First Muzzle loader hunt

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45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Sep 16, 2020
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During my Sophomore year in high school (1973) I purchased a .45 caliber Dixie flintlock long rifle kit. It had a two piece stock, but it was all I could afford at the time. With the help of a neighbor and his shop tools, we threw it together quickly and it looked like it too, but it shot pretty well. That fall, I decided to try the black powder hunt which was in mid September - a good month and a half before the regular hunt. Back then, at least in my area of the country, there wasn't much competition and I was most likely the only person on the mountain. My older brother went with me to act as spotter. But I really think he only wanted to laugh at me when I failed. Besides, by going got him out of the that evenings chores associated with growing up on a cattle farm. After walking the woods for several hours, the sun was beginning to set, so we decided to head back to town. There was always tomorrow. Mark walked off to answer the call of nature and as I stood there waiting for him to return, glanced across my left shoulder and spotted a nice 3 point buck standing broadside at about 75-80 yards. Shaking like a dog passing razorblades, I leveled the gun and pulled the cock all the way back hoping my priming charge in the pan was still there. I don't remember pulling the trigger, but the gun went BOOM and when the smoke cleared, the deer was still standing there. Realizing I had prematurely pulled the shot due to nerves, I proceeded to reload. My hands didn't seem to want to move quickly enough. "Powder, patch, ball." I repeated in my mind. After what seemed like eternity, I pulled the gun to my shoulder and primed the pan. Taking a deep breath, I again lowered the gun and carefully squeezed the trigger. SWISH-BOOM! This time when the smoke cleared, I couldn't see anything. "Did I miss him?" I cussed my bad luck, or rather bad shooting. Then from off to my right, I heard my brother shout, "You got him, you got him!" When we arrived at the deer, he was just letting out his last breath. The .45 caliber ball went through his neck, cutting his breathing tube. Needless to say, it was way after dark before we arrived home as neither of us thought we'd be cleaning a deer.