Hi, my name is Rugelio and I am addicted to Muzzleloading.
To be 100% honest, I thought Muzzleloading would be one of the last types of hunting I would pick up, because of all the work (by work I mean my lack of knowledge on muzzleloading technology making me think it would be a waste of time). I started talking to some of my muzzleloading friends and before I knew it, I was at the Black Powder Days at Jay’s Sporting Goods with the intent to buy a new Muzzleloader.
My best advice if you are just getting into the muzzleloading world;
1. Buy a rifle that is part of a starter kit. I picked up a CVA .50 Caliber Wolf starter kit at Jay’s. I paid ten dollars less than the rifle/kit in the link, but mine also came with a Konos 3-9×32 scope. I watched the DVD that came with the kit and it actually gave me a lot more information regarding powder options, proper loading/unloading techniques, and cleaning (most important).
My dad and I took the Wolf out the next day to start feeling out the power of the gun and to sight it in. With the technology of the muzzleloaders now, you will feel like you are shooting a standard rifle and you can expect similar power. It was amazing to see the cloud of smoke after each shot. That is something that makes hunting with muzzleloaders truly special. Plus this is a “make your shot count, because you might not get another” type of hunting.
On my first day out, everything seemed like it was destined for me to take down a deer. The wind was blowing into my face, sun was shining, and I saw about 5 deer run from an adjacent field into the woods I was hunting. Right towards the end of the hunt, I saw what I think to be the same herd, start running across the field directly behind me (the deer had looped around the back end of the woods) and as I pulled up my rifle and put it on the only buck in the crowd I pulled the trigger and heard…click! It didn’t fire! I couldn’t believe it. This is the nightmare of every muzzleloader out there. At first I blamed the gun…of course it wasn’t my fault. I was so mad that I left immediately and went home to check out what could have caused the misfire. In the end, it was the operators fault. I didn’t push the powder pellets all the way flush to the back of the barrel. So when the primer fired, the powder was too far away to ignite. I took it as a lesson and made sure to commit to doing it perfect next time.
The next day out, as I was walking to my spot I heard some movement and it immediately put me on alert. As I moved to the edge of the field and the start of the woods, I saw my target. Of course my heart started racing, I started pulling up my rifle, but I had to keep freezing during the motion because the deer’s eyes would look up and lock on to me. I finally got the rifle fully up and put the scope on the deer.
Although the smoke from a shot only blocks your view for fractions of a second in real time, it felt like 10 minutes of waiting to see through the smoke. Those few seconds of no sight were the most exciting seconds that I have had during a hunt. After the smoke cleared, I saw a downed anterless deer.
Since that moment, I have been addicted. Do not be afraid to get into muzzleloading. I know there is a lot of information out there and it can seem overwhelming, but it is worth the price of a rifle and powder. Of course I am not an expert, but if you want more details on what I use for muzzleloading leave a comment and I will reply with any information I can offer.
Enjoy the Hunt,