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Smoke pole hunting; Hunting thoughts through the clouds
Topic Started: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:02 am (1,122 Views)
Shiloh
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What's this? I come over here finally from NAHC and find a blank-slate muzzleloading forum?! :-/

Well, let's start this thing up. I know somebody must have used them or have an interest in these fabulous weapons. The TN Muzzleloader season starts in a few short weeks. My CVA Hawken, after biding her time since last season is finally out and cleaned out and oiled up again to make sure she is ready for opening day. Last year and all this year I did not get much use from her due to (ahem) 'circumstances' so this year I'm going to dedicate myself once more to smokin' one.

There is something I find thrilling in the entire aspect of hunting with a traditional muzzleloader that I have never felt with archery or cartridge-guns. I'm not that into archery and while it is fun it just does not connect me to my forefathers like smokers. Even old cartridge guns lack that sense of connection to my past that I get when my muzzleloaders roar in the quiet woods.

My first deer shot with a muzzleloader was with a CVA Hawken .50" with a full-bore conical. It was on a large open piece of property in Triune, TN between the old rock chimney of a long-lost cabin and the overgrown graves of those that once lived in it. Creeping up the wooded hill on a gorgeous fall morning I felt the cool autumn chill and could barely hear my steps in the damp golden maple leaves. The woods were yellow with the maples all turned and the sun shining through the yellow canopy. Here and there brilliant blue peeked through from a cloudless sky above. Birds sang happily all around me. Then not far away I saw the movement of the leg of a whitetail. Squatting low and feeling my breathing and pulse begin to race I peered intently through the trunks and saw more deer casually moving around not too far away up near the graves' site. After a few short minutes, two does began chasing each other around, zig-zagging toward me. Still kneeling where I'd first stopped upon noticing the deer, I cocked the hammer and shoulderd the big brass buttplate to me in one fluid motion. The browned heavy octagonal barrel looked natural in the scene as I quickly aligned the silver blade front sight to the leading doe's shoulder and placed the scene into the browned buckhorn rear sight. The doe ran not 20 yds broadside to me not even noticing me and without hardly even thinking I squeezed the trigger, and the peaceful autmumn scene was disturbed by a thunderous boom that is much different in sound than the harsh crack of cartridge rifles. The white cloud obscured the doe from my view for an instant until she continued running past me on her original track, but now with bright red liquid pumping from just behind her shoulder.

I remember the scene like it just happened. I let her and the other deer scatter off, hearing them crashing through the woods. I heard her crash to the ground in dense underbrush about 30-40 yards away. Standing I recall shaking all over like few people but hunters ever really feel. The heft of the old rifle, a maple stock that has been oiled a pale blonde tone, with pale yellow brass fittings and the heavy octagonal brown barrel looked especially at home this morning as I looked it over, then walked to where I had shot the doe at to find a heavy bright frothy red trail on the golden leaves littering the floor. Following her final path was easy. The double 1/2" diameter hold bored through both lungs had left a trail like a red paint can had been sloshing as someone ran through the woods. She was not a very large doe, but I tell you that I felt more joy shooting that little TN doe than I have before or since. Since that day now nearly 20 years ago I have shot numerous deer with numerous weapons, but the traditional muzzleloaders still hold the top place in my heart.

I have worked on and shot all sorts of muzzleloaders over the years. But the traditional muzzleloader, especially the hunting-styles like Hawkens, PA/KY rifles, TN Iron Mountains, etc. feel "right" in a hunting situation and are just plain fun to shoot. They take some more skill and practice to master than the in-lines especially those that today come with prescribed loads. The traditionals are cheaper to shoot as well offering longer practice sessions before cost becomes a burden. And too, they kill just as reliably and just as dead as the in-lines at muzzleloader ranges.

So, as our seasons are opening, add your thoughts about the black powder hunts! Let's see what interest the old guns still have here.
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pitw

No interest.
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RHenshaw
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Welcome Shiloh, took you long enough.....



To Come To This Site that is....





