Muzzleloading

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Muzzleloading aka black powder and/or primitive weapons or what ever your game department calls hunting with the ole smoke pole although it is now far from being primitive with the in-line bolt action rifles, sabot bullets and 150 grain powder capacity with 200 yard shots and beyond fairly common.  I  limit myself to around 150 yards with the solid lead conical bullets and 100 grains of Triple Seven powder I now shoot.  The Leopold 50MM 3.5 x 10 Vari-X III scope sitting on top of an early Knight MK-85 stainless steel rig with wood thumb hole left hand stock and action is no doubt an over-kill for that short range but the light gathering capacity of a scope in this price range is excellent. 

The pictures of my hunting area in 2001 is on the main hunting page and for several years I had a tree stand of my own design and patent modified for "lock on limb" style of hunting about 22 feet off the ground with a silo type ladder going to the tree stand.  The tree stand was secured with stout chains and turn buckles since the water oak acorn tree in the middle of the field was at least 4 feet in diameter 20 feet off the ground or it seemed that large anyway.  I used lag bolts to secure the two 10 feet sections of telescopic ladder to the tree and had the ladder first rung about 18 inches or more off the ground. 

Many deer were harvested out of this tree stand mostly about 55 yards from the south end of the Bermuda grass/hay field in the edge of the wood line where a logging  road and opening terminates and I broadcast corn a few weeks before muzzle loading season came in and had plenty of deer checking on the feeding station.  Deer stayed at the edge of the cover but ventured out early and late to feed on the offering of corn but at risk for sure.

However, the last year I hunted from this tree stand was in 2000 and made a decision to move the tree stand across the pasture in the South West corner because the entire muzzle loading and regular rifle season the bucks stayed in the cover chasing hot does back and forth and rarely came out into the field.  Below thumbnail pixs and left pix is looking toward the South end of the pasture and the center pix looking toward the South West corner where my 2001 stand was placed....right pix looking to the North end of the pasture which is a good 400 yards away.  I had excellent concealment in this tree and a beautiful view of the pasture.

     

I relocated the tree stand and telescopic fixed ladders about 15 yards into the cover as mentioned above and things sometimes have a way of working in reverse.  With my point of aim on my muzzle loader around 125 to 150 yards I decided to move the point of aim to around 75 yards since I would be hunting mostly in fairly thick cover and would be able to cover part of the pasture to my left.  I had deer coming to my new feeding station a few weeks before opening muzzle loading day and could not keep corn there due to the heavy deer traffic.  Prior to 2001, we had several good years of acorn production from white, red and water oak trees and noticed in 2001 there were very few acorns on the ground and trees and this changed the feeding routine of the deer. 

Pix of view from my 2001 stand looking into the woods where my feeding station was located.

Silo type ladder....the 20 feet elevation is very compressed from this camera angle.

For some reason, I planned to do a little trophy hunting which is rare because I hunt for the freezer and harvest does or bucks when the season allows without regard to antler size, etc. and opening day had plenty of small does and fawns in my feeding area and the evening hunt saw several small deer and decided to harvest whatever came out right before dark which was on November 3, 2001 if memory is correct and it was a heavy bodied spike and the ole smoke pole did it's job.  I think at this time I decided to hold off for a larger buck since the "ice was broken" and would have some game meat in the freezer.

