Author: Tom G.
On Saturday December 10th we kicked off the 2nd edition of the Heritage Muzzle Loader season. Based on what we have seen in the gun department, lots of people are planning on getting out and giving this season a try. Since muzzle loading is new to so many folks we did our best to stock up on rifles and muzzle loading accessories prior to the season. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain enough product from our distributors to keep up with demand. Percussion caps were in especially short supply. By the time the season opened anything related to muzzle loading except for powder was gone from our shelves.
While talking with customers I have noted there seems to be a bit of confusion regarding what sort of guns are legal to use for this season. I have had multiple folks in the store and at least as many phone calls asking if their modern inline muzzle loader is good to go for the season.
Even more concerning are the folks who have been making plans to hunt with a modern muzzle loader without bothering to read the regulations or ask anyone the appropriate questions. If you are confused, come see us! To put it in the easiest terms the only guns that are legal to hunt with during this season are percussion cap or flint lock rifles using loose powder and lead (round ball, conical, etc.). Sabot projectiles, pre measured powder pellets, guns using 209 primers or an in line action are not allowed!
While I certainly do not want to tell anyone what to do, I would ask that if you are going to participate in the Heritage season please read the regulations, educate yourself regarding what type of guns are legal to use and get out and practice before taking afield. It would be a shame if we were to lose the season because folks are out hunting with guns that are not legal to use during this limited season.
This morning I had the opportunity to spend some time in the field with my good friend Robert who is a diehard muzzle loader guy. He was carrying a flintlock rifle that he built for himself years ago. Robert is so serious about muzzle loading that he took his bucks the past two years with this rifle during the general hunting season.
I was packing my Thompson Center 50 caliber Hawken rifle. We were out before first light and spent the best part of the morning sitting in the woods near the intersection of several heavily used game trails. Unfortunately the whitetails must have known we were coming because they all seemed to have detoured out of our area for the morning.
None the less we were treated to chirping squirrels, screeching ravens and an incredible sunrise. Fortunately Cori and I put plenty of deer in the freezer during the general season so there was no pressure to fill my 170 B tag. I was able to relax, reflect on how blessed I am to live here and enjoy the company of my great friend.