I had a good start to Muzzleloader Season. At about 7:30 AM three antlerless deer came out of the woods and started moving towards me as they were feeding. One of them finally stopped about 17 yards away from me presenting a shot between a couple trees. I took the shoot with my flintlock and had great ignition and had a solid hand when the gun fired; I felt sure I had made a hit on this deer. I took time to clean the barrel good with a wet patch and a few dry ones and then reloaded. Then I walked to the spot where the deer had been standing and was unable to find any blood or hair. My bullet had left a trace on the ground on beyond the deer so I think I made clean miss. Later that day I looked around the area where the deer had headed for after I shot and still did not find anything, so I am convinced I missed.
Later that day when I walking through some brush I saw a buck; probably had about 5 or 6 points. A few minutes later I saw an antlerless deer that seemed like it might have been a button buck, however, it did not present me with a shot.
On the plus side at the end of the day when I fired my gun, to empty it again, it went off without hesitation. Since I am on fall break from college I have Monday and Tuesday to try again! So, I am really looking forwards to spending some more time in the woods!
Today my family drove down to visit the Cabela’s store in Wheeling, West Virginia. I did not buy anything, but I still think it was worth the trip down just to see it.
They have a very nice fish aquarium with many different types fish like bass, catfish, sunfish, and turtles among many others. They also had a very nice decorations for the tanks with trees and even a sunken row boat.
When it comes to their animal mounts it was very impressive–they had a very large room devoted entirely to head and full body deer mounts. In addition, they have a slightly smaller room with a collection of African full body game mounts; included an elephant. Somehow even though I have seen live elephants at the zoo I never really saw how huge they really are! And the Cape Buffalo, they have such a broad chest! To some extent I think it was better than going to a zoo, since I was able to get so close to these monsters. Finally, in the center of the store they have a mountain set up with more deer, goats, bear, and raccoon among others.
I spent most of my visit staring at the stuffed animals, but I did glance around the store itself some. They seem to have a dazzling array of products, but I was a little disappointed in their muzzleloader accessories collection I think a very small sporting goods store not far from me has as good or better selection. As to muzzleloading guns they did seem to have quite a few sidelocks even a Brown Bess.
All in all I had fun and enjoyed the visit.
Last Saturday night I heard a bunch of Coyotes howling. I tried my rabbit screamer call on them, but they shut up and never came in. Still was a great hunt to hear them howling.
Put out a few hay sets today. I figure now is a good time to add some more sets in this small warm spell we are having.
According to my calendar just one month from today will mark the start of the October muzzleloader season! This will be my first opportunity to take my CVA flintlock deer hunting. In preparation for the deer season I have been working on different loads to see what will be best to use.
The 1 in 48 rifling twist of my barrel I have found does not accurately shoot a round ball very well past about 50 yards–so bad that in a pattern of three shots at 100 yards it is likely that at one or more of the balls will completely miss the target. I have found however, that the T/C saboted bullets, that Trader Horn sells, shoots pretty accurately even at 100 yards. So, that means that I will not be shooting round balls for the most part when it comes to deer hunting. For a hunting load with the 24o grain sabots I have been using 100 grains of 2FF black powder, which gives quite a bit of kick. Because of the kick I have limited the amount of target practice I have done with the sabots and focused on shooting round balls with 60 grains of 2FF since that load has a relatively light kick. Because, my gun’s 1 in 48 twist is still slower than the 1 in 28 rifling twist that most guns designed for shooting sabots have, I am using 100 grains of powder to give the sabot maximum spin. In the future though I will have to experiment with lesser loads of powder to see if it shoot as accurately.
After a long hard day of hunting with my dad, I again got to shoot at a deer.
My father and I were walking back to our car when I saw two deer running in the woods in front of us, so I walked out into the field where I could see while my father walked into the woods. Pretty soon five deer came running out of the woods about 150 yards away. After confirming that the lead deer was antlerless, I proceeded to fire all five bullets that were in my gun at that one deer. However, the deer did not as much flinch as it ran down over the roll in the field out of sight. After pushing a new clip into my gun, I crossed over the roll in to field so I could see the other side. Then there were the deer just standing by a woods line!
My father then walked the deer tracks into the field, past the point where I had shot at the deer. Seeing that he found nothing, I fired off two more shots at the deer as just as they spooked. I walked across the field and checked for blood, nothing. Nine shots in two days, and no deer with one day of hunting left.