I was on stand the following Monday morning early and there was a heavy frost on the ground and the temperature was at or below freezing and noticed on my way to my stand which I had to walk about 500 yards from one end of the field to the other and stayed in the center of the field and cut straight across from the big oak tree island the Bermuda grass which was about a foot in height and trampled down with fresh deer dung noticeable.  Since I was hunting the woods in cover I did not pay too much attention to the field and saw a few small deer at my feeding area and the bucks were not active at all or at least in the woods anyway.  I think I hunted the next couple days without seeing a "shooter" buck and on Wednesday morning around 8ish I just happened to turn around and stretch a little and noticed a Monster buck deer to my left in the middle of the field walking toward a small oak tree that was at least 300 yards or more from my position and the tips of his tines were white as snow.  The buck walked to the small oak tree and turned around and went back across the field out of sight and never saw the buck again.  After that I started paying more attention to the pasture and saw several small bucks walking in the middle of the pasture at least 200 yards or more away and this continued through out the rest of the mid-morning and finally I saw a 10 point buck at least 18 inches inside walk from the other side of the pasture which was a good 300 yards and angled into the middle of the field to view another small buck.  I estimated the buck at 200 yards and figured if I held on his back line I should get a bullet into his rib cage and had a perfect rest position and squeezed a round off and the buck shuddered or trembled a little and then he turned around and went back in the direction he came from but cut across the small pond dam and jumped the barbwire fence and quickly disappeared from view.  I reloaded like a mad man possessed and put the double safety back on and and climbed down from the tree stand and stepped off the distance and it was around 200 yards and did not see any blood sign and saw the buck cut across the pond dam and noticed there was a bloody hoof track on the deer's left side which would have been correct since the deer was facing to the left.  I tracked the deer across the pond dam and into the woods and didn't go 35 yards when the buck sprang upward and angled to my right but there was too much cover for a clean shot.  It would not have done any good if I had an open shot since I still had the double safety in the on position and only released the bolt safety.....grin if you must.  I spent the rest of the morning looking for blood sign, etc. but the deer's wound had apparently closed up and did not bleed anymore from where he was bedded down. 

I decided to check the bullet drop of the muzzle loader at that distance and set a target up at 200 yards and the 160 grain solid lead bullet dropped 24 inches below the point of aim so if I made a steady shot which I believe I did, the bullet must have grazed the deer's left front leg.  I adjusted the rifle's point of aim for 125 yards and chalked this up to more experience!

I continued to watch deer the rest of the week, spikes, does, 6 and 8 point bucks all walking in the middle of the pasture or on the other side of the pasture around 250 to 300 yards out so guess my "game plan" wasn't working as planned but that is why they call it hunting.  My summation for the sudden change in the movement pattern was the deer were feeding heavily on the Bermuda grass in the pasture since the acorn crop did not produce this year and the bucks were cruising the pasture trying to pick up a hot trail/track. 

On November 9, 2001 I hunted the tree stand again and around 8:30 A.M. I saw a large buck walking very quickly from my left about 125 yards out going directly toward the large willow oak tree in the center/end of the pasture, however I did not have a clean shot due to other trees in my line of sight/fire and was hoping that we would pass between the oak tree and my position giving me the opportunity for a good shot, whereas the buck went behind the large oak tree and came out on the lower side and offered only a quick quartering away shot.  I put the scope cross hairs at the base of his neck and was aligned with his neck,  shoulder and rib cage area and the muzzle loader bellowed smoke as the Pyrdex was ignited by the CCI #11 cap and the buck made a quick about face and headed back in the direction he came from.  I saw the buck come out from behind the cover beyond the oak tree and he went about 40 yards and stopped and weaved a little and went down.  I quickly reloaded in record time and went to the downed buck.  The 160 grain solid lead conical bullet entered the deer's right ribcage centered around the last rib and lodged under the skin on the opposite side in the shoulder.  The bullet "cleaned his clock"  so to speak, a very quick and humane kill.  I stepped the distance off from my tree stand to where the deer was traveling behind the oak tree island and it was about 160 yards which was an excellent shot in anybody's book since the deer was on the move too! 

The buck was a typical 12 pointer but had 5 kickers over an inch long which included a split brow tine so I added them up for a 17 pointer....grin if you must.   As I stated earlier, I don't really trophy hunt so this was a good deer for me...he had good mass and at least 14 inches inside spread....not a monster like I had seen earlier but a good buck none the less.  Pixs below:

I think the ole boy field dress around 157 lbs. but can't be sure....I couldn't find any annotation as I usually write a brief short story but have lost a couple hard drives and computers since then and still don't have an auxiliary hard drive back-up...some of us have to learn the hard way I guess.  I do back up stuff more frequently to CD's now.