Edited by RHenshaw, Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:18 pm.
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Shiloh
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Great moose and rifle! I hope to get a moose someday.
Yeah, that last NAHC "upgrade" just was too much for even me after all the past upgrades being willing to learn it and defend them to some extent. Don't like it now and so many old pards had migrated it wasn't worth it anymore.
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MRD
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Guess you might say I'll be cheating a bit tomorrow when our week of B.P. for doe starts . The early season lets you use any gun , and with them calling for rain I think I'll take my Knight rifle . I know it "will" fire in that stuff . After Christmas is flint lock only B.P. season . That has some of my most memorable hunts in my head .
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pitw

I never shot that moose but it sure makes a good pic. I actually shot this one 10 minutes before and a half mile East.
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Original muzzle loaders are one of my most enjoyable ways of wasting time. Shotguns are over looked by many and that truly is a shame.
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TWerth
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Departing in a few moment's to the blind as our two day early BP season starts today. But taking a thompson in line 50 cal today. Rain forcasted. Still like the old style cap an ball as it is much more of an accomplishment it seems to shoot something with. Just hate to clean them in my old age. well hell any of them. Welcome to the net Shiloh. Been a long time. Damn full moon. Hate to hunt with full moon. seems I never see much during that time. After this two day hunt it will not be long and TNT and I will be headed to Mo to 'SHOOT AT" some ducks.
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RHenshaw
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Good Luck tom, by the way don't you mean SHOOT AT SOME DUCKS? That's what TnT say's about you anyway!



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snider

Dang NOW I know Ol RHen need's Glasses Real BAD. But then again don't recall ANY one saying he could read that well anyway's sarcasm2 talktothehand e644583 e522682 sndly
Edited by snider, Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:06 am.
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rthomas4
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rthomas4
Shiloh, it's good to see you made it, even if Rhen did screw up the thread!
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Shiloh
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Just realized I will miss my opening muzzleloading weekend because of a marathon at Chickamauga that my new fiance' was entered into (by me) back in the spring, and I will be there cheering her along. Oh well, plenty of hunting time remaining until 2nd week of January.
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azslim

heading out the end of Dec for desert mule deer, will be using my CVA Optima and leaving the sidelocks in the safe, tentative plan now is to backpack into a wilderness area for a week. Probably be by myself, don't mind hunting alone just miss someone to bs with at night around the fire.
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RHenshaw
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I DID NOT SCREW UP THE THREAD, you must be thinking of someone else........





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TLC
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"Good Luck tom, by the way don't you mean SHOOT AT SOME DUCKS? That's what TnT say's about you anyway!"

what does this have to do with black powder hunting?
Edited by TLC, Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:22 am.
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pitw

Aww [L] now I gots to stay on track. Do they call it primitive arms season down there? They do here at camp Wainwright and most show up with guns that can easily hit their mark at 200+ yards. This do piss me off a mite.
If you are going to use a gun to shoot over 200+ then it should be a gun used to kill Yanks at a mile.
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RHenshaw
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Well if you read the last of Twerths thread he said, going to Mo. to shoot at some ducks, wanna barrow my glasses??????




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TWerth
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Well next BP hunt is in Dec. Always a lot of discussion on wether to leave a BP gun loaded for a long time or not. I alwasy either discharge the gun or open the breach and take out the powder and bullet. Clean the gun and store it for the couple months between seasons. But that is my preference. Know folks that leave em loaded and they seem to fire off too.
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Two-Tales
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well we got some good news from our DEP.... smoke poles can be used (as a lesser weapon) during the regular firearms season this year, which starts Nov, 20 thru Dec 10, then its ML until Dec 31....
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TWerth
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Well ok I guess that is good news, but what the hell, should have always been that way. Cannot see any reason they would not be allowed during the rifle season. Hey its a rifle.
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RHenshaw
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I believe they are allowed here during rifle season, but can only be used during BP season, but thats just commen sence.



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Two-Tales
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I agree should have been that way all along, but as you may have guessed, I am trapped in the United Socialist Republic of Connecticut...and we all know they know what's best for us....
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TWerth
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Yea, your govenment at work. interfearing with the lives of the people.