A lot of people seem to be searching the internet lately about the hunting regulations in Pennsylvania, so I thought I would put together some links to the PGC hunting trapping digest for the various deer hunting regulations. Notice: in order to read these you will need a program capable of reading .PDF files. Download a reader free from Adobe at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or download the lighter and faster Foxit reader free at http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
GENERAL HUNTING REGULATIONS
GETTING THE POINT ON ANTLER RESTRICTIONS
DEER SEASONS & BAG LIMITS
2008-2009 HUNTING HOURS TABLE
Mentored Youth Hunting Program (Kids Under 12)
STATE GAME LANDS REGULATIONS
Tagging—Transporting—Reporting (harvest report card)
Fluorescent Orange Requirements
And if I did not list what you need here is the entire digest.
2008-2009 Hunting & Trapping Digest
The other day I got my PA hunting and furtaker’s license. As I read through the PA Hunting and Trapping Digest book I noticed several things that are different from previous years. This is the list of changes I noticed (it is possible I will see some thing I did not see another year too), this list is most likely not all of the changes that were made. To be on the safe side before you take my word for a law change, go look it up in your book to be sure—because it is possible that I might mistype something. I put “” marks in were I copied something from the book, I also included the page number so you can look it up.
- New animals added to mentored youth hunting. Page 15 In addition to being able to take squirrels and spring turkey youth hunters can now take groundhogs and antlered deer.
- Hunting turkeys with dogs in the fall season is now allowed. Page 36 “Dogs can be used to hunt turkeys during fall season but not during the spring.”
- Fluorescent Orange is no longer required in spring turkey season. Page 36 “Spring Season: Fluorescent orange is no longer required but is recommended when moving through the spring woods.” I think it might be a good idea to still wear at least an orange hat while moving, you might be a safe hunter and always positively identify your target but the guy over the next hill might not be. This was actually in effect for this past spring season, but was not in last years book because it was a change made later on.
- Antlered firearms season only then antlered and antlerless firearms season together for WMUs 2D, 2G, 3C, and 4B. Page 50 Antlered only from December 1-5, then antlered and antlerless deer season together from December 6-13.
- Opossums, Skunks, and Weasels may not be hunted on Sundays. Page 82 “Opossums, Skunks, and Weasels may not be hunted on Sundays and prior to noon during the spring gobbler season and, along with Foxes and Raccoons, not during the regular antlered and antlerless deer season from a half-hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset.”
- A person applying for a bobcat permit with six preference points now automatically gets a permit. Page 85 The idea of this seems to be so that someone does not keep trying for the permit year after year, but by chance never draws one.
- Pretty much anything can be used to attract coyotes (except living bait). Page 86 “Recent regulation change now allows any natural or manmade nonliving bait and any electronic or mechanical device to be used to attract coytes for hunting or trapping. The law allowing trappers to use any natural or manmade nonliving bait to attract coyotes still does not permit the bait to be visible from the air. Those hunting coyotes, however, may hunt over bait visible from air.”
- Tighter regulations over shooting Feral Swine (pigs). Page 92 Previously from the way this section was phrased it sounded like you could do pretty much anything as far as hunting the Feral Swine went. They still want you to shoot them, but now they pretty much want you to check with your township or county first.
If you see any thing I missed, phrased wrong, or just want to talk about new law change please fell free to write a comment.
Well, I had a first week of deer season with a lot of walking, but it paid off. On the Friday of the first week I shot a 4 point buck.
I shot the buck on a very steep hill side that has three or four benches on it. I was standing on the highest bench that is right below the top of the hill. My Father and brother were driving the hill side towards me.
As I was standing on the bench, I saw a deer with antlers, walking towards me on the same bench as I was on. As soon I saw it I pulled my gun up on it before it ever saw me. Since I had both my buck tag and my doe tag, I did not bother to confirm it had antlers nor did I bother to count points. I just put the crosshairs on the deer’s chest and fired at it from about 40 yards away. The deer did an instant crash dive down the hill. As it ran down the hill there was to much brush to see it well, but it looked like it tripped on a bush and fell down. Then I saw from behind a tree the deer sticking just its head out. I tried to find the deer in my scope twice; then right before my third try I saw the deer fall over. I walked down the hill to where the deer was, it was still alive but not mobile so I gave it one more bullet to finish it off.
To clarify for anyone wondering I am a junior hunter, (hunting his last year as a junior hunter) other wise I would not have been able to shoot this four point buck by PA law.
Well, I have spent three days hunting in the Jr. Deer season as often as I could.
I saw nothing the first day. A small buck walking through the fog in the morning on the second day (why did I bring my rifle instead of my bow). The third day in the evening guess what? I saw ANOTHER buck out in the field I was watching, rifle in hand of course.
So much for the Jr. Deer season, I guess I will have to go back to bow hunting now that Jr. Deer season is over.
So far this fall I have seen around 10 bucks and 3 does (one of which may have been a buck). Seems like the antler restriction is working as far as killing less bucks goes.
Now all I need to do is to get into bow range of one of those bucks.