I mounted the horns on a plaque and think this buck was way past his prime and on the down hill side.  I do know he was some "beautimous" eating for sure.

I harvested another good buck with this same smoke pole in 1997 on the other side of the woods across from this field in heavy cover using a portable foot climber tree stand.  On opening muzzle loader morning I was on stand before daylight in a red oak tree about 35 feet off the ground watching a fresh scrape about 40 yards up wind from my position.  At around 7:30 A.M. I heard a deer approaching from behind me and to my right and the deer slowly walked within 20 yards and was in very thick cover not offering a shot and had a heavy 8 point rack with at least 16 to 18 inch inside spread with the sun just coming up on my left side and I slowly turned my head no more than a few degrees when all of a sudden the deer looked toward my position and went in reverse without ever taking his eyes off my location.  I was camouflaged from head to toe and the buck must have seen the sun reflection off my State Eye Plan prescription eye glasses.  I stayed on stand until around 10:00 A.M. and came down and the temperature was still below freezing and for our North Carolina area that is cold for us in November. 

I got back on stand that afternoon around 4:00 P.M. and hadn't been on stand but a few minutes when I heard a deer coming from my left grunting with every step he took.  I saw his antlers through the cover and he was circling my position to my left and going in front of me and I quickly scanned the area out in front of the buck and saw about a 2 foot opening which it looked like he would pass through and positioned the smoke pole on the spot and as soon as his chest entered the opening I touched the hair trigger on the MK-85.  The buck got in high gear and didn't see him any more but heard him crash a few seconds later straight in front of my stand about 60 yards out in thick cover.  I climbed the tree and reloaded and went to where I heard him crash and he was piled up and a heavy bodied 11 point mature buck with swollen neck and in full rut smelling form.  He was field dressed and I had a home made rig shaw type cart stashed in the wood nearby that had a horse shoe type telescopic handle used to pull the cart and and loaded him on the cart and wheeled him out.  I was at least 5 or 6 hundred yards from where the closest access point and didn't go but about a 100 yards before I had to stop and get rid of some of the extra clothes due to about to have a heat stroke from the thermal winter long johns that I had on.  I went maybe another 50 yards and the terrain was sloping and the rig shaw got off balance and flipped over rolling on top of myself and had to scramble to get out from underneath the heavy load.  I laughed out load and sheepishly looked around as if someone was observing what was taking place.  A Kodiak moment printed on the brain for sure!  I did have this ole boy mounted and we figured his live weight around 197 lbs. and after the hide, neck and legs he weighted in at 101 lbs. which is a large deer for this area.   Pix below:

We nick named this this buck  "Hole in the Horn" due the the hole in his left antler.  Muzzle loading is an awesome time to be in the woods and about the peak of our rut here in this part of the southern piedmont region of North Carolina and the deer are not yet spooked. 

Back before the sabots came onto the scene, I used traditional solid lead bullets and had good success with finding muzzle loader deer after being shot since the bullet placement was more or less like an archery kill unless a head shot presented itself.  When the sabots came out I switched over to the jacketed hollow point pistol bullets in both .44 and .45 caliber and lost several deer that were lung shot and the pistol bullets just did not expand enough with 90 to 100 grains of Pyrdex powder, therefore a good blood trail was non-existent because there was not an adequate exit hole.  As soon as I switched back to solid lead and/or hollow point bullets using the sabots I did not have any trouble finding deer because the solid soft lead bullet expanded and left a humongous exit hole.  I have had the pistol type bullets leave the same exit hole as the entry hole in deer and was lucky to find them in heavy cover because there just was not a good blood trail left to follow. 

Inserted below is pix of the exit hole in the rib cage of a large doe made using a Knight 260 grain hollow core .45 caliber bullet using an older type Modern Muzzle Loader Products black sabot, the ones they first came out with.  I think the overall sabot/bullet diameter was around .508 and would shoot an average of 1.25 inch groups at 100 yards ahead of 90 grains of Pyrdex powder.  As the ole cliché, "A picture is worth a thousand words."  In the below pix, the bullet hit a rib centered entering and also exiting which I am sure added a little extra explosion to the exit hole and this is probably the largest exit hole I have witnessed using the above bullet/sabot combination.

