October 2022 Muzzleloading deer

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Daveboone

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New Yorks ML season opened on the 15th. Any ML qualifies (including scoped modern ML with modern propellants. I choose to stay with my traditional patch and ball, black powder charged Lyman GPR. Last year was my first dry year in ...over thirty years. Although it didnt bother me at all not to shoot a deer, we missed the venison.
I was very happy with this 4 point wandering by at last light. I took him at about 30 yards, but of course totally lost him in the smoke. I was sure of my shot, but other than some cut hair where he was standing, not a drop of blood....I did hear what I believed to be him falling.
I looked well after dark, but stopped when the rain got heavy. I was out at first light, and quickly found him about ten yards further than I was able to look. Happily, it was a good cold night (lower thirties). My shot was perfect, just behind the shoulder through the lungs. I promptly got him gutted and out of the woods, quartering him for butchering/wrapping at home. The meat was perfectly fine.
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hanshi

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I once similarly lost one right at dark. This was in Georgia one November when I hunted so very often. He came up hill toward me in the tall, thick weeds. It appeared he was standing broadside and his neck was turned in my direction. I took the usual shot and he ran. I went following his trail which showed quite a bit of blood. But it got dark on me and I couldn't see a thing and sadly left. In many places it wouldn't have mattered except on that November day it was near 80 and I was sweating even though I had dressed liightly.
Next morning was warm and I left at first light fully expecting to find him...spoiled. I continued on his trail and after a short walk I found him. It turned out he had been facing me almost straight on. The shot hit him in the front shoulder without meeting any bone. The bullet had raked him tangentially then traveling through and striking his hind quarter. He was a mess and it looked like his hindquarters had exploded. I did remove the antlers and everything else was spoiled.
 
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Nice little buck--probably going to taste great!

Similar thing happened to me a few years ago. Probably the biggest buck I ever shot, and I got him still hunting, too. Anyway I was on one shoulder of a ridge that I know really well, we saw each other at the same time, he jumped and ran. I knew from the terrain exactly where he would end up, so I circled around to the other side of the ridge and there he was, looking back towards where he last saw me. One shot at 30 yards, behind the shoulder. He turned and vanished. I looked until dark, but couldn't find him. I came back the next day and in the bright morning light I found the tiniest of blood trails. Turns out he went about 15 yards and fell into a big crack in the rocky ground. He was about 3-4 feet down, wedged in. I had a friend with me and we were able to muscle him out, but being trapped like that in the crack must have kept him warm too long even though it had been a cold night. Meat was totally spoiled. You're lucky yours was still good.
 

Daveboone

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I once similarly lost one right at dark. This was in Georgia one November when I hunted so very often. He came up hill toward me in the tall, thick weeds. It appeared he was standing broadside and his neck was turned in my direction. I took the usual shot and he ran. I went following his trail which showed quite a bit of blood. But it got dark on me and I couldn't see a thing and sadly left. In many places it wouldn't have mattered except on that November day it was near 80 and I was sweating even though I had dressed liightly.
Next morning was warm and I left at first light fully expecting to find him...spoiled. I continued on his trail and after a short walk I found him. It turned out he had been facing me almost straight on. The shot hit him in the front shoulder without meeting any bone. The bullet had raked him tangentially then traveling through and striking his hind quarter. He was a mess and it looked like his hindquarters had exploded. I did remove the antlers and everything else was spoiled.
I was pleasantly surprised he wasnt bloated. My shot hit to point of aim, but I didnt notice he was angling a bit towards me...the shot clipped the lungs, but then apparently somehow hit a corner of the stomach. Inside was messy, I wrote off the inside straps but thoroughtly washed/ cleaned the cavity, and the quarters/etc. were perfectly fine ( as the sampling cook up revealed to our taste test!).
 
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Small bucks are about as good as it gets for venison.

You guys are lucky to have an early ML season. In my state (CT) the season is after rifle/shotgun, not until Dec 9-31. The earliest deer season is Landowner, which I luckily qualify for, and that starts 11/1. This year I plan to hunt the first two weeks with my muzzle loader, if not the whole firearms season.
 
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Congratulations on the fine hunt...I have had to leave deer overnight many times...bow hunting...only 1 time have I had the meat spoil...I have often wondered about the blood trails with a muzzleloader ... I took a shot at a doe 2 years ago on the heavy foggy morning as it was starting to lift I felt good about the shot ... But when I went to where she was ...only found the leaves kicked up ... From where she took off no hair no blood..and of course I lost sight of her in the smoke and fogg
 

Daveboone

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Small bucks are about as good as it gets for venison.

You guys are lucky to have an early ML season. In my state (CT) the season is after rifle/shotgun, not until Dec 9-31. The earliest deer season is Landowner, which I luckily qualify for, and that starts 11/1. This year I plan to hunt the first two weeks with my muzzle loader, if not the whole firearms season.
We have a southern tier late ML season now, what they call the "Holiday Hunt", from xmas through new years. I would love to get out then, but dont have any place to do so. I hunt the northern tier (Tug HIll) region, which with the regular gun season runs through the first week end of December, which almost guarantees snow by then.
 
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Nice deer and nice recovery. You must not have as many coyotes in your area as we have in ours. I once shot a small buck just before dark and lost his trail in the dark. Came back the next morning and found what was left of him about 150 to 200 yards past the spot I had lost his trail. There wasn't much left of him except the head and the evidence of the feeding orgy of the coyotes was unbelievable. Blood was scattered over about a 20 to 30 yard circle with hair and small body chunks everywhere. So much blood and carnage that I am afraid he was still alive when the coyotes found him. The thought if him being ripped apart while still alive bothers me to this day and that was 30 years ago.
 
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Nice deer and nice recovery. You must not have as many coyotes in your area as we have in ours. I once shot a small buck just before dark and lost his trail in the dark. Came back the next morning and found what was left of him about 150 to 200 yards past the spot I had lost his trail. There wasn't much left of him except the head and the evidence of the feeding orgy of the coyotes was unbelievable. Blood was scattered over about a 20 to 30 yard circle with hair and small body chunks everywhere. So much blood and carnage that I am afraid he was still alive when the coyotes found him. The thought if him being ripped apart while still alive bothers me to this day and that was 30 years ago.
I hear a coyote chorus nearly every night. M y trail camera shows they are all over my chicken run (chickens are locked up and inaccessible to them). So far they have not molested a single deer I’ve shot, but most of the time I recover them within minutes of the kill. I know I should shoot them on sight, but they are so beautiful on the rare occasions when I see them, I just can’t bring myself to do it.
 
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