What do you hunt with your traditional muzzleloader?

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Banjoman

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I have enjoyed reading the recent threads about how long you have been hunting and age of hunters. I thought it would be interesting to see what folks hunt or have hunted with their traditional muzzleloaders. I didn’t see any recent threads on this topic.

Before I got seriously into traditional muzzleloaders, I hunted every type of critter in East Tennessee, but this thread is just about traditional muzzleloaders.

So, what do you hunt or have you hunted with a traditional muzzleloader? I’ll start. With a traditional muzzleloader I have only hunted turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Nowadays I mostly hunt paper and cardboard critters.

This may be a little redundant. But it’s just for fun.
 

Rock Home Isle

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I started hunting with a muzzleloader when I was 13. I had a CVA .50 calibre Mountain Rifle, and hunting was limited to Prairie Dogs, Rabbits, & Squirrels (4 Geese…shhhh don’t tell). After a year, I talked my dad into doing a BlackPowder family deer hunt…no body was interested except dad, my brother, and I. My dad didn’t draw, so he used a bow, my brother & I used muzzleloaders. That did it…I was hookEd on SmokePole Big Game.

A year or two after that deer hunt, my dad bought an antique Belgium-Made percussion 12 gauge double barrel, circa 1850’s manufacture. At that point I got to include ducks, geese, doves, quail, & pheasants to my hunting quarry.

At 17, I started hunting elk with my .50 calibre CVA Mountain Rifle. 10 years later, I switched to using a .50 calibre Pedersoli Alamo Rifle for another 7 or 8 years (probably the most accurate open sight rifle I’ve ever owned)…then I started hunting elk with a .54 calibre CVA Big Bore Mountain Rifle. The .54 is simply amazing on elk.

When I met and started dating my wife, I was introduced to a man that owned a sizeable ranch, about 1.5 hours north of where I lived. He was probably one of the nicest men I’d ever met in my life. That introduction produced 10 - 15 years of hunting Antelope…2 seasons with a .270 Winchester…the remainder of those years was with either my .50 CVA, or my .50 Alamo. I knew every gully, draw and arroyo on that ranch, like the back of my hand, all 10,000 acres.

In the mid 90’s, Dixie GunWorks had a clearance sale on their Pedersoli Brown Bess Carbine Kits…that opened the door for me to learn a new skill (hunting with Flintlocks involves skill). To me, my Brown Bess is a shotgun, that can also shoot a solid projectile, but primarily…a shotgun. I used the Bess mostly for geese, but it’s taken 2 Deer, and a pile of Rabbits, Squirrels, Pheasants, Quail, Doves & a new species Turkey.…but mostly Geese.

I’ve been shooting primarily flintlocks ever since…

Wow, it just hit me…I’ve been posting that I’ve been using a flintlock for around 20 years…I just realized that I past that mark around 7 years ago. I guess I’m due for a mental update…I’ve been using a flintlock for around 30 years.

Christ, I’m getting old…I just don’t feel it.
 
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Dutch7

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Squirrel, Groundhog, Turkey and numerous Whitetails have been taken with my flintlocks. Should have had an elk but that is another story. Lots of paper quarry and a few steel variety but they don't come home so you can't count them.
Started with a self assembled CVA kit in 1976 have progressed to a custom built rifle in 1986 and have made all my others since 1992. So 46 years this summer - yikes my guns are old!
 
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For right now I hunt deer and squirrel with my 50 Cal Kentucky. Shot my first white tail with my dads 45 caliber Kentucky rifle when I was 15. Didn’t start hunting with black powder again till about three years ago. I’m looking towards a Fowler or trade gun so I can hunt more squirrels, rabbits, turkeys and maybe some occasional ducks or geese.
 
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About 8 years ago I decided to try doing all my hunting with muzzle loaders. I had so much fun, and found I enjoyed the hunting more due to the slower pace and was becoming a better woodsman. I now almost hunt exclusively with muzzle loaders, except for the one deer per year that I like to take with a centerfire handgun. I have hunted squirrels, rabbits, varmints, deer and boar with my muzzle loaders, and would one day like to hunt a buffalo in a non-fenced in hunt.
 

Rock Home Isle

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Years ago, I took my dad on a blackpowder Brown Bess rabbit hunt. The area we hunted was where I first hunted Antelope as a kid.

There were so many rabbits, it was just insane. I wrote about the hunt and got the story published in Fur Fish Game Magazine. I think the article was called “Brown Bess Bunnies” or something like that.

The magazine paid me $250.00 for the article, and I gave a copy of the magazine and the money to my dad on his next birthday.

To this day, he swears that was the funnest, most memorable, hunt he’s ever been on.

It’s time my grandsons share this experience…I’m going to head out to the area this summer, hike around, do a primitive camp, do some trekking…and if the rabbit population is back, I’ll be back in the fall, smokepole in hand.
 
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Deer & squirrels mostly. For many years, the only deer hunting we did on our farm was muzzleloading. Killed just as many as with modern, but had better stories. Tried "wade & shoot" duck-hunting with my 12 gauge flint fowler - once. No way to re-load without sloshing back to solid ground.

Jonathan Browning Mountain Rifle was my favorite, killed many deer, until the mainspring broke with no replacements. Sold it. Started hunting w/muzzleloaders 45 years ago. Still most fun thing to do.
 
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It's been 48 years now. So what have I hunted?

Deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, bear, bunnies, squirrel, and ground squirrel. Probably a few that have slipped my mind.

Been successful on all but the moose and bear. I'll probably never have another opportunity to hunt moose and only hunted bear once. I grew up surrounded by bears and just never thought about bothering to hunt them untill recently. Maybe this year I'll try bear again.
 
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I’ve hunted elk and antalope, now it’s one deer and one turkey a year, squirrel and some rabbit, I would like to try hog, but never got the chance
 
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I didn't start muzzleloading until I was about 30. I was hunting before that but with unmentionables, since starting with front loaders I've taken deer, squirrel, rabbit turkey, and a few varmints. Some of those where with SxS smoothbores mainly for bird and rabbits, basically faster moving game.
 

Loyalist Dave

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So, what do you hunt or have you hunted with a traditional muzzleloader? I’ll start. With a traditional muzzleloader I have only hunted turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Nowadays I mostly hunt paper and cardboard critters.

Everything except waterfowl. Not that I wouldn't but I've not hunted geese in many years.

rabbit, squirrel, deer, pheasant, quail, grouse, fox, groundhog, feral cat, coyote, dove, moose, ...., I missed my first turkey hunt this year..., 🐰🦊🦃🕊🐿🐦🦌🐱

LD
 

hanshi

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Ever since around 1966 when I got my first muzzleloader I've managed to take deer, squirrels, bobcats, one coyote and maybe a couple of little critters I can't recall. Hunted turkey quite a few times but was cursed somehow.
 
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My health has declined to the point that I no longer deer hunt. Squirrel is the only thing I hunt now. Rabbits are as scarce as hen's teeth because of all the darned coyotes.
 

Flintlock

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Few deer with my .54, lots of squirrels, grouse, ducks, beaver, porcupines, gophers, with my .45 flint longrifle. Maybe some stray cats and other critters over the 45 years. One of my longrifles is usually loaded to deal with pests and vermin.
 
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