There is another deer hanging from ole "Tom Dula" in the back ground!

A friend of mine told me years ago that he was having the same trouble I was having until he went back to the solid hollow core soft lead bullets and stated he could put a hen's egg through the exit hole and I never doubted his word!  Can you say awesome?   Please note that I don't get any compensation from Knight endorsing their lead bullets or MMP sabots but I tell it like I see it.  I have used the Barnes solid copper bullets with sabots and they group the best of any bullets I have used but have the same trouble with bullet expansion and do not use them.  Soft lead will expand if your gun will group them well enough.  If I increase .002 thousands overall sabot/bullet diameter to .510 in my Knight rifle, the bullets will not stay within a 6 to 8 inch circle at 100 yards so finding the right sabot/bullet overall diameter for your gun is the key along with tweaking the powder charge.  The high compression sabot bullets available simply increase the thickness of the sabot which increases the pressure to increase the velocity and in my opinion a dud.  It reminds me of trying to re-invent the wheel again with the emphasis on speed as with archery manufacturers...speed does not kill, it is bullet or arrow placement.  Ok, done with the whining now and that's my story and I'm sticking to it! 

Above pix of a Knight 260 grain lead hollow core or hollow point bullet that was recovered from the neck of a deer shot through the head looking more or less straight down.......excellent bullet expansion!  I used 100 grains of Triple Seven powder.

Sometime around 1999 I harvested one of the largest bodied bucks from the same pasture platform tree stand that had one entire main beam broken off with only the brow tine remaining and the other side had the brow tine missing and still had 7 points showing. 
I grabbed hold of the remaining main beam and attempted to drag him out with one hand and could not move the buck and had to put my rifle down and drag him to the edge of the pasture and bring my ole truck back and hooked him to the trailer hitch and dragged him to the other end of the pasture and field dressed him.  I still had much trouble loading him onto the truck bed.  I should have taken a pix or two but that is the way it goes when you "hunt for the freezer."   The old buck had battle scars all over his neck and shoulder area from fighting other bucks.  Makes me wonder what kind of Monster buck  broke his main beam off!

I will insert a few thumbnail pixs of other deer harvested with the muzzle loader to prove that I hunt for the freezer...grin if you must! Before the digital camera age came on the scene, I rarely took any pixs of harvested game animals due to having to lug around an antique 1975 Nikon F2AS 35MM SLR camera and lenses.  It is so much easier now to take the little digital camera with a remote control and a small mini-tripod to get some pixs.

 

  

Most of my deer horns end up in my Deer Horn Stew Pot and a few others on knife handles.

Below pix of knives with a couple deer horn antlered handles.  The knife on the right is strictly for "caping" and skinning a deer using the antler tip to help separate the skin membrane and flesh from the hide, etc.  Both the antler handled knives were made from a Buck seven inch length bowie blade cut in half yielding two knife blades.  The Early vintage Buck "Duke" knife's handle was inlaid with Mother of Pearl and finger grooves cut into the handle.....slightly ahead of their regular production finger grooved knives.  I retired the ole Buck folding knife since over the years about 1/8 inch was ground from the blade rending it unsafe to carry in your pocket since the front portion of the blade would protrude slightly from inside the knife. 

If you think that is very bad, I camouflaged a real early Browning A5 Belgium light 12 gauge shotgun that had a special Mahogany stock and painted it with a 45 degree tiger stripe pattern and a vintage  Remington 700 BDL left hand .270 Win. caliber rifle.   It made sense to me since you are camouflaged head to toe and a bright gun or bow defeated the whole camouflage scheme of things and this was long before the manufacturers started offering guns and archery equipment camouflaged.    "Necessity is the Mother of Invention."   Bow hunters in the early 1970's were using effective camouflage military patterns such as the wood land and tiger stripe long before camouflage clothing was available and thought nothing of camouflage painting high dollar equipment.

