Crazy Fox Bites can Educate Wildlife Lovers

Here’s a crazy story for you today — A crazy like a fox story. Don’t we all need a little, “Wow!” or “What the … ?” nowadays? With all of the politics and hatred going around I certainly haven’t seen many posts or articles that don’t make me cringe. This one may insight a grimace but differently.

Words of wisdom or caution – “Do not feed wild animals.”

Fox bites homeowner, tests positive for rabies

LAS VEGAS, NM – On Saturday, Conservation Officer Justin Hepler responded to a call from a Las Vegas homeowner who was bitten by a fox she believed was starving when she attempted to feed it.

After meeting with the bite victim at a local hospital, the officer learned the fox had jumped into a parked vehicle and began eating insulation on the door and chewing on a hammer handle. The homeowner admitted to offering the fox a bowl of dog food when it bit her on the wrist and hand, leaving several puncture wounds on both arms.

Once on the scene, the officer was able to locate the fox, discovering it exhibiting abnormal behaviors consistent with rabies. The officer first attempted to capture it, but when it became aggressive and attacked he euthanized it. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish submitted the fox for testing to the state’s Scientific Laboratory Division. Results came back positive for rabies late Monday.

“It’s important to stay away from any animals acting sick, fearless, aggressive or friendly,” said Dr. Kerry Mower, wildlife disease specialist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “It’s also important people never attempt to feed wildlife.”

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be spread among mammals, most commonly through aggressive behavior, such as biting, that causes exposure to saliva. It is most commonly found in foxes, bats, skunks, coyotes and racoons, but can be transmitted to humans and pets.

The public should contact their local Department of Game and Fish office or call radio dispatch at (505) 827-9376 for assistance with wildlife acting oddly, especially coyotes, skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats. The public should immediately contact the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006 if they or their pets are bitten or otherwise exposed to the saliva of wild animals.

Here are some guidelines to help protect yourself and your family from rabies:

  • Stay away from wild or unfamiliar animals. Do not attempt to feed, approach or touch wild animals (alive or dead). Teach this important message to your children. Rabid animals may show no fear of people and may seem friendly or become aggressive.
  • Pets should be up to date on rabies vaccinations and wearing current license and rabies tags on their collar.
  • Horses and other livestock should be considered for rabies vaccination to protect them from rabid animals that may attack them.
  • If you or a loved one are bitten by an animal, or come into contact with an animal’s saliva, wash the exposed site immediately with soap and water and seek medical care as soon as possible. Be sure to report the bite to local conservation officers, animal control officers, and/or health officials as soon as possible for recommendations about receiving rabies exposure protective vaccination.
  • Keep pets on a leash at all times.
  • If your cat or dog has been bitten or scratched, call your pet’s veterinarian, even if the wound appears to be superficial.
  • If you see a sick or dead wild animal, or a wild animal acting abnormally, stay away and report it to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. For more info about rabies see the New Mexico Department of Health website at: https://nmhealth.org/about/erd/ideb/zdp/rab/

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Elk and Deer Hunting Changes – Public Comment Needed New Mexico

We’re gearing up for the elk and deer hunting seasons to fill the freezer with organic meat, and there are public meetings about the hunts scheduled in New Mexico. In Colorado, there is a decline in elk herd population throughout the southern half of the state. In the New Mexico public meetings, they’ll include a proposal for increased elk hunting in areas.

You need to attend their public meetings to get the low-down on where and why. If you cannot attend a meeting there is a link at the bottom of the article which tells where you can learn more about the proposals. There are also links to the email addresses you’ll need to contact with your feedback.

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Deer, elk and elk private lands use system changes topic of public meetings

SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comments on proposed revisions to the deer, elk, and elk private lands use system rules.

The department is proposing changes in deer, elk and the elk private lands use system (E-PLUS) across the state, including; splitting the deer archery season into 2 distinct seasons (September and January), adjusting licenses, adding new hunts, increasing elk harvest in some areas and establishing criteria to better administer the E-PLUS program.

To gather public comments, four public meetings will be conducted:

  • Roswell: 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 25 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 1912 W. Second Street.
  • Las Cruces: 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 26 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 2715 Northrise Drive.
  • Santa Fe: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Santa Fe Community College (Jemez Room 1), 6401 Richards Ave.
  • Albuquerque: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 3841 Midway Place, NE.

The proposals can be viewed on the department website, www.wildlife.nm.us. Comments on the proposed changes can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Big Game Rule Development, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; by email, DGF-Deer-Rules@state.nm.us; DGF-Elk-Rules@state.nm.us; DGF-EPLUS-Rules@state.nm.us or in person at one of the meetings listed above.


