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My First Hunt With A Flintlock

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YJake

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In large part due to the great wealth of information available within this forum, I decided to build a Kibler Colonial rifle in .54 earlier this year as a Covid project. I had built several kits guns before so things went smoothly, I was very impressed with the quality of the parts and finished firearm.

I spent plenty of time developing a load for the rifle since early summer. The rifle will stack round balls on top of each other at 50 yards and shoot a group the size of my hand at 80 yards, so I zeroed it at 75 and the groupings have been very consistent.
E734D87E-0F3C-4E89-86C4-581C405AC2C5.jpeg


Fast forward to this month. I’ve always wanted to do a traditional hunt with a Flintlock rifle using a patched round ball and after finishing this rifle I knew it was time to try it. I decided to hunt a piece of swampland in Florida that I’ve been hunting off and on for 15 years. The property provides a corridor for deer to travel between bedding and feeding areas, so I’ve had success still hunting the game trails in the past.

I climbed a tall palm tree to about 15 feet along one of the game trails where I found fresh tracks. I placed the rifle into a canvass sock case to avoid damaging it and pulled it into the tree with me at about 5:30a.

The mosquitoes were atrocious. It was mid November and 68°. I had to have killed hundreds attacking me before the sun finally rose that morning and they went elsewhere. The sounds of hawks and water birds filled the air. I was 30 yards from a pond that was coming to life with the sound of fish feeding, and an assortment of water birds diving into the water to feed on the fish making a racket.

Around 7:00a a donkey on a piece of neighboring property began making A LOT of noise. I looked to my left and observed a young doe stopped near the property line in a foot of swamp water. She was looking directly at me with her ears aimed towards me at about 80 to 90 yards away. I quickly realized the donkey was making all of that noise behind me, and the doe probably thought it was me. I cocked my rifle and slowly began to raise it in her direction, but she was already on edge and bolted before I could index the brass front sight on her.

At about 8:00a the sun was completely up and it was beginning to warm up considerably. Directly in front of me I saw several pairs of deer legs in the brush, moving slowly in my direction. Before the deer or I had a clear line of sight to each other, I cocked the rifle and brought it to my shoulder in preparation. I counted a total of 3 doe, two slightly larger than the third. With my rifle at the ready, my arms felt as if the deer moved closer as slow as molasses. The largest doe was behind a small water oak with many branches, obscuring most of her and keeping me from making a clean shot. Despite the weight of the rifle and the elapsed time, I continued to wait at the ready for the doe to move from behind cover.

My patience was rewarded, she stepped from behind the water oak into the open facing me. I centered the front sight on her chest, directly between her front legs at the base of her neck. I took a deep breath and upon exhaling I pulled the trigger. The well tuned lock returned an ignition that seemed instantaneous. The doe jumped and turned to the left, thrashing back into the swamp. Upon entering a wood line about 50 yards from where I took the shot, I heard a loud crash and a splash of water.

I reloaded the rifle while in the tree in case the other two deer decided to return. The smoke from my shot hung low in the dense, humid air and would not disperse. After reloading and waiting a bit, I climbed out of the palm tree back into the swamp. I walked toward where the deer had been standing when I took my shot and found my patch resting upon the soft swamp mud. There was a large area of blood at the base of a pair of hoof prints upon the soft mud where the deer had been standing when hit. The blood trail was about a foot wide and continued non stop for 50 yards toward the wood line with several obvious places where the deer had stumbled. Upon entering the wood line, I saw the white underbelly of the deer laying half submerged in the swamp water between several saw palmetto.

Upon pulling the deer to a dry place at the base of a pine tree I thanked the animal for the meat it would provide me before I began to gut and process the animal with my trade knife. While processing the deer I observed the entrance wound directly between the front shoulders at the base of the neck exactly where I had placed the brass front sight. The sternum bones were shattered and the whole top of the heart was destroyed. The ball continued through the body tearing through many other organs and attempted to exit through the rear right of the rib cage. The ball stopped prior to exiting the skin, but I was unable to recover the ball while processing. The damage to the heart was consistent with the exceptional blood trail.

The top of the heart.
1F12E9BD-30D6-4D45-AEC1-131A0F8321DA.jpeg


I take all of the meat from my hunts. The good stuff is cut into steaks and marinated, the rest is ground up for sausage and jerky. I cut some tenderloin up when I got back to the house and made a quick breakfast.
B8582093-68F1-4568-9DA1-47FFE8530C48.jpeg


If you have read all of this, thank you. It was truly an amazing experience to hunt and harvest an animal with a rifle I put so much time and effort into building and learning to shoot proficiently.

