Well, last Saturday I spent most of the day in the woods hunting the last day of the October Muzzleloader season here in Pennsylvania.
In the morning I saw a small buck. In the afternoon I jumped a deer in some brush, but could not get a good look at in. Then when I was driving home after dark I saw three does in a field not to far from where I had been hunting.
Despite the rain on Saturday when I fired my gun on Sunday it went off quite nicely. I give credit to the poor-man’s cow’s-knee a zip-lock plastic back over my lock. It worked.
Last Saturday I had a fun opener for the October Muzzleloader season.
I spooked two deer in the morning as I was walking into a field. They were in the woods before I got a chance to really look at them though.
Later in the day I hunted a wooded area that had been mined in the past leaving behind hills and ravines. Later in the afternoon as I walk down to a ravine I saw a deer standing broadside to me at about 100 yards on the opposite side. It was just far enough away that I could not quite make out its head for sure, so it ended up running away before I got a shot at it.
Here in Washington county where I live now the rut must be just coming in.
Today driving into work I saw a nice buck. I also saw three does in the parking lot at work. Then tonight I saw two more bucks. I see a few deer from time to time, but the high number of bucks is unusual.
Muzzleloader season begins this Saturday even though it is antlerless only I’m looking forwards to it.
Poof…Silence. That is the sound of the main charge in a flintlock failing to ignite. When target shooting misfires are an annoyance, but during a hunt a misfire can cause the loss of an opportunity to harvest an animal.
It used to be that I had trouble with misfires in my flintlock when huntin. When I loaded the gun then shot it right away it normally fired good, but when I loaded it and let it set it misfired. I tried WD-40 as an after cleaning oil, which prevented the rust well for a few weeks. I tried regular gun oil, which prevented rust for even longer. However, the problem of misfires still remand.
This year after I cleaned my lock I started sprayed it down with a dry Teflon lubricant. I had switched to the Teflon as the lubricant for the lock, because it completely dries–meaning it will not freeze and slow the lock down in cold weather. One day I realized that the Teflon says on the can that it prevents rust. That time when I cleaned my gun instead of oil I sprayed some Teflon down the muzzle. Then I wet a patch with it and ran that down the barrel a few times.
A week or so later when I got my gun out I ran a patch down and found no rust. I could feel the Teflon on the barrel rubbing off onto the patch as I pushed the patch down.
Next time I took my gun out hunting I used the same after-cleaning procedure. When I got back from the hunt, a few hours later, I discharged my flintlock and it fired good with no hesitation.
Since then I have been exclusively using the Teflon as the inner barrel lubricant and still I find no rust. Also I now have confidence in my gun that it will fire, most of the time, when hunting.
Its not traditional, but it does work. For extended periods of storage it still might be good to use some oil just to be sure there is no rust.
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A local produce farmer gave me permission to hunt out of his tree-stand. He said that often an eight point and a few does had been seen in that area.
So, that evening I went to his tree-stand for an evening hunt at around 3:30pm. It was cold up there in the tree-stand. I was facing west and there was a snow storm pelting me with snow in my face. Typically I do not use heat packs such as Heat Max Hand Warmers, but my hands were getting so numb that I was afraid I would have trouble getting out of the tree stand. So, I opened up a foot warmer that I had. Some of the foot heat packs are the same as the hand heat packs so if one is on sale it makes no difference to me. It warmed my hands up nice and allowed me to stay in the stand until evening. However, I never saw any deer. The farmer told me later that it was unusual not to see any deer from that stand. Maybe they were waiting the storm out.
Backpacker.com has a tip that might be useful if you were hunting in a tree stand and hand numb hands, but no heat pack. This article says to “Briskly rotate your arms windmill-style, and quickly swing each leg forward and back.” Its probably going to scare the deer away, but it would be better then losing a finger or falling when you climb down.
Today, I tried to sneak into the patch of woods where I jumped the two deer Monday. I spent about 2 1/2 hours going about 100 yards. Unfortunately the deer were not bedded down in those woods right then. I think my method was good and might work some other day when they might be in there.
Today I went to a state game land to hunt. I saw lots of deer sign. Very major deer-highways with many tracks. About five or six few day old deer beds. I also saw a few different sets of tracks from other hunters. However, I never saw any deer.
I had a nice start to the season today. I jumped two smaller antler-less deer from their beds this morning, but was not close enough for a shot. Then tonight when I was walking on a trail in the same area I spooked a lone deer. The deer did not instantly run, but it was about 100 yards away and through the woods; so no shot. I feel like the lone deer had a high probability of being a buck, but I was not able to see its head.
I just got a question from a reader asking if sabots are allowed in Pennsylvania’s second muzzleloader season (which just opened today).
The answer is that in the second muzzleloader season sabots are allowed. There was a time when it was roundball only, but a few years ago they changed it to allow other projectiles. So, this means you can use either projectile. When picking the projectile be sure to match it to your barrel twist for maximum accuracy. Below is quoted from page 45 of the hunting digest.
Flintlock Muzzleloader Season: Flintlock ignition, single-barrellong gun, 44 caliber or larger, or 50 caliber or larger handgun, usingsingle projectile ammunition. It is unlawful to use telescopic sights.Peep sights are permitted.
Well, I made it home from college this weekend for the first day of antlerless season here in WMU 2D.
At about 10:00 I heard a sound to my right by the edge of the field where I was sitting. Turning my head I saw an antlerless deer skip back into the woods.
Later in the morning I hear a shot nearby. Soon I saw lone deer running in the field in front of me about 200 yards away. I cranked my scope magnification way up and brought my gun up. As I found the deer in the scope it turned and started running straight towards me. I saw that it was an anterless deer just as a roll in the field hid it from view. A few seconds later it reappeared about 50 yards away running fast right at me. My sight picture due to the high magnification became blurred, so realizing it would only get worse I fired. Then the deer started veering of to its right as I fired another poorly aimed shot. With the deer at about 20 yards now I realize the scope is not helping me any. So, I look through the see through scope mounts at my open sights, however, the deer now reaches the woods and I can not track it. I checked for blood and found none and looked around in the woods for awhile. Nothing. Dispute the blurred sight picture I had really felt like the first shot I made was a good shot, but it seems it was not. The deer was coming straight on at me if I had hit it the bullet would have done a lot of damage traveling the length of the deer. So, I am sure I fully missed the deer.
A little before noon today I saw a group of three deer running about 800 yards away. Later this evening two of my brothers and I put on a drive in that area. My Father and other brother who were watching saw the three deer soon after we started the drive. My Father fired one shot instantly killing a mature doe. The other two deer, which must have been its fawns, ran off in. A short time later one of the deer returned and looked at the doe, which gave my brother, who was watching, a shot. He fired knocking the deer over. It stood itself up and stumbled off. My Father said that it looked like a solid hit. When my two other brothers and I arrived, however, we could not find and blood from the deer. We searched for a couple hours trying to find that deer, but with only a partial snow on the ground we were only able to track it a short ways.
It was a busy day today. It has been awhile since I last saw this many deer during deer season. I had a great day–its to bad though that we were not able to recover that deer