LONDONDERRY — Bonnie McSpiritt hears gunfire from her High Range Road home and is afraid to go outside to enjoy one of her favorite town properties.

McSpiritt lives near the town-owned, 1,000-acre Musquash conservation land. She's a member of the task force now working on target shooting issues on that property.

"The shooting, it's every day, not just on weekends," she said. "I am unable to use the Musquash."

About 50 residents attended a public meeting March 25 to listen and offer opinions.

Task force members are all Londonderry residents, representing various factions, including conservation, law enforcement, fire department, Musquash abutters, and hunting and target shooting supporters.

Police Chief Bill Hart, who leads the group, said several options are being considered.

Those include target shooting bans on that property, or putting more police or N.H. Fish and Game representatives on patrol. 

Another idea would be to designate a specific area strictly for target shooting.

Town councilors will make the final decision.

Laws already on the books prohibit shooting within 300 feet of a residence.

Resident Pollyann Winslow is not a direct abutter, but she said she enjoys the town's trails. She said she has heard people say they are afraid to walk their dogs in the Musquash.

"They are afraid they will get shot," Winslow said.

She said she also worries about what shooting issues could do to nearby home values.

"Anyone who wants to put their home on the market will lose value if there is ever an accident in there," Winslow said.

Conservation Commission member Mike Speltz said he might favor a ban on target shooting.

"It seems to me that would be easier to enforce than a 'not here, not there' solution," he said.

Task force member Mike Considine visits the Musquash often and said the shooting is reckless and dangerous.

"You've got to get out there," he said. "They are literally shooting up trees and through the trails."

Task force member Dana Coons supports hunting and safe shooting.

He said a total ban on target shooting is not the answer.

"Then you would be penalizing responsible shooters," he said.

 Hart said all information from residents will be used in the group's final report to the Town Council that could come by June 1.

"We will have varying legitimate opinions of this group as we grapple with this issue," Hart said. "We are trying to find cooperative measures."

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