Below pix of an antique Old Timer folding lock back knife that originally had an up sweep on the blade tip and I altered it to a drop point blade for William Jr., back when he was bowhunting with me in the late 1970's and decided to put it back into action.  The knife has a 3.5 inch cutting blade although the blade is closer to 4 inches in length and has a good patina on the blade.   I later gave Bill Jr. a Buck Vanguard knife that had field dressed many a deer and he has the knife with him in California where he and his family lives.  The Old Timer is easy to sharpen and keeps a pretty fair edge but it doesn't take too much contact with solid bone to dull it but at least it is easy to re-sharpen.  The Buck Vanguard retains an edge longer than the Old Timer but is a little harder to sharpen.

 

Bill aka Mickey Porter 08-19-08    

Following is a short story of my 2007 opening day muzzle loading hunt.

MUZZLELOADER HUNTING 2007

Our annual muzzle loader deer hunting season came in this year about a week early on November 3, 2007 of which is about a week shy the peak of the deer rutting activity in this area.  I have not seen any serious evidence of major rutting activity yet and stands to reason since I planned on hunting from the ridge line out back.  Inserted pix of the nine (9) point buck I harvested at around 0920 hours. 



This buck was actually hit twice by the same bullet.  I know what you are thinking so I will explain the best that I can.  This buck bolted through my feeding area which is about seventy (70) yards from my shooting position as if something was chasing him.  He did not offer an immediate shot and headed up the ridge on an old skidder road and about 125 yards out I gave out a loud vocal sound that sounds like:  ank, ank. 

Note:  Double click ank, ank   to hear a .mp3 sound that stopped the buck in his tracks offering me a shot through an opening between a couple trees. He was just about straight away with a slight angle.  At the crack of the rifle he headed up the ridge and was quickly out of sight and I thought I hear him fall but not sure. The shot felt ok and the cross hairs on the Leopold 3.5 x 10 was as steady as the laser technology used on the smart bombs even after three (3) cups of early morning coffee….well it was decaffeinated mind you!  After the smoke settled from the tremendous muzzle blast from the .50 caliber Knight MK-85 left hand muzzle loading rifle which is antiquated now but still gets the job done with the 260 grain solid lead bullet with a four pedal sabot and 90 grains of triple seven powder, I headed in the direction the buck had taken.

I felt confident that I had made a good hit and took my back pack with the little 3 inch blade knife and headed up the ridge.  I did not see any sign of a hit where I thought the deer was standing when I fired and continued up the ridge several yards and the bright crimson blood trail was heavy enough that a blind man could follow.  Blood was sprayed out on the bushes at least three (3) feet high and it did not take too long before I blood trailed him down. The buck went maybe seventy (70) yards after the fatal hit. The bullet entered just under the hide on the outside of his left hind quarter and went about an inch and came out and then entered the rib cage at the last rib and angled through the lungs and exited in front of the right front shoulder…can you saw awesome! 

If you look closely you can see the bullet hole in the outside of the left hind quarter and it continued in line entering the rib cage.  I was surprised that the 260 grain lead bullet exited the deer but it did not hit any major bone structure to slow the bullet down. The ole boy was quickly field dressed where he fell and the drag down the ridge line was very easy until I got to the branch and according to the County map is the start of Culpepper Creek which crosses the Anson Senior High road and feeds into Gould’s Fork which empties into Brown Creek which connects to the Pee Dee River above the 109 river bridge.  Well, so much for the geography lesson…how that came up is a mystery to me!  Below pix of deer hanging from a white oak tree outback I named "Tom Dula."

Inserted pix of the head to see the antler configuration which had quite a few “kickers”:



The deer was aged a few days and deboned and ground into burger with the back (loin) strap sliced and cubed and will be some “beautimous” eating.

Had better run for now; got a few days off this week to continue gun hunting and it has been a good productive season so far with my freezer getting fatter each week.

