Constable tracks down source of explosions in Tarkington Prairie

This map shows the approximate location where explosives were being set off in the Tarkington area, causing a disturbance for residents in the area.

The mystery of what was causing explosions that appeared to originate in Tarkington and could be felt more than 20 miles away has been solved.

According to Pct. 5 Constable David Hunter, a Tarkington resident has admitted to Hunter and investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that he set off large quantities of Tannerite, a brand of binary explosive targets, on a deer lease off of CR 2291 in the Macedonia area.

Hunter and the ATF agents visited the Tarkington man on Thursday.

“We explained the legality issues he was facing. It is legal to purchase Tannerite and it is legal to discharge it, but it’s not legal to do it at 10 p.m. and when it rocks the homes of your neighbors. It is also not legal to do it on top of a pipeline on a deer lease, which is what he was doing,” Hunter said. “The pipeline issue made it a federal problem and that is why the ATF was concerned and involved.”

Hunter said the man was issued a ticket for Disorderly Conduct and warned that the penalty, including jail time, would be increased if the nighttime explosions continue.

“He admitted that he was setting off 20 pounds at a time. He said he was doing it for fun. Long story short, we explained to him how things could go if that pipeline explodes,” Hunter said.

According to Hunter, as part of the investigation, the timber company, through which the man had a deer lease, was notified. Hunter said the man promised authorities that the nighttime discharge of the explosives would end.

“He was cooperative and apologized. He said he didn’t mean to cause any problems. He told us he had purchased the Tannerite from Academy,” he said. “If you want to discharge Tannerite, don’t do it at night, don’t do it at this magnitude where it disturbs all of your neighbors and do it on your own property. If you are doing something of this magnitude that causes this big of a disturbance, then we are going to investigate.”

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