Hunting tips

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Magungo1066

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Hello all. I have a hunting trip in a few months that will be my first flintlock hunt. I have hunted tons of small game with the flintlock so far, but have hunted all my big game with a modern rifle. What are some tips to carry into the field when you are flintlock hunting? Any tips, tricks, or "do nots" would be extremely helpful, especially tips on how to have your gun reliably ready in the woods when sitting hours in the deer stand. For reference all of my hunting is done in New England woods with dense vegetation that limits seeing distance. Thanks!
 

appalichian hunter

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Watch the weather, if wet I change the prime often too include wiping the pan and frizzen, also a well greased cows knee is a big help. Know your distances you are going too shoot and learn how too judge that distance ( a bit different than shooting on the range especially with a nice buck in your sights) follow through on the shot, re-load, shooting round ball check the last place the deer was when the shot was made, check for sign if not DRT, if the deer drops watch the deer and re-load (practice the re-load without taking your eyes off the deer) watch the direction the deer went sit down for half hour or so then follow the sign too the deer. also practice,practice,practice those shooting distances (know you distance limit and stick too it) just a few of the things I do. Pretty much the same as using a un-mentionable rifle. Good luck.
 

Brokennock

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Use your preseason squirrel hunting time as scouting and prep time. Make sure that great spot you found to sit, overlooking a bunch of sign, allows you to lift and maneuver a longrifle into shooting position.
Have a cow's knee handy.
Have a small tin or other tiny container of patchlube or similar that is about the consistency of chapstick to seal the pan in damp weather.
Folks are going to disagree with me on this but, I prime my pan then seal the edges with said product, if precipitating I then put the cow's knee on. Then I leave it alone, until I either shoot or it is time to empty the pan to put the gun back in the truck. I don't understand this business of "checking the prime" frequently. If it went dry into a dry pan and was then sealed,,,, it's dry. Every time the pan is opened is a chance for moisture to invade.
 

bud in pa

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Where I hunt, basically my back yard, in the Poconos the mountain laurel and blue berries are so thick that a herd of elephants beyond 50 yds. would be invisible. That's why I use a20 ga. smoothebore. that big fat ball tends to put them down and save me the trouble of crawling on my hands and knees through the mountain laurel to find the deer.
 

Stumpkiller

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New England Woods is my cup of meat.

Scout. Be where the deer are at the time of day you have available to hunt. Pay CLOSE attention to the wind. Deer trust their noses more than their eyes. Move upwind, or choose a stand/seat with the wind at your nose.

And on hillsides wind changes. It moves towards the sunlit side of a hill or saddle at dawn. May reverse at dusk.

Motion matters more than camo. A moving stump scares deer as much as a moving person.

Cover your lock with a waxed leather cape ("cow's knee") to keep rain, mist, snow or a tree "dump" off the lock and pan.

BE confident in your load and sighting. Practice, practice , practice. Never shoot past the range you have practiced.

Know when to take the shot . . . but do not wait for perfect. If you get an opportunity at the vitals . . . take it. Heart is good, but lungs broadside is the freezer filler.

Personally - I do not take head shots. Or neck shots. I go boiler room - lungs. If I also hit the heart - a bonus but I lose two meals of roast heart.
 

appalichian hunter

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No problem Brokennock, different ways of doing things. As stumpkiller said movemend and wind,scent control are your worst enemies at all ranges but especially at muzzle loader ranges, as stated I also am a heart,lung shooter, and use a big bore rifle .62 is your friend big hole lots of blood. I will miss this years early muzzle loader season (my favorite time too hunt deer) as I will be in Wyoming chasing mule deer (un-mentionable hunt) but the late muzzle loader season is just as good especially if there is a bit of snow on the ground. Only about two months too go and I will be chasing the deer.
 

Skychief

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I find that I see game at two ranges from me when hunting. It serves me well...

1-Close enough for a sure kill

2-Way too far

No in-betweens. Good luck to you.

Best regards, Skychief.
 

Brokennock

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I too am hunting the Connecticut/New England thick stuff of mountain laurel, hemlock, and beech sapling thickets, with some open hardwoods of oak, hickory, ash (what's left of it), cherry, and tulip poplar. And hunting with a smoothbore. I treat hunting this terrain with a smoothbore like slightly longer range bowhunting, from the ground.

I figured all that has been said about wind and movement to be a given. You have hunted deer before. This is just a closer range game. With some exceptions. I do have a piece of state property I hunt sometimes with several high tension power line cuts that have produced encounters with deer that would have been meat in the freezer with a modern rifle, but no chance with a flintlock smoothbore.

Do your homework, have fun, good luck.
 

Grimord

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It seems we New England deer hunters agree that a big bore works best for the thick cover we hunt in. I don't use a smooth bore, but do use a rifled .58 flint lock for my deer hunting in CT. I have found that the big hole generally puts the deer down fast, or at least leaves a blood trail that a child could follow. I pick my shots, as others have said, and so far 8 of the last 10 deer I have shot with the .58 have DRT. The two that didn't only went about 20 yards before piling up. good luck.
 

tenngun

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As said above never push your range. Ml is archery on steroids. Get close
When you take your shot stay put.
Do you smoke a pipe? Good time for a smoke. Take a chance to read war and peace or moby dick. Maybe check your blades edge and do some sharping.
Whatever stay in your spot at least ten or fifteen minutes, half an hour is good. It seems an eternity. Don’t rush.
Wipe your bore, make sure touch hole is open. Reload. Prime. Be very deliberate. I like to pretend I’m giving instruction to a newbie when I load in the field. You don’t want to dry ball now or forget to prime.
You minded which way deer went, if it wasn’t drt. But don’t walk in that direction. Walk to where the deer was when you shot then turn to where you last saw it.
You might find blood, you will find tracks. Watch the way ahead and you find your Bambi
 

bud in pa

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It seems we New England deer hunters agree that a big bore works best for the thick cover we hunt in.
The very first deer I witnessed being shot with a 20 ga./62 cal. smoothbore was shot by my buddy. he was in a tree stand about 15 feet above the ground. A decent sized doe walked under his stand about 5 feet from the tree he was in. At the shot, 80 gr. of 2f with a .600 diameter ball, the deer bolted. There was no blood so we started making circles. We found her almost 100 yds. away in the mountain laurel. The shot missed the spine and went through the lungs and out the chest, yet no blood leaked out. Still trying to figure that on out.
 

