First Flinter Whitetail

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
4,491
Reaction score
1,987
Location
On the Mississippi in SE Minnesota
My hunt this year began with the completion in March of my first-ever build, a .62 cal Jaeger constructed from a Track’s kit. This would also be my first flintlock rifle and the goal was to take a whitetailed deer with it come the fall, my first big-game animal with a flinter.

20130308FullRightSide_zps4f5f7d89.jpg


In addition to the rifle, I made a few other accouterments for the hunt:

I learned to cast my own round balls. Those pictured are .610 and weigh in at 345 grains. I made my own patching from denim lubed with a ballistol/water mix. Antler items I created included a quick-loader which can hold up to 120 grs, a pan brush, a pan charger, a 100 gr measure, and a short-starter.


2013 17 by mdheaser

My hunting knife would be one built by a friend of mine who does blacksmithing. The blade was forged from a ”˜69 GTO coil spring that is fit into a curly maple handle. This knife sharpens up well and holds an edge. I’ve had it several years and it will serve me for the rest of my life and then get passed on.


2013 18 by mdheaser

After shooting over 300 rounds during the summer, I settled in on 100 grs of 2F KIK, a .610 ball, .025 denim lubed with ballistol and water (dried). Here’s an example of a 75 yard target with this load:


DSCN0369 by mdheaser

Two years ago I was fortunate to be invited to join seven other individuals on an 807 acre lease. I had never leased before, always hunting public or “open” private lands. The hunting on this piece of property is phenomenal, to say the least. We are trying to manage for larger bucks, so the goal is to only shoot bucks exceeding 150 B&C gross. The legal limit of does is also fair game to help manage the population. And we have some whoppers! One member shot one this year that was 218 pounds live weight!

The lease lies in hilly Southern Minnesota’s Fillmore County. It has a stream, ponds, approx 300 acres of crop land, and an old farm house to serve as a base-camp. The house is 8/10’s of a mile off the gravel road. An old dirt/grass field road serves as the driveway.

This view shows the beauty of our Southern MN hill country and the lease’s diverse habitat and terrain.


2013 14 by mdheaser

The first snow hit Sunday evening blanketing the now barren fields where only days before 300 acres of corn had stood.


2013 15 by mdheaser, on Flickr

The old farm house makes a comfortable camp. I bet those big pines could tell some stories!


2013 16 by mdheaser

While I have been bow hunting during the early season, the real hunt was slated for November 1 through the 17.”¦the Whitetail rut. The first week would be bow and the second, starting Nov 9, with the flintlock. This is a two-deer area. One antlerless deer can be taken on a “bonus” tag and one’s regular tag can be used for either a buck or doe. This part of the state is in it’s 4th year of a “4-point on one-side” buck restriction to try to increase the number of mature bucks in the zone. Of course with our own group’s significantly tighter restriction, that rule doesn’t impact us.

The first week with bow was about as good as it gets. I saw multiple bucks on every sit and passed many bucks that would make minimum Pope & Young. Here’s a few pictures of bucks that I passed at under 30 yards during this first week:

This buck was a big fork horn last year. This year his G2’s are nearly a foot long and he’s developed brows and G3’s.


2013 10 by mdheaser

You can’t really tell in this picture, but this buck is 14 points. He has three brow tines on one side, as well as some other abnormalities. Just think of what his potential is for next year”¦drop tine starting on the right beam!


2013 9 by mdheaser

“Uno” so named because last year he only had one brow tine, has tremendous spread again this year. He is, however, spindly and relatively short-tined. But he has great potential in another one or two years.


2013 5 by mdheaser


Eight-O’Clock 8, so named because he almost always showed up in the same food plot at 8PM during the summer, has the makings for a big eight in another year or two.


2013 1 by mdheaser

One buck that doesn’t make the 150” goal, but is on our list to take is this big fellow. Just like last year, we estimate he will easily dress over 200 pounds. But his rack is very sub-par for a buck of his age and size. Lots of tasty venison on this old boy!!! I had this one at 40 yards on opening day of bow season, but that’s just a bit too far for me, even though he is a huge target!


2013 12 by mdheaser

We literally have dozens of bucks like this on the property, but unfortunately this year, some of our larger bucks from last year have been unseen.

During the first week, while bow hunting, I had three very memorable incidents. The first was when Uno was chasing a doe around and just for fun I decided to see if I could get him away from the doe with a call. Well, I didn’t, but four other bucks literally charged into my stand! Two would have made P&Y, the other two a bit smaller, but not yearlings. They milled around a bit, looking for the doe they heard, then went on about their business.

On another night I donned my shaggy suit and sat on the ground in a likely looking spot. I saw several deer including a doe that walked by at 20 yards completely unaware of my presence. Then, just at dusk, a very respectable 10-point came walking up the logging road, which I was only about 5-feet off of. At 20 yards he turned broadside and stared downhill at another deer moving around. Then he continued until he was under 15 yards from me. At that point a gust of swirling wind took my scent to him and he decided it wasn’t a very good place to be! What a thrill! I knew when I first saw him coming that I wasn’t going to shoot this particular buck, though I believe he would have scored in the low 130’s. This took any “tension” out of the encounter and made for a great memory despite never pulling the string.