Here a smoke pole can be used during BP season and rifle season. Even a bow can be used during rifle season as I recall. Kind of silly. Can see baning some small calibars but that is all.
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Shiloh
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We can use them during "gun" season which is the center-fire gun season as well as archery. I typically load mine up for BP season and then use it each day throughout that season and the following gun season until I have used it on something. Then I move to a more modern gun and play with that a while until I shoot something and move to another just for variety I guess.
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RHenshaw
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Sounds like you got lots of guns to me.




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Dave N
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I've actually been leaving the shotgun at home for our firearm season and have been using my Pro Hunter .50 cal. exclusively. Easier to carry, lighter, more accurate, and just plain more fun knowing I only have the one shot. Been toying with the idea of carrying my Redhawk .44mag this year in case something comes in close enough. Would be cool to take one with a handgun. But my muzzleloader is my "baby" and it's a proven meat getter. If I fill enough tags I break out my .54 Renegade and try to kill one with it. No luck so far.
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TWerth
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Yea, I also like to switch off BP guns, We have a short two day season, may use cap and ball during that and then in Dec for the week long season use a modern BP or switch off. Like the cap and ball but found that the new type powder does not work too well in it for ignition. Have to put a speck of powder under the nipple for it to fire. And yea I have cleaned and scrubbed and all that. pyrodex seems to work better in it. Wanted to try a musket nipple/caps but could not find one around here to fit.
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Shiloh
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CCI caps are the hottest of the caps I believe. Going to musket caps is an option though you may need to have the cone seat drilled and taped for that size cone (not called a nipple, it is a cone. The nipple is the cap-seat of the cone) and you will find that none of the BP substitutes ignite as reliably or easily as real BP. Pyrodex does seem to be about as close as we can get to real BP as far as ignition performance. However, that stuff is incredibly corrossive so you HAVE to clean within a few hrs or suffer pitted metal. It is far more corrossive than real BP or any other subsitute I think. I did tests on Pyro vs Goex BP several yrs ago and was astonished at the speed and gusto that Pyro devoured barrel steel and how slowly the Goex did it. I still use Pyro some but know now to clean the gun that day without delay.
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Two-Tales
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I use 777 and CCI caps.. works just dandy in my side lock...also use a Hot Shot Nipple the hot shot seems to be the key to that... bought 10 of them for just a li'l bit of money... tried them out and have used them ever since...80 rounds down range in one day and not one miss fire.
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TWerth
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yea, I use 777 also. Have to look into the hot shot nipples. guess the cone thing may be too much trouble. have to look for some cci caps also.
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quailman
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Love me some Smokepole. Shiloh, great to see you on here.
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RHenshaw
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Bass Pro has CCI Caps, I use Black Powder in both my Muzzel Loaders, I think it works best and more dependable.



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Shiloh
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Finally dug through my stuff and got all I need to use my Hawken tomorrow. Have to locate my short starter but if I can't I can make do. Can't find my can of FFFg but lucky for me my gun likes 60 grs of it pushing a ball and as luck has it 60 grs is what I have in my reenacting blanks. So, just put a couple of those in a little baggie with caps and balls and I am ready to load.
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TWerth
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Well Deer season is over on Monday and I am headed to Arkansas on thursday. no smoke pole though, Browning A5 or a Rem Versa Max. Do not have a smoke pole shotgun.
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pitw

TWerth
Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:31 am
Do not have a smoke pole shotgun.
I could help you with that.
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TWerth
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Thanks, but as much as I miss I would be spending more time loading then anything else. lol.
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Shiloh
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Finally got to hunt a couple of late afternoon hrs this past Saturday. Took my Hawken out and hauled my boy out - again hoping against hope that he can finally sit quiet long enough to allow me a chance. 'Twas not to be the case - again. AFter 30 mins he was fidgetting and whining about being bored and cold and having to pee and anything else he could come up with that he figured woul convince me that he should be excused. Finally after maybe another half hour of dealing with that I just growled "git" and he bolted rough back toward the house. Finally I figured I might get some action at least and moved further down into the saddle nearer the known trail I was hunting as the light was fading. It was quiet and had that overcast gray look as the sun fast was sinking. You know that feeling you get for unexplained reasons when you just know you are not alone? Oh yea, I had it. I knew I was about to feel the presence...and then the "presence" announced itself - "Dad?" "Daaaddd?!" (WTF!?) I stood up and there was my boy, right back where we'd been earlier looking for me. As soon as he saw me he waved his arms and came running toward me. I said (in a non Ward Cleaver voice) "WHAT!?" He smiled big and said "I was wondering what was taking you so long?"

