students then set up a release date, advertise the event and release the fish in public fishing waters. The Department of Game and Fish supplies fish eggs, expertise and education.

In two years working with Trout in the Classroom, the Truchas Chapter has introduced the program to six schools: El Dorado Elementary, Santa Fe School for Arts and Sciences, Pecos Middle School, Moriarty Elementary and 21st Century Public Academy and Georgia O’Keefe Elementary in Albuquerque.

Members of the Enchanted Circle Chapter of Trout Unlimited recently purchased an aquarium, chiller, pumps and other equipment needed for Eagle Nest Elementary to join the Trout in the Classroom program. The Department’s Northeast Area staff also supports program classrooms in Maxwell, Raton,  Tucumcari and Logan.

For more information about Trout in the Classroom program and how schools can get involved, please contact Kevin Holladay, Department of Game and Fish aquatic education coordinator, (505) 476-8095.

'NEW MEXICO WILDLIFE' TV SHOW FEATURES BIGHORNS, ELK

Desert bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain elk and hunter education are among the subject featured this month on "New Mexico Wildlife," the Department of Game and Fish television show.

 “New Mexico Wildlife” continues to air at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays on KASA Channel 2 in Albuquerque. It also airs at 6:30 p.m. Sundays on KENW in Portales, and at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on KRWG Channel 22, the Las Cruces area PBS station.

This month's programs include:

  • March 14: Witness a desert bighorn sheep trap and release in southwestern New Mexico; join elk program coordinator and biologist Stewart Liley as he surveys elk herds near Chama; learn about the Hunter Education program and its positive effects on youth; and the Cast Iron Ranger is baking cinnamon rolls in a Dutch oven.
  • March 21: Count sheep with Game and Fish biologists at the 13th annual desert bighorn sheep census at Red Rock Wildlife Area; learn how the New Mexico Habitat Stamp Program creates food sources for wildlife; and find out how to make sheep herder’s bread in the Dutch oven with the Cast Iron Ranger and state game commissioner Kent Salazar.
  • March 28: Learn how Hawks Aloft conserves indigenous wild birds and their habitats; participate in the state duck calling contest at the state fair; the Cast Iron Ranger’s special guest, Slim Randles, creates scrumptious blueberry sourdough pancakes for those cold camp mornings; and come see the Bosque Del Apache winter wonderland.

 
“New Mexico Wildlife” emphasizes the state’s flexible system of management to provide the state's citizens with wildlife for recreation and food.
 
“New Mexico Wildlife” segments also are available at: www.youtube.com/NMGameandFish and www.myoutdoortv.com.

 

EXPECT ROADBLOCKS STATEWIDE DURING HUNTING SEASONS

Hunters and other outdoor travelers may encounter delays beginning this spring as the Department of Game and Fish conducts roadblocks throughout the state to collect harvest data and apprehend fish and wildlife law violators.

Conservation officers will check for compliance with the registration requirements and safety provisions of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act, and drivers of vehicles hauling wood products will be asked to produce documentation required by the Forestry Conservation Act.
 
Department officers may be assisted by other law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Police and county sheriff’s department officers.

To report a violation, contact your local conservation officer or call the toll-free Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 432-GAME (4263). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for rewards for information leading to the apprehension of game law violators.

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