The third incident was what I called “the doe’s revenge.” As you all know, the bucks run the does ragged just before actual breeding begins. In this case I was watching two pretty nice bucks feeding about 80 yards away when out of the brush pops this nice doe. She proceeds to walk up behind one of the seemingly unaware bucks and promptly sticks her nose in his rear end! I don’t mean on the tail, I mean UNDER the tail! The startled buck jumped and looked back at her and she just turned and calmly walked away as if to say “There”¦how do you like it!!!!”

So this brings us to the opening of the gun season on November 9th. I chose a funnel area between two ridges and sat on the ground in my turkey chair up against a rock outcropping. As required by law I was wearing an orange vest and hat (minimum requirement). I can’t tell you how many bucks I saw that morning as they began to be chased around by neighboring hunters. Something over a dozen. Does and fawns coming by were constant and in one instance I almost got run over by one that came crashing over the rock outcropping. It was five hours of non-stop action. In one instance a small 8-pt was chasing a doe in a direction that I knew a neighboring landowner had a stand. Sure enough, about 10 seconds later I heard a shotgun roar and the 8-pointer was a goner. The old gentlemen is 70 and has hunted the same stand for over 20 years. I was happy for him! I didn’t want to shoot does in the morning as I was hoping that a mature buck would come through, but it didn’t happen.

I went back out for the afternoon hunt to the same area. About 4PM a group of does and fawns came working through the funnel and I figured it was way past the time to get that bonus tag filled! As the group worked toward me, the lead doe would occasionally check me out, but pass me off as just another large rock at the base of the outcropping. She was coming to my right side, so each time she passed behind a tree, I would shift a few more inches to my right to get ready for a shot. Finally, at 30 yards, she cleared the last trees and I already had the Jaeger’s sights settled low on her chest. The trigger was pulled and the flinter fired flawlessly as it had during 100’s of practice rounds. The herd of does burst into flight, and while the lead doe tried to keep up, she stopped after 60 yards, said her goodbyes, and dropped to the earth for her final sleep.

My goal of getting a whitetail with a flintlock rifle built by my own hands, accompanied by a few key hand-made accouterments was achieved. My first big-game kill with a flinter! My treasured knife was unsheathed and used for the field dressing chores. Thanks were given to the deer for her life, our Creator for the great day afield and good fortune, and my friend for the wonderful knife.


DSCN0376 by mdheaser


DSCN0380 by mdheaser[/url
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
1,671
Reaction score
613
Congratulations on your hunt! I don't have to tell you that its more satisfying taking a deer with a flinter, let alone the one YOU built. That's a beautiful rifle. :bow: Good luck on filling that 2nd tag. It sounds like you're in a honey hole for headgear. :thumbsup:
 

wvbuckbuster

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
981
Reaction score
53
Good for you! Last year was my first with a flinter I had made so I know how ya feel :thumbsup: Thanks for sharing and hope you get the big one as well. Dan.
 

roundball

Cannon
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
22,964
Reaction score
57
Congratulations for sure...sounds like what we called a successful project:
"Completed according to plan, on schedule, and within budget"
:hatsoff:
 

PJC

40 Cal.
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Messages
217
Reaction score
0
Great story and project.
I suggest that when you are enjoying some of that venison, that you prop the gun up in the corner to admire as you enjoy your well earned meal.

PJC
 

AWsaddles

40 Cal.
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
2
Congratulations. Great story. It's a wonderful feeling shooting a deer with a rifle you made using gear that you also crafted. Good luck on the rest of the hunt.
 

guylabou

32 Cal.
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Great story. Great Hunt. Congrats on the deer. I must say I am in envy of your well made gear. Good luck rest of season.
 

dbutch

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
2,187
Reaction score
4
Good Job Spike!..That Jaeger shoots as good as it looks too! :thumbsup:
Guy could get lost on 800 acres.
That snow looks inviting.
Thanks for sharing..Life is good!
 

Wes/Tex

Cannon
Joined
Jul 24, 2004
Messages
7,787
Reaction score
33
That's one excellent job and one nice deer. It'll taste all the better for what you've put into it. :hatsoff:
 

agill

50 Cal.
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
0
Congratulations and that is a beautiful rifle! Thanks for posting! :hatsoff:
 

Silex

40 Cal.
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
472
Reaction score
0
:hatsoff: Congratulations!

Since you used a Jäger I'm gonna say " Waidmannsheil" as well!

Very nice rifle and the story and pics are outstanding. Thank you for taking us along on your hunt.

Silex
 

don hepler

58 Cal.
Joined
Nov 19, 2010
Messages
2,260
Reaction score
4
Any deer shot with a flintlock, and I'm impressed. Congradulations, and thanks for the story.
 

Roguedog

45 Cal.
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
770
Reaction score
0
Sweet! What an accomplishment. Lifetime memories were made. You will never forget your first flintlock deer!
 

Bob J

62 Cal.
Joined
Oct 21, 2004
Messages
2,703
Reaction score
1
Very cool hunting story, Spikebuck. You have one beautiful .62 jeager flintlock and must be doubly proud having built it yourself :hatsoff: Thanks for posting the excellent photos, too!!
 

Latest posts

Top