Targets, critter cannons go ‘boom’

‘Explosions’ reported to sheriff’s office by residents south of Rockdale

Residents south of Rockdale, and sometimes in town, have been hearing things go “boom” in the night.

And sometimes in the day.

The Milam County Sheriff’s Department says it has investigated a number of reports this summer and fall and thinks most of the “suspicious noises” fall under two categories.

New exploding targets, that have become a fad for shooters, and area agriculture producers’ continuing war against feral hogs and other pests.

Reports have centered in the areas of Milam County Roads 314 and 335.

TANNERITE—Chief Deputy Chris White said the department investigated a recent call which turned out to be a Rockdale area resident shooting Tannerite targets.

“Apparently Tannerite is a legal substance sold at some gun stores,” White said. “It explodes on impact, as when hit by a bullet, and is primarily used as a target to give target shooters something extra.”

“It is not classified as a bomb or an illegal substance,” he added.

“ I believe a simi lar issue occurred in the County Road 314 area this summer when some persons target shooting were using the same substance,” White said.

Tannerite is a combination of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder that is supplied as two separate powders which are mixed and shaken to produce the explosive.

Tannerite is intended to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm cartridge. According to manufacturers of the product, low-velocity shotgun, handgun or rifle ammunition will not initiate a detonation.

CRITTERS— Other calls to the sheriff’s department have produced a different result.

“Other reports of loud explosions were reported to us by concerned persons on County Road 314, and other areas,” White said. “Those turned out to be propane cannons used to deter and scare off hogs and other unwanted critters.”

The deterrent cannons were used in pecan orchards or other agricultural land, White said.

Feral hogs have become a plague of almost Biblical proportions in rural Milam County.

The Reporter has received reports of wild hog herds of more than 100 roaming the Brushy Creek and San Gabriel River bottomlands.

A recent seminar by the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, dealing with combating feral hogs, drew a crowd of more than 200 to Thorndale’s Fireman’s Hall.

Area ag producers may soon be able to fight wild hogs and make a little money. A hog slaughtering plant is planned for a location in south Rockdale.

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