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Bear Cautions to Memorial Day Campers

I hope many of you are going to be out camping as you also remember the fallen this Memorial Day weekend. While you’re out remember to be safe and bear aware.

Department cautions campers to be aware of increased bear activity in the Jemez Mountains

nmdgf-logo-color_originalJEMEZ – Due to multiple sightings of bear cubs by campers in the area of Forest Road 376 in the Jemez Mountains, recreationists are reminded to keep a clean camp and be bear aware during the long weekend.

According to Tristanna Bickford, communications director, “some may view this as a unique opportunity to view young wildlife; however, it is very important for people to not attempt to approach these bears for any reason and to maintain a safe distance.”

Also read: Bear Adventures

The department strongly urges you to avoid getting between the mother and her cubs. Bickford continues, “Always be aware that the mother is likely in the area. Approaching wildlife is dangerous and getting into the personal space of any wild animal is a bad idea.” The department will have extra staff in the area to ensure safety of the public and wellbeing of the bears.

bear-cubs-5806_crop-NMDGFThe state has experienced less than average precipitation for this time of the year, which means that bears may be in search of other food sources, said Rick Winslow, cougar and bear biologist with the department.

“Droughts historically have led to a lot of bear conflicts, not only at camping and picnic sites, but also in more populated areas,” said Winslow.

Due to the recent increased bear activity, people should be even more diligent about keeping campsites clean and paying attention to their surroundings when visiting bear country.

The department offers the following suggestions if you plan on spending the long weekend camping in this area and other areas where bears may be present:

  • Keep your camp clean, and store food and garbage properly at all times. Use bear-proof containers when available. If not, suspend food, toiletries, coolers and garbage from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 6 feet out from the tree trunk.
  • Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells. Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
  • Sleep a good distance from your cooking area or food storage site, 100 yards is recommended.
  • Never feed bears.

If you encounter a bear:

  • Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t run.
  • Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn’t feel threatened or trapped. If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.
  • If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.

If you are experiencing a persistent problem with bears, please contact your regional Game & Fish office or contact your local law enforcement for immediate assistance. Visit the department’s website to find contact information: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us for more information about living with bears in New Mexico please consult Keeping Bears Alive and Yourself Safe.


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Your Big-Game Draw Results are Online | New Mexico

Today is the big day, and I’ve got a deer hunting license in my hand! Did you draw any of your New Mexico big-game hunting licenses?

Big-game draw results available today

nmdgf-logo-color_originalSANTA FE – Hunters who applied for New Mexico big-game licenses will know their draw results early again this spring through the Department of Game and Fish online license system.At 10 a.m. today, the department released draw results to customer accounts on the department website and began sending emails to successful applicants, seven days earlier than expected.Draw licenses may be printed from the customer’s account and tags will be mailed to the address provided. Do not hunt without a valid license and tag.Unsuccessful applicants should receive refunds on credit cards beginning today and through their checking accounts within the next two weeks.More than 203,000 applicants tried for about 58,000 deer, 58,000 deer, elk, antelope, oryx, ibex, Barbary sheep and javelina licenses — an all-time application record and 7 percent increase over 2017.Hunters can check their draw results by logging onto their customer account on the department website, onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us beginning at 10 a.m. today. Results and assistance also will be available by phone at (888) 248-6866.


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New Mexico Big-Game Hunt Draw Deadline

Tomorrow is the last day to apply for a New Mexico big-game hunt. The process is pretty simple, and you can do it online. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has included some tips below.

Deadline is Wednesday to apply for big-game hunting licenses

nmdgf-logo-color_originalSANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is reminding hunters that Wednesday, March 21, is the deadline to apply for deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, oryx, ibex, bighorn sheep, javelina and Barbary sheep licenses. The department expects more than 160,000 applicants for about 60,000 licenses.

Hunters must complete their applications before 5 p.m. MDT March 21. All applicants must create an online account at onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us prior to applying.

Here’s how to apply:

  • Online: Applicants can access or create accounts via the “Customer Login” link on the department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us. From their account, applicants will select “Draw Hunt Applications” in the main menu and then will be prompted through license and application choices.
  • By phone: Hunters without computer access or who need help applying can call toll-free, (888) 248-6866 and a department representative will submit an application for them. The information center will be open until 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. The center will close at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 21. Phone lines will be extremely busy as the deadline approaches, so applicants are encouraged to apply early and have their hunt choices ready.

Applicants will be able to print 2018 nonrefundable game-hunting and game-hunting and fishing licenses from their account March 22. Draw licenses can be printed after the draw results are released April 25. Licenses are no longer mailed except by request.

