Carson National Forest is rich in wildlife, and there are plenty of ways for you to experience it. Whether you’re walking around town and see wildlife, skiing on the mountain, or enjoying the mountain air at your rental property you’re destined to see some wildlife.
There are two species of mule deer in New Mexico, the Rocky Mountain mule deer and the desert mule deer. In northern New Mexico you will find the Rocky Mountain mule deer. These mule deer are out and about in town and the Upper Valley no matter the time of year. You could be lucky enough to see a fawn deer walking through town with its mama and dad! Now that would be nice to see!
You don’t see certain animals out because they are very skittish and because they could live off-the-beaten path. For example, you won’t come by Elk very often, but when you do take it all in. These majestic animals are large and in charge. You may get lucky and catch a herd of Elk in the Upper Valley in the early mornings. In the fall you may hear Elk bugle in the early mornings, so don’t be alarmed if you hear it. Elk normally make their home in the Moreno Valley due to the deep snow up the mountains. These Elk migrate down the mountain where they can find grass, shrubs, and tree bark.
New Mexico’s Black Bears are very wild and secretive animals that will run from you. Most of the time you will never know that a bear is there. It is important that you keep all food, bird feeders, and trash out of your vehicles and throw trash away in the locked dumpsters in town. If you’re staying at a property in the Upper Valley or Valley of the Pines you must take your trash bags to a trash bin located in town. These trash bins are located all through town, mostly on River Street and High Street. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so stop by Taos Mountain Outfitters for a can of bear spray in case of emergencies!
Believe it or not, but you may encounter a Bobcat while visiting Red River. These animals are beautiful but can be very dangerous if they feel threatened. Look and take all the pictures if you see a Bobcat as it is rare to see one strolling through town; however, don’t approach it.
You will often see New Mexico’s Bighorn Sheep in the canyon between Red River and Questa. Keep an eye out during your drive through as these animals can sneak up on you. Bighorn Sheep love the steep mountainous habitat with ledges only 2 inches wide. This helps provide coverage from predators such as coyotes, bears, and mountain lions.
Enjoy the company you get from the wildlife and do not feed the animals. Feeding wildlife can eventually cause harm to them. Do not keep food in your vehicles, lock your doors, and take your trash to the dumpsters in town. The saying “a fed bear is a dead bear” is something the locals all know too well. We don’t want to harm the bear or put the bear in danger by feeding it human food.