Deer hunting with muzzle loader surprisingly low in USA

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by tracer, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. tracer

    tracer New Member

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    Location:
    Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
    I saw Kip Adam's seminar video from the 2017 ATA show, on the QDMA Whitetails Report and
    one of the stats that stood out for me was that only 6-10% of all deer hunters in the USA, used
    a muzzle loader to hunt deer in 2016. I thought that number would have been at lot higher.
    Thoughts ?
     
  2. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    I am willing to bet it is and their stats aren't much more accurate than most of our states.I know in Kansas I haven't even been surveyed yet
     
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  3. Turkey Creek

    Turkey Creek Well-Known Member

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    I dont know how accurate their stats are either, but I would say it is a fairly accurate number in our state. We need to put our muzzleloader season in September like KS does if we want it to be utilized more. Our muzzleloader season is in December, long after most deer hunters have called it quits for the year.
     
    big L likes this.
  4. dogdoc

    dogdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I bet it is higher than that in Oklahoma
     
  5. KDdid

    KDdid Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Interesting. I'm wondering if it used to be higher, but has eroded with liberalization of antlerless tags and the general expansion of regular firearms seasons.
     
  6. MK111

    MK111 Member

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    Ohio ML season is the 2nd week of January. Dumbest thing ever.
    Still took 15,800 in 2016-17 season.
    Took 12,500 in 2015-16 season.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
    big L likes this.
  7. Gravel Road

    Gravel Road Active Member

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    Location:
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    Trade you... I can't stand the KS September season when it's a 100º.
     
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  8. Rickey

    Rickey Active Member

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    Location:
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    With the lower half of the state having a use whatever you want season, the amount of MLs used is low. In the upstate we still only have a few amount of Ml hunters. Last year I never took mine out. I wanted to bowhunt. My hunt club has 4 ML hunters including me out of 26. Our ML season is the first week of October. Awesome time to be in a stand with a smoke pole.
     
    big L likes this.
  9. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Sounds about right. We took 112000 deer, down 25% in rifle, and 28000 with bow/crossbow which was down also, and only 5000 with ML which was down from 6000. Most hunters hunt their early bow, early doe, then 2 weeks rifle and pretty well done with their efforts. Most hunters I know are not as diehard as the ones on this forum. And with concurrent doe season with buck rifle, and the early doe seasons, most hunters get their venison before ML season kicks in.
     
  10. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I'm having a custom, smokeless ML built, and I won't need a modern rifle anymore. It will shoot a 275 grain, 45 caliber, aerodynamic hunting bullet at 3,000 FPS and cut a ragged hole at 100 YDS. No sabots, no scrubbing, no faulty ignition.... Could possibly have it in my hands by October. Don't ask me how much it costs, because I won't tell you....;)

    No, the Tikkas aren't for sale.:D I still have a purpose for them too. But, will probably use the ML during rifle season as well - at least for a few years until I wear the new off of it.

    Primary purpose of this ML will be to doe hunt in the 2 day October ML season on a small farm my father owns about two miles from my place. Unmanaged for deer but has a huntable population and a setup with shots out to 400 yards in numerous directions. Then during gun season - back to my place to hunt mature bucks.

    I can also use the ML during our December ML season if desired, but it is uncommon for us to still be hunting by that time, since we usually have all the deer we want.
     
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  11. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Part of what influences that is the timing of many of those seasons.

    My state for example doesn't allow muzzleloaders to be used until our general firearms season which starts roughly in mid november......this also includes the use of certain centerfire rifles and slug shotguns......so many hunters prefer the other options over a one-and-done sort of weapon. Our muzzleloader ONLY season doesn't start until December......most hunters here are done for the season by then (because it comes after our general firearms season). December weather here also tends to not favor muzzleloader hunting with either wet or cold conditions. Our muzzleloader only season also requires yet additional tags as well as (or at least they did).

    So how your state chooses to use that particular weapon selection I think has an impact as well.