To be eligible for the draw, applicants who held deer, elk or turkey licenses for the 2017-18 seasons must have submitted a harvest report either online or through the information center and paid any applicable late fees by March 21. Applicants who held 2017-18 licenses for oryx, ibex, Barbary sheep, javelina and trapping must submit harvest reports by April 7. Failure to report before the deadlines will result in rejection of all draw applications.

Information about rules, seasons, fees and more is available in the 2018-19 Hunting Rules & Information booklet online at www.wildlife.state.nm.us and available in print at license vendors and department offices. Hunters are encouraged to review season dates, application deadlines and other information before applying for licenses or going afield. The department website also includes valuable information about how the draw works, application procedures, game-management unit maps, drawing odds and a “How to Apply” video.

Hunters this year are especially encouraged to review new rules regarding tagging their harvested game. A separate tag will be required in addition to the printed license, and all big game and turkeys must be tagged at the time of harvest. Tags will be mailed to all successful draw hunt applicants and will be available at all license vendors and department offices for over-the-counter licenses. Some restrictions may apply for online big game license purchases to accommodate mailing of tags.

Complete information about the new tagging requirements is available on the department website and in the Hunting Rules & Information booklet. Read more about tagging here.


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San Juan River at Navajo Lake State Park – Temporary closures of day-use areas

If you’ve never fished the San Juan River south of Navajo Lake, you should definitely put it on your bucket list. The New Mexico Department of Game and fish has put a huge focus on the river and it is one of the best in the area. If you’re planning to come to this direction this winter, you may need to know about the upcoming enhancements as well as boat take-out closures.

Upcoming enhancements of San Juan River
at Navajo Lake State Park

Expect temporary closures of day-use areas

nmdgf-logo-color_originalFARMINGTON – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will begin a river enhancement project on Dec. 15 on the San Juan River at Navajo Lake State Park from Simon Point Day-Use Area downriver to the Crusher Hole Day-Use Area. Temporary closures of multiple day-use areas are expected until April 2018.

The project will include a new boat takeout at Crusher Hole Day-Use Area. The Crusher Hole area will be closed to the public from Dec. 15, 2017, through March 1, 2018. There will be no access to the boat takeout at Crusher Hole while the new takeout is constructed.

Bolack Day-Use Area will be closed from Dec. 15, 2017, through April 15, 2018. County Road 4280 that offers access to the area will also be closed to traffic. However, anglers may access the area at Cottonwood Campground.

A temporary boat takeout will be constructed at the Munoz Day-Use Area. The temporary takeout will provide public access to the upper portions of the river.

For the safety of all visitors to the park, use of the San Juan River past Simon Point, including portions in and out of the park boundaries, will be closed to boat traffic and wade fishing from Dec. 15, 2017, through March 1, 2018. Limited use of the river will be available from March 1, 2018, through April 15, 2018.

All listed areas will be posted closed and the gates will be locked.  For more information, please visit nmparks.com or contact Navajo Lake State Park, (505) 632-2278.


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License Plate for Conservation Features State Fish – New Mexico

Sportsman’s license plates are a wonderful way to show your support for conservation of fish and wildlife. New Mexico’s new plate is a winner.

Cutthroat trout featured on new license plate

SANTA FE – A new Share with Wildlife program license plate available to the public features a Rio Grande cutthroat trout, New Mexico’s state fish.

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“Anglers and everyone who enjoys our state’s fish and aquatic habitats will love this new license plate,” said Ginny Seamster, program coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “And it’s all for a good cause, conserving wildlife.”

Since 1981 the Share with Wildlife program has funded wildlife research, habitat enhancement, education and rehabilitation projects around the state. Many of these projects benefit nongame species in need of conservation.

The program relies upon donations, including the purchase of special license plates from the state Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). Initial cost for the plate is $27, with $15 going to the Share with Wildlife Program. The program also receives $10 of the annual $12 plate renewal fee. To order the new plate, please visit the department’s website at www.wildlife.state.nm.us/share to download the order form used to purchase the plate from MVD. The plate only can be purchased through regular mail.

Additional donations can be made to the program by earmarking a portion of your state income tax refund. Just check off the box on your income tax form. Donors also can contribute through the department’s online licensing system at https://onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us/. All donations fund projects, not program administration.

For more information about the program, contact Ginny Seamster at (505) 476-8111 or  virginia.seamster@state.nm.us.


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Elk Hunting Opportunities Available in New Mexico

If you’re still looking for a way to fill the freezer, a New Mexico elk hunt might be right up your alley. Read below to learn how you can get an archery license.

Late-season archery elk licenses available Oct. 25

nmdgf-logo-color_originalSANTA FE – There will be 275 first-come, first-served late-season bull elk archery hunting licenses on sale beginning Oct. 25 on the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website.

