New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Martin Frentzel, (505) 476-8013
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
martin.frentzel@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NOV. 8, 2010:

TRAPPING DATA SOUGHT TO HELP PROTECT WOLVES
2011 BEAR SEASONS PASSED BY STATE GAME COMMISSION
LATE-SEASON ELK LICENSES GRABBED IN SECONDS
COUGAR MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES ADOPTED BY COMMISSION
COMMISSION’S ANTELOPE DECISION BEING REVISITED

 

TRAPPING DATA SOUGHT TO HELP PROTECT WOLVES

RUIDOSO – Technical or scientific information about trapping techniques and equipment that could present a potential risk of injury to Mexican wolves is now being sought by the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in Las Cruces.

The Research Unit and the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology at New Mexico State University are assisting the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish with a study of regulated furbearer trapping’s impacts on wolves in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. Information should be sent to James Cain at NMTrappingReview@gmail.com.

Specifically, the comment should:

  1. Evaluate the potential risk of permanent injury or death to Mexican wolves resulting from the use of each trap or snare type, and associated techniques, currently allowed by rule in New Mexico.
  1. Identify methods and trap and snare types, associated techniques, and potential modifications that may reduce risk of permanent injury or death to Mexican wolves by regulated furbearer trapping.

Regulated furbearer trapping on the Gila and Apache National Forest was banned by Gov. Bill Richardson July 28, and the State Game Commission established a ban on regulated furbearer trapping on those forests during its meeting October 28. The ban will be in place until the Commission takes action after reviewing the study.

The trapping ban was in effect November 1, and applies to steel traps, foothold traps, snares and conibear body-gripping traps. Trapping for coyotes is allowed. Trapping for regulated furbearer is allowed when necessary to protect public safety and private property.

Trapping seasons for badger, bobcat, fox, ringtail and weasel opened Nov. 1 in most areas of the state. There are no open seasons for pine marten, river otter, black-footed ferret or coatimundi.

For more information visit http://fws-nmcfwru.nmsu.edu/fwscoop/events.htm

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2011 BEAR SEASONS PASSED BY STATE GAME COMMISSION

RUIDOSO – Stabilizing black bear numbers across 75.5 percent of New Mexico is the goal of the 2011-2014 hunting strategy adopted by the New Mexico State Game Commission during its Oct. 28 meeting.

Black bears in New Mexico are managed under a zone system. There are 6 zones statewide, with several subzones. Stabilization of the population is the goal in zones 1, 2A, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, 6A, and 6B.In the other zones (2B, 2C, and 6C), the goal will be to decrease the population of black bears. by 20 percent over four years.

Department biologists say the bear population has grown over the last six years when a more conservative harvest limit was in place. Under the new strategy, the statewide total sustainable mortality will be 677 bears (296 females) in 2011, 664 bears (290 females) in 2012, 652 bears (284 females) in 2013, and 641 bears (278 females) in 2014.

The total mortality includes bears killed by cars and bears moved out of areas where they have contact with dense human populations. As late as Thursday, Nov. 4, bears were reported in Albuquerque.

Each zone will close when the harvest is within 10 percent of that zone’s sustainable harvest limit The Department of Game and Fish tracks the harvest by requiring bear hides be tagged within five days of the bears being killed.

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LATE-SEASON ELK LICENSES GRABBED IN SECONDS

SANTA FE – With thousands of license buyers logged onto the Department of Game and Fish website, it took only seconds for 525 late-season elk licenses to be reserved Wednesday morning when they went on sale at 10 a.m.

There were 200 antlerless elk licenses available for hunters using any legal sporting arm, and 325 licenses for archery hunters.

Once a license is reserved, the purchasers have 15 minutes to complete the transaction before the license is made available to other purchasers.

COUGAR MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES ADOPTED BY COMMISSION

RUIDOSO – Eight cougar management zones will be managed for stable or decreased populations and cougar populations in 11 zones will be allowed to increase under a strategy adopted by the State Game Commission during its meeting Oct. 28.

“If we actually reach these harvest numbers,” said Bear and Cougar Biologist Rick Winslow, “we will maintain the population of cougars at a sustainable level.”

Winslow said the numbers are a maximum number of animals that can be taken, not goals or quotas.

In the portions of the state where the goal is to manage for stable or decreasing populations, the allowable harvest will be less than or equal to 25 percent of the total estimated population. No more than 50 percent of harvest will be females.

The adopted sustainable harvest numbers are posted on the Game and Fish web site, at www.wildlife.state.nm.us/.

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COMMISSION’S ANTELOPE DECISION BEING REVISITED

RUIDOSO – The antelope hunt strategy for 2011 and A-PLUS, New Mexico’s system of allocating private-land antelope licenses, will be adopted Dec. 9, during a meeting of the State Game Commission in Clovis.

During its Oct. 28 meeting in Ruidoso, the Commission initially adopted a rule changing the way the state allocates private-land antelope licenses, but then voted to set the original motion aside and to reconsider the issue at the next meeting. 

An equitable distribution of antelope licenses in New Mexico is contentious because much of the state’s antelope habitat is private land, but wildlife is a resource held in trust for the public.

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