An explosive target used to blow up a beaver dam in the Williamsville community was the apparent source of a loud boom heard by many Thursday evening in the city and some parts of the county.

Chip Dees said Monday that he had used the target to blow up a beaver dam in a creek behind his family-owned business, D&W Tire & Muffler Center.

The targets, which are often available for purchase at pawn shops and gun shows, explode when hit by a high-powered rifle round.

Many residents reported hearing an explosion and the resulting boom around 5:30 p.m.

Emergency Management Director Jeff Mayo said several calls were received from residents who heard a "large explosion sound" near county Road 369, off Mississippi 15 south.

Mayo said he did not know the cause of the sound.

One city resident reported to The Neshoba Democrat that she had heard sounds "like shotgun shots" near Road 505, also known as Deemer Road.

Many people posted on Facebook that they had heard a boom Thursday evening and questioned the source.

Sheriff Tommy Waddell said his office received several calls about the sound, but they were unable to determine the cause or location.

"Calls came in from Deemer, Good Hope, Linwood, that whole area," he said.

This is not the first time "booms" have been reported in the city.

On Jan. 13, 2013, several "loud booms or explosions" were reported in various parts of the city.

Residents in the areas of Robinhood Circle, Woodbriar Lane, Hospital Road, Byrd Avenue and Rea Street reported the booms.

Speculation at that time led some to ask if the Meridian Naval Air Station had been conducting night flights over Neshoba County.

However, NAS Public Affairs Officer Susan Junkins said the planes they use do not fly fast enough to create a sonic boom.

Police Chief Bill Cox said his office had not received any calls about booms, explosions or "shotgun shots" in the city.