The sale will begin at 10 a.m. and will be open only to New Mexico residents for the first 24 hours, after which any remaining licenses will be available to everyone. Only hunters who did not hold a 2017-2018 elk license are eligible. The bag limit for the late-season hunts is one bull elk with antlers having at least six points on one side.

Hunters are advised to obtain an online customer account or review their existing account, including user name and password, before the sale begins. The sale is online-only and hunts normally sell out seconds after becoming available.

Available licenses include: Game Management Unit 12, Nov. 18-22, 25 licenses; Unit 34, Dec. 16-20, 200 licenses; and Unit 37, Dec. 2-6, 50 licenses.

Special restrictions for elk harvested in Unit 34 can be found on page 83 of the current New Mexico Hunting Rules and Information booklet. To review the regulations or purchase a hunt, visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

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To be eligible to buy a license, hunters must previously have purchased either a Game Hunting or Game Hunting and Fishing license. Those licenses, along with Habitat Improvement Stamps and Habitat Management Access Validations, also can be obtained through online accounts.

Hunters planning to purchase a license must have completed all mandatory 2016-2017 harvest reporting requirements or their purchase will be rejected in the post-sale audit. The license fee, but not the application fee will be refunded on rejected purchases.

The department makes late-season elk licenses available as biologists assess annual population and harvest information, regional herd management objectives and additional harvest needs.


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Get Involved with Proposed Changes in Pronghorn Rule – New Mexico

Be it pronghorn rulings or Constitutional Rights, the best way to make an impact is to get involved. I continually share information about how you can make a difference. Each of these involves making your voice heard. I attend many public meetings, forums, round tables, and commission meetings.

A lot of what I do is gain knowledge. I learn about all these things my friends are griping about. I learn why a lot of things are done the way they are. I also have the opportunity to speak up, to the people who can make things happen, and have my voice heard. I hope you too will get involved, if you aren’t already. Never rely on someone else to say what you wish someone else already knew.

Public meetings will address proposed changes
in pronghorn rule

SANTA FE –The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to the pronghorn rule.

The Department is proposing changes to how pronghorn are hunted in New Mexico, structuring pronghorn hunts similarly to how deer are hunted in the state. This will provide increased opportunity for public and private-land hunters.

Improved pronghorn survey methods have resulted in better biological data from which to base harvest recommendations. Additionally, the department has heard various concerns regarding the current Antelope Private Land Use System (A-PLUS).  The department is developing recommendations to be implemented for the start of the 2019-2020 hunting season.

To gather public comments, four public meetings will be conducted:

  • Albuquerque: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 3841 Midway Place, NE.
  • Las Vegas: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the New Mexico State Police Office, 520 South Commerce.
  • Roswell: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 1912 W. Second St.
  • Las Cruces: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Department of Game and Fish office, 2715 Northrise Drive.

The proposal can be viewed on the Department’s website, www.wildlife.nm.us. Comments on the proposed changes can be provided by mail: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Nicole Quintana, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; by email, nicole.quintana@state.nm.us; or in person at one of the meetings listed above.


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Mobile App Introduced by New Mexico Department of Game & Fish

If you’re a New Mexico hunter, looking to fill the freezer, you need to know about the new mobile app the Department of Game and Fish has introduced. While we’re having talks about budgets in Colorado, New Mexico is advancing technology and finding ways to save money.

The NMDGF has implemented a 100% online licensing process, saving the Department millions of dollars. While they’re at it, they designed and introduced the new mobile app, where hunters are able to purchase licenses, and then store them on their devices.

This app will also feature mapping and hunting unit viewing. Years ago I had a similar app for Colorado on an old cell-phone. It provided unit mapping, hunt success percentages, and more. I had to trade the phone in for a new one, and have never been able to find the app again. When I’ve asked CPW rangers about the app, they had no idea to which I was referring. I’d like to see that app re-introduced.

I now use OnX Hunt Maps on my phone and the GPS. I’ve purchased the chip for the GPS because I don’t always have cell service in the areas I hunt. Tell me, what mapping devices are you using? What do you think about carrying your hunting license on your phone? What are some ways your state offers licenses?

“New! A free mobile app is available from New Mexico Game and Fish Department powered by Pocket Ranger® to enhance hunting and fishing our state.

The app offers easy access to hunting and fishing maps, fishing reports, license purchasing, rules and regulations publications, news releases, and more. The app includes quick access to Operation Game Thief, mobile-accessible wildlife.state.nm.us and New Mexico Wildlife magazine.”

New Mobile App

Introducing Our Free Mobile App

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