-Jake
 
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YJake

36 Cl.
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
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Thanks everybody. It was a great experience and I’m thinking about planning other hunts in the future. I may even try the same swamp and try to attract a buck with as much doe traffic as I had in that area.

The jerky turned out very well.
9DB1BB65-A653-471C-832A-B2120F19557E.jpeg


-Jake
 

kemart17

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Apr 5, 2015
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In large part due to the great wealth of information available within this forum, I decided to build a Kibler Colonial rifle in .54 earlier this year as a Covid project. I had built several kits guns before so things went smoothly, I was very impressed with the quality of the parts and finished firearm.

I spent plenty of time developing a load for the rifle since early summer. The rifle will stack round balls on top of each other at 50 yards and shoot a group the size of my hand at 80 yards, so I zeroed it at 75 and the groupings have been very consistent.
View attachment 52264

Fast forward to this month. I’ve always wanted to do a traditional hunt with a Flintlock rifle using a patched round ball and after finishing this rifle I knew it was time to try it. I decided to hunt a piece of swampland in Florida that I’ve been hunting off and on for 15 years. The property provides a corridor for deer to travel between bedding and feeding areas, so I’ve had success still hunting the game trails in the past.

I climbed a tall palm tree to about 15 feet along one of the game trails where I found fresh tracks. I placed the rifle into a canvass sock case to avoid damaging it and pulled it into the tree with me at about 5:30a.

The mosquitoes were atrocious. It was mid November and 68°. I had to have killed hundreds attacking me before the sun finally rose that morning and they went elsewhere. The sounds of hawks and water birds filled the air. I was 30 yards from a pond that was coming to life with the sound of fish feeding, and an assortment of water birds diving into the water to feed on the fish making a racket.

Around 7:00a a donkey on a piece of neighboring property began making A LOT of noise. I looked to my left and observed a young doe stopped near the property line in a foot of swamp water. She was looking directly at me with her ears aimed towards me at about 80 to 90 yards away. I quickly realized the donkey was making all of that noise behind me, and the doe probably thought it was me. I cocked my rifle and slowly began to raise it in her direction, but she was already on edge and bolted before I could index the brass front sight on her.

At about 8:00a the sun was completely up and it was beginning to warm up considerably. Directly in front of me I saw several pairs of deer legs in the brush, moving slowly in my direction. Before the deer or I had a clear line of sight to each other, I cocked the rifle and brought it to my shoulder in preparation. I counted a total of 3 doe, two slightly larger than the third. With my rifle at the ready, my arms felt as if the deer moved closer as slow as molasses. The largest doe was behind a small water oak with many branches, obscuring most of her and keeping me from making a clean shot. Despite the weight of the rifle and the elapsed time, I continued to wait at the ready for the doe to move from behind cover.

My patience was rewarded, she stepped from behind the water oak into the open facing me. I centered the front sight on her chest, directly between her front legs at the base of her neck. I took a deep breath and upon exhaling I pulled the trigger. The well tuned lock returned an ignition that seemed instantaneous. The doe jumped and turned to the left, thrashing back into the swamp. Upon entering a wood line about 50 yards from where I took the shot, I heard a loud crash and a splash of water.

I reloaded the rifle while in the tree in case the other two deer decided to return. The smoke from my shot hung low in the dense, humid air and would not disperse. After reloading and waiting a bit, I climbed out of the palm tree back into the swamp. I walked toward where the deer had been standing when I took my shot and found my patch resting upon the soft swamp mud. There was a large area of blood at the base of a pair of hoof prints upon the soft mud where the deer had been standing when hit. The blood trail was about a foot wide and continued non stop for 50 yards toward the wood line with several obvious places where the deer had stumbled. Upon entering the wood line, I saw the white underbelly of the deer laying half submerged in the swamp water between several saw palmetto.

Upon pulling the deer to a dry place at the base of a pine tree I thanked the animal for the meat it would provide me before I began to gut and process the animal with my trade knife. While processing the deer I observed the entrance wound directly between the front shoulders at the base of the neck exactly where I had placed the brass front sight. The sternum bones were shattered and the whole top of the heart was destroyed. The ball continued through the body tearing through many other organs and attempted to exit through the rear right of the rib cage. The ball stopped prior to exiting the skin, but I was unable to recover the ball while processing. The damage to the heart was consistent with the exceptional blood trail.

The top of the heart.
View attachment 52265

I take all of the meat from my hunts. The good stuff is cut into steaks and marinated, the rest is ground up for sausage and jerky. I cut some tenderloin up when I got back to the house and made a quick breakfast.
View attachment 52266

If you have read all of this, thank you. It was truly an amazing experience to hunt and harvest an animal with a rifle I put so much time and effort into building and learning to shoot proficiently.

-Jake
thanks for sharing your adventure. well told and great job all around.
 
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