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Hunting season

Las Cruces residents voice concerns about target practice near homes

Riser in Alvillar Dam 1
Riser in Alvillar Dam 1
Courtesy photo
Posted

LAS CRUCES - Hunting season is open and about a dozen residents in the North Del Rey Boulevard neighborhood are concerned about target practice near their homes, day or night, they said. 

They contacted Doña Ana County representatives recently, including County Manger Fernando Macias, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division Commander, Captain Manion Long and Office of the Flood Commission Director John Gwynne to discuss their concerns.

Shooters apparently convene near three dams referred to as “Alvillar Dams,” managed by the Doña Ana County Flood Commission within the privately owned Alvillar Farm and Land LLC.

Shooters reportedly aim at and destroy risers – metal, tube-like structures in the dams that help prevent floods in the area. When they miss, they hit unintended marks, even hundreds of feet away, across Interstate 25.

The bullets are reportedly hitting nearby homes, trees and animals, while shell casings and debris have become a common sight. The dams are also close to the Doña Ana Trail Head used by hikers, cyclists and horseback and ATV riders. 

Hunting season is open and about a dozen residents in the North Del Rey Boulevard neighborhood are concerned about target practice near their homes, day or night, they said. 

They contacted Doña Ana County representatives recently, including County Manger Fernando Macias, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division Commander, Captain Manion Long and Office of the Flood Commission Director John Gwynne to discuss their concerns.

Shooters apparently convene near three dams referred to as “Alvillar Dams,” managed by the Doña Ana County Flood Commission within the privately owned Alvillar Farm and Land LLC.

Shooters reportedly aim at and destroy risers – metal, tube-like structures in the dams that help prevent floods in the area. When they miss, they hit unintended marks, even hundreds of feet away, across Interstate 25.

The bullets are reportedly hitting nearby homes, trees and animals, while shell casings and debris have become a common sight. The dams are also close to the Doña Ana Trail Head used by hikers, cyclists and horseback and ATV riders. 

A high-power rifle “can travel upwards of 2,800 feet per second, or faster,” local resident Mark Delk said. “And our homes range in distance from the first Alvillar dam between 3,500 to 4,500 feet, just due west of Interstate 25.”

Visitors to North Del Rey may be unclear about property limits and often trespass, as farms and private land intertwine with public, recreational areas. Some “No Trespassing” or “Private Property” may have been used as targets and destroyed.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Patrol Division Commander Captain Manion Long laid out a plan to re-post signs, increase patrols and educate visitors.

“While law enforcement will not solve the ills of society, we are part of the solution,” Capt. Long said. “Weapons must be used responsibly and in areas that are set up for safe target practice, like shooting ranges.”

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