Later,

Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-12-07

MUZZLELOADER HUNTING 2008

Our annual muzzleloading season came in today November 8, 2008 for the Central region of North Carolina and the temperature at 0530 hours was 60 degrees.  This "heat wave" definitely tends to put a damper on the hunting but the rut was beginning to kick in so still had high hopes of taking  one for the freezer today whether a buck or doe.  I am not inclined to trophy hunt since the freezer is my main objective but maybe one of these days a monster buck will walk out before I take anything smaller. 

This hunting season has been plagued with all sorts of things that could go wrong.....check on the short story link titled Murphy's Law and it will set the pace for this season but all has not been lost.  I have had to really earn my deer this year but that adds to the challenge.

The transformation from bowhunting to muzzleloading seemed most awkward this year for some reason and got everything in order and didn't leave any crucial item out of my back pack or shirt pocket of which my shirt pocket usually has three or four speed loaders ready to go with a capper full of #11 caps and a bullet starter.  The #11 caps will let you know how antique my muzzleloading equipment is...go ahead and grin but the ole Knight MK85 Left hand Stainless Steel  with the laminated thumbhole stock has not let me down yet even in rainy weather.

I got on stand this morning around 0545 to 0600 hours which is a "guesstimate" since I didn't look at my watch and put out a couple vials of Tink's 69 and Pete Rickards lure about 30 yards from my stand.  The wind was real bad blowing mostly from the South to Southwest which is not the best wind direction for the stand I selected today but wanted to watch a cutover in addition to my regular feeding station.

At around 0634 hours it sounded like a small insurrection was taking place with all the shots being fired in my hearing range and several were about 1/4 mile away in a very good location.  I counted a total of 15 rounds fired before 0800 hours and was beginning to think I was on the wrong stand and about 30 minutes prior to this a hunter was sneaking his way around the edge of the cutover in full camouflage without any hunter orange on at all and it appeared he was carrying a regular deer rifle instead of a muzzleloader since the barrel looked to small and tapered.  I started to holler at the first class idiot  but elected to continue hunting and hopefully he didn't ruin my hunt.  It is an understatement that "There is simply no cure for stupid" referring to the above hunter walking in the woods during gun season without the benefit of hunter safety orange on his person.  I took a good mental picture of him through the Zeiss 7 x 42 armored binoculars and think I know who he is but will make a good ID before I mention his hunting on private land of which he doesn't have permission to hunt. 

At around 0808 I observed a good management buck as my buddies call them coming from my right at the edge of the cutover which is about 70 yards from my stand and he was trying to get locked in on the scent I had put out.  He just about committed to leave the cutover and come into the cover where the scent was at but elected to move on and I gave my usual ank, ank  sound and he stopped in his tracks.  I squeezed the trigger and smoke bellowed from my ole smoke pole even though I am using Triple 7 powder and he was gone from my field of view when the smoke cleared but I did hear him crashing through the woods to the left in the direction he was originally headed.  After lowering the smoke pole to the ground of which I didn't reload it or take it with me since I was sure of a good solid hit by the way he was crashing into things leaving the area.  I didn't see any sign of a hit where he was standing and went to the edge of the cutover where it meets the wood line which is very thick with undergrowth and immediately picked up a bright crimson blood trail that had air bubbles indicating a lung shot and he was spraying blood from both sides about waist high.  I followed the blood trail for about 150 yards or more and the blood was getting sparse and was beginning to doubt that I had made a good hit but finally walked up on him within about six feet because of the dense cover and he was down for the 10 count.   The bullet was high and a into the left shoulder and not bad for an offhand quick shot at 70 yards.  My muzzleloader is shooting about one inch high at 100 yards so will have to mentally remember to shoot a little low on closer shots.  Following pix of where he fell:

The undergrowth was so thick it was extremely difficult to drag him out.  He had 7 points showing and two were broken off with his neck swollen and smelled strong.  The buck was field dressed about where he fell since he was a good 200 yards from my stand location and the coyotes and foxes will consume the viscera overnight which is the norm around that hunting location.  The Knight hollow core 260 grain soft lead bullet expanded to about the size of a quarter upon exiting the deer and did some serious damage to one shoulder as well.  My smoke pole has the exit hole covered up on the below pix and had to do a little blood removal.