45man

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Other then keeping things dry from the outside, no one thinks of the water that seeps past the barrel and gets into the pan. Remove your barrel and slop a good paste wax in the channel, seat the barrel in the wax and polish what squeezes out.
NEVER wear dark camo, you want lighter colors. ASAT or such. I have used snow camo in tree stands with all the leaves still on. They will not see you. Make yourself look like the sky. And yes, snow camo works on the ground too. A deer knows everything in his living room, can't move the couch.
 

Brokennock

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Other then keeping things dry from the outside, no one thinks of the water that seeps past the barrel and gets into the pan. Remove your barrel and slop a good paste wax in the channel, seat the barrel in the wax and polish what squeezes out.
NEVER wear dark camo, you want lighter colors. ASAT or such. I have used snow camo in tree stands with all the leaves still on. They will not see you. Make yourself look like the sky. And yes, snow camo works on the ground too. A deer knows everything in his living room, can't move the couch.
We get to, "wear 400 square inches of blaze orange visible from all sides above the waist, blaze camo is allowed."
Even when trying to stay period correct :mad:
Honestly, I've shot deer with my longbow from a treestand wearing a tobacco plaid wool shirt and green pants. I mostly wear camo to stay hidden from other people in the woods moreso than from deer. But, I agree with you that open light colored patterns are better for deer hunting. Being a dark blob at a distance isn't helpful.
 

Sidney Smith

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Bring a spare ramrod or use an unbreakable rod.

Two years ago I snapped about 6 inches of the tip off my wooden ramrod off while loading my flintlock at my truck. Lucky I had already seated the ball and was just giving it an extra shove to make sure it was seated firmly when the rod broke. I was able to fish out the rest of the rod, as enough was sticking out of the muzzle to get a pair of pliers around. After that day, I always load the first shot at my truck with my range rod. I take my chances with the wooden rod when at my stand, but at least in that case I have that first shot safely down the pipe. . I do like using period correct rods while hunting, but am not going to chance ruining a hunt again before it starts, with a broken ramrod.
 
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Grimord

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I have started to carry a shotgun ram rod, that is sectioned in 3 parts that screw together, in my hunting day pack. I once had the ram rod in my rifle slip out about 6" and catch in some brush that broke it. I now make sure my ram rod stays secure in the thimbles by tying a piece of flattened leather thong in one of the thimbles. It keeps the rod from slipping out, but can still be pulled from the thimbles easily. The sectioned rod is a back-up, just in case. I hunt pretty far from my vehicle, so going back is out of the question.
 

45man

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We get to, "wear 400 square inches of blaze orange visible from all sides above the waist, blaze camo is allowed."
Even when trying to stay period correct :mad:
Honestly, I've shot deer with my longbow from a treestand wearing a tobacco plaid wool shirt and green pants. I mostly wear camo to stay hidden from other people in the woods moreso than from deer. But, I agree with you that open light colored patterns are better for deer hunting. Being a dark blob at a distance isn't helpful.
Without a doubt, blaze orange is the best camo, deer do not see well in the red spectrum so I think blaze looks white to them, like the sky.
 

Loja man

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So I don’t hunt with flint but I do with cap and ball. I will add a tip on scent. Buy a bee smoker that bee keepers use. Before getting dressed and heading out smoke yourself and all your gear.
 

Loyalist Dave

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For reference all of my hunting is done in New England woods with dense vegetation that limits seeing distance. Thanks!
A lot of my hunting is done on what were farms in the 1960's but the forest has reclaimed a lot of the once open areas.

So in addition to the movement precautions and knowing the wind direction, here's a few since you will be so close.

I hunt from a ground blind area. I don't do tree stands. So I use a large tree or two moderate trees to break up my outline, and I scrape down to bare ground where I will stand. This puts a fresh "loam" scent up to help cover mine up, and gives me nice quiet ground to shift my feet upon. The tree trunk becomes part of my steadying position when I go to take a shot.

Work on keeping your lock dry, and so hunt when it's a very light drizzle as well as dry. A little moisture from the sky knocks down your scent, and get the deer cold. They have only one way to heat, that's eating and moving. So a little dampness is colder to them. Very cold and without wind is good too. Too much wind with cold makes them harbor-up in super thick brush.

IF near to public areas, or farms with a lot of hunters, hunt all day. Especially if you go out when guys with modern guns are about, and if it's a weekday. Go out before light and stay put, and around 11:00 the half-day hunters will move to leave. So will the ones that think that deer don't move during midday..., they will leave to get a hot lunch and tell each other lies at the local diner. The deer will hear all the hunters arrive before light and the deer will freeze in place. At around midday the deer will hear a bunch of people leave, but they can't count so they won't know that you are still in place. ;) The human scent dies down, and they are getting hungry and are cold so they will wait about an hour and then try to creep around. I've gotten a lot of deer between noon and 3 pm.


LD
 

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