Needless to say it was a pretty quiet march back to the house. I will have to wait a couple more weeks, maybe T-giving morning before I get to try again and I will be alone for the rest of the season until I have meat on the ground. After that I can better tolerate the antics of monkey-boy.
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RHenshaw
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In a case like that, you do have someone there that can and if it was me, he would be carrying all my gear back to the house! But It Is Funny As Hell....




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TLC
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sorry Shi, but that's funny right there.
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TWerth
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Just is not going to happen. Young ones cannot sit still for very long. Attention span of about 8 min. Hell I hunt from an enclosed blind cause I cannot sit still either. Get bored, as well as having to shift positions to preclude pain. Give him a year or two. Good luck on the next hunt.
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Shiloh
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I do laugh about it after the fact. Two yrs ago just as I got settled along a trail that had heavy deer traffic with him, he stated he had to pee. I told him to hold it. That was not to be the case of course and so i eventually told him to walk off a ways and pee then come back. To my dismay as I looked to see where he was peeing, he was peeing ON THE TREE where the scent wick was hanging! Aargh!
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TWerth
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lol, now that is great, guess he did not like the sent wick smell.
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Still Alive

Gotta love kids and their antics :D Every time I started (or start) to lose it with the Kid about bonehead tactics in the back country, I think back to when my Dad would take me out. Puts things into perspective but doesn't stop that urge to throttle. ;)
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Shiloh
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Taking him bear hunting for the first time this year since my usual partner can't make it this year. Think he might end up tied to a tree to be bait.
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RHenshaw
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Don't forget to pour HONEY on his feet!




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TWerth
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14-22 dec. zone 3 ky black powder season.
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gutpile

What I find funny is those sabots designed with a post to fit the hole in the pellets. The holes are there to make sure the pellets ignite evenly.
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Still Alive

Back in the old days I rented the top part of an old house and a guy named Jim and his wife had the main floor. To this day I disclaim any blame for what happened. Jim had seen a few of my fire arms and thought it was pretty cool? neat? So he ran out and bought a black powder 50 cal and I think a 36. Another city boy came to see me when I was on the way to work and Jim was heading out to play with his guns. Sorry guys,gotta go to work. So they went out alone and stupid.
So what was relayed to me later was that Mike was handed the rifle (50 cal ) and fired. The first time he had ever fired a gun, stood with feet side by side, had no idea what recoil was. Rifle went flying off into the ditch, Mike ended up on his butt. Jim just looked and said " so that's what 160 grains will do."
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Shiloh
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Man, I couldn't BUY a friggin deer this year!:-( I rarely got out more than an hour or two at any time and the only thing I saw was a 3-legged yote one night right at dusk. There are tracks where I hunt but I never saw anything deer-like except I think I might have caught a glimpse of one sneaking through briars about 100 yds away for a split second one afternoon. I have a free-range Plott hound on my land that runs about 24/7 and that might be what changed this year and spooked my herd off my land except late-night passers-by. I saw plenty of deer along roads and fields all year even several in my neighborhood where I now live. Yes, I thought about whacking one of those and had I seen them in the wooded lot beside me I would have but I always saw them in other people's yards and didn't think it wise to poke a ball through one while the little lady or girl inside might be watching and admiring their visitor.

Oh well, still have some venison from years past so the only thing harmed by getting skunked is my hunting prowess.
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MRD
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Same here for me . Sat. is the last day for flintlock and they're calling for a warm up and rain . Kind of feel like I'll be just going out to clear the barrel for cleaning .
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