On Wednesday, November 14th the news room heard the rat tat tat of a gun being shot in the woods. With hunting season in full swing across the State it’s important for hikers, backpackers, trail runners, and mountain bikers to understand that many of the areas that they frequent are also popular with hunters.
Londonderry is full of conservation land. The Musquash name comes from the Algonquin word for muskrat. Today it describes a forest block of over 900 acres in the western part of Londonderry. The area is made up of forested, rolling hills dotted with wetland areas that provide natural habitat for moose, deer, beaver, and painted and Blanding’s turtles to name just a few species. This landscape also provides an enjoyable place for outdoor recreation for the citizens of the area.
If you plan on hiking on the local conservation lands please keep this safety tips in mind.
- Wear bright clothing. Make yourself more visible. Choose colors that stand out, like red, orange or green, and avoid blacks, browns, earth-toned greens and animal-colored clothing. If walking your dog make sure they stand out as well.
- Make noise. Whistle, sing or carry on a conversation as you walk to alert hunters to your presence. Sound carries well in the field, and hunters should be listening for any sounds of animal movement.
- Make yourself known. If you do hear shooting, raise your voice and let hunters know that you are in the vicinity.
- Know when hunting seasons are. Continue to hike, but learn about where and when hunting is taking place.
- Know your own comfort level. If hunting makes you uneasy, choose a hike in a location where hunting is not allowed.