    The reason I went with a muzzleloader early on was that it doubled my hunting days in the woods back when I was struggling to harvest ANY deer.
     
    big L likes this.
  12. Kabic

    Kabic Active Member

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    Location:
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    I agree that this stat must be muzzle loader only seasons, who know how many deer are killed with a muzzle loader during the normal gun season. The southern part of Wisconsin used to get a lot of muzzle loader use during the normal gun season when it was shotgun\muzzle loader only. Now that a lot of that area can use rifles I'm sure the use has dropped off a little.
     
  13. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    That sounds cool. Does it just use a bullet like the ML hornadys with the grooves for lube? Are you using powder or pellots? Keep us posted. I use my ML in most gun seasons except this past year. One of my favorite weapons but really like comparing bows and crossbows, just not the same weapon as old school. I've shot my inline at the range at nearly 300 yds with no problem in accuracy, if you know the holdover for your load.
    Certainly the17-1800 plainsmen shot buffalo at 1000 yds. Pretty amazing what they accomplished with those weapons. I think PA still requires a flintlock and no scope as we used to. Technology such a blessing and a curse.
    Even our bow season that now allows crossbow takes a third of what rifle does in buck and doe seasons.
     
  14. Kshunter50

    Kshunter50 New Member

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    +1 on that got eaten up with chiggers!
     
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  15. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    dogghr, It will shoot any 45 caliber bullet, but the builder had me to go ahead and order some specific custom made bullets that he likes for both accuracy and expansion on deer. I will be shooting smokeless powder - IMR 4198 - probably around 76 grains. The gun is rated for smokeless powder and he has worked with a major match barrel company in the development. The bullet can be pushed in the bore with your pinkie, and it takes no pressure to move it down and seat it. That can be done with two fingers pushing on the ramrod. When the gun fires, the back of the bullet expands enough to form a tight seal.

    He is only building 4 this year. He is a perfectionist - a one man show, and he does all of the building and testing by himself. I will post up some information when I get mine.
     
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  16. MK111

    MK111 Member

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    I also shoot a smokeless ML. I started with a factory TC Encore 45-70 barrel. Had the chamber area threaded for a Savage smokeless high pressure breach plug. Shoot Reloader 7 with a N110 buster load. Loaded with 40 caliber sabots and Hornady 40 caliber plastic tip ML bullets.
    Taken 4 shots and harvested 4 deer.
    I sold off all my ML rifles and pistols I shot for over 45 yrs. With smokeless there is no worry of rusting after shooting. Clean up is as with any smokeless centerfire rifle.
    I even built up a 2nd TC Encore the same way in smokeless for the grandsons to use.

    FYI in Ohio the harvest weapon is checked on the harvest check in reply. So a accurate ML harvest records are available.
    The ML harvest numbers haven't changed much after Ohio got straight wall rounds in rifles the past 3 yrs. For sure didn't go down.
     
  17. E_308

    E_308 Well-Known Member

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    A 275 g bullet at 3000 fps = you will definitely know when it goes off! Have a muzzle break of some sort? You are basically going to have a light bullet 458 win mag. You have my attention!

    I got my Knight disc extreme out for a day this year but got skunked. Like some others have said MO ML season is after rifle season so the deer are so ramped up it is hard to hunt. That and I am too skinny for the cold anymore!
     
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  18. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Muzzle break is an option but I chose to go without it. I could regret that, but with a 30 inch heavy barrel and a heavy laminated tactical wood stock, I felt the recoil and sound would be manageable. When we are hunting with it I will have a portable folding bench and sandbags to shoot it with - either from the ground (at my father's place) or an elevated blind (at my place).

    LOL on the cold weather - freezes my skinny hind end off too!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
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  19. bugeye

    bugeye New Member

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    Ideally the hearing protection act will pass,or pay the $300, and you can shoot them smokeless,suppressed with an anchor brake.
    Almost no worries about recoil then.
     
  20. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    I hope they don't do that. My friends out there that do muzzleloader hunt love the December hunt. Solitude and nobody riding the roads. Been tempted to go back and try it one year.
     

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