Needless to say I was "pooped" after dragging him out of the thicket.  The fall leaf color is beautiful this time of the year and a pleasure to be able to enjoy a portion of God's creation.  This buck will render some "beautimous" ground venison burger and cubed loin strap not the mention the two long medallions I call sweet meat or "tenderloins" on the inside next to the backbone which will be cut into one inch cubes, dipped in prepared mustard with a coating of seasoned flour, deep fried until golden brown and served with a toothpick as an appetizer.  It just doesn't get any better than this.  Not a wall hanger by a very long shot but some wonderful freezer meat.  I would just as soon had a large doe but "A bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush."  or should say a deer in the hand...go ahead and grin now.  To keep Murphy's Law alive, when I got ready to go hunting in the afternoon I could not locate my regular hunting glasses which is a pair that doesn't have the progressive prescription I normally use and you guessed it don't have a back up pair like them.  I remember changing the pair to my regular progressive glasses which has a little helper for the close up stuff needed for operating the digital camera when I set up the little tripod for a self-portrait.  I don't like the progressive lenses for hunting because you do not have much peripheral vision and have to move your head since just moving your eyes and not looking straight ahead will have objects slightly out of focus which is common to that type of lenses.  To make a long story short, my bride aka "Tweet" suggested that I get a flashlight and go back outside and look for the glasses in the dark which did work great even though the leaves are profusely falling from my deer hanging tree which I named Tom Dulley aka Tom Dula since it is a White Oak tree...remember the Kingston Trio song from the 1960's, "Hang down your head Tom Dulley"....It took about ten minutes but finally the flashlight got a reflection from the glasses and back in business again. 

Bill aka Mickey Porter 11-08-08

MUZZLELOADER HUNTING 2009

Muzzleloading 2009 season is now in it's 3rd hunting day and have seen only one deer on 11-09-09 at day break and could not tell if it was a buck or doe.  Weather conditions have not been ideal, way too hot, wrong wind direction, and now looking at about a three day soaking rain for the recent hurricane Ida,  but I believe the main reason for not seeing deer in the cutover is the adjacent track of land is now hunted pretty heavy by the new folks hunting of which the deer are cut off from my stand location.  Maybe a few deer will slip through the "dragnet" while the rut is underway and make their way in front of my stand location.  Below is pix of the view from my stand:

This stand has a very narrow window of opportunity affording a shot to harvest a deer and they travel close to the edge on this side of the cutover.  I try and get the odds in my favor by placing a few strategically placed scent vents at the edge of the cutover in a small tree which will attract and hold a deer long enough to touch a round off. 

I just found out this week that the new owners of the Knight rifles are going out of business and have had the ole Knight MK-85 left hand "smoke pole" since they came out with the Stainless Steel MK-85 version and it has never failed to fire while hunting.  I put one of their custom thumbhole stocks on there that they offered on their Grand American top of the line muzzleloader and have really enjoyed this muzzleloader.  It is a relic compared to the new guns that Thompson manufacturers but the ole gun is still going strong.  I don't know whether the Knight 260 grain lead bullets will still be available but I probably have about a ten year supply on hand if I don't shoot more than 5 or 6 rounds each season and that is about the way my luck goes.....find something that you really like and sooner or later it is no longer available but that is more or less due to progress I suppose!    11-10-09  Bill Porter

I did not harvest a deer during the 2009 muzzleloader season and it has been many, many years coming up empty during the first few days and week of muzzleloader hunting.  Hopefully, our regular gun season will be more productive which came in yesterday and did not see a single deer either and heard very few shots fired during the course of the day. 

Leaving on a positive note, I fired the ole smoke pole that was loaded 9 days ago and was out in some heavy rain and drizzle and think I will keep it in the stable for another season!

11-15-09 Bill aka Mickey Porter.

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