Banderitas Creek Ranch New Mexico: The wildlife-rich Banderitas Creek Ranch is situated along the meandering banks of Banderitas Creek and the Ocate River in northern New Mexico, just 60 miles south of the Colorado border. Nestled on the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains, the ranch lies only a few miles southeast of the ski resort of Angel Fire. The environmental mix here has worked out perfectly for this ranch to become a remarkable wildlife mecca. First, its elevation of 7150 to 8200 feet is high enough to provide healthy forests of mixed ponderosa, fir, pinion and oak and relief from summer’s heat, but low enough for mild winters to be the norm. Second, abundant water from two substantial springs and two streams makes the ranch a magnet for wildlife of all kinds. And finally, a site that is surrounded on three sides by state land keeps wildlife-disrupting development at a minimum, creating a true sanctuary that hasn’t changed significantly for generations.
The Banderitas Creek Ranch is 630 deeded acres, plus an adjoining State lease of 2920 acres. Forested canyons and mesas are typical in this part of New Mexico, and the Banderitas Creek Ranch provides a healthy mix of terrain and vegetation that creates micro-biomes that are suitable to a remarkable variety of wildlife. Most noticeable are elk, which roam the area in great numbers, and can often be found on the ranch by the score, but a strong population of mule deer frequent the canyons as well. Black bear are common, too, and elusive mountain lions hunt on the ranch. Coyotes, foxes and small game are present in abundance, as well as significant flocks of wild turkey, which find the habitat almost ideal. All of the wildlife has benefitted greatly by a careful forest stewardship program of 500 to 600 acres, which has not only created a healthy habitat for wildlife and cattle, but has also reduced danger from wildfire.