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Ca_Vermonster's picture
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I come from a few different

I come from a few different angles.  The first muzzleloader I owned was a $99 CVA hammer style from Walmart.  It looks like the old black powder rifles.  Half the time, if it was really humid, let alone if it was snowing or raining, it wouldn't fire.  Now I own a CVA Wolf, but out here in CA, we can't use a scope on them.  So, it's still sort of "primitive" in the sense that it's not really effective over 75-100 yards, if you're a good shot.

CVC
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What do you think about not

What do you think about not allowing scopes - good or bad or indifferent?  I would vote not to have scopes, but if they were legal I would most likely use one.

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I am with you on that.  I

I am with you on that.  I don't have a problem with them not allowing it, as a muzzleloader hunt was supposed to originally be a "primitive" weapon season.  With today's guns, and with a scope, you can pretty much use the muzzleloader just like a rifle, only difference is getting just one shot. 

But, if it was legal, I would use it.  I hunt for the food, not for the "challenge" or anything.  Maybe if i was killing dozens of deer over my life, I may, but I have only killed 4 in 20+ years.  Got lots of room in the freezer to fill....

CVC
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It is interesting how the

It is interesting how the industry quickly responded to the new interest in muzzle loaders.  Probably very little improvement in hundreds of years and then suddenly a surge of innovation.

 

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Scopes on smokepoles

Put a scope on a muzzleloader, use wharever type of ignition system you want (inline or sidelock), load whetever type of bullet/powder combination you want.  Then enjoy hunting during the regular firearms season; you'll be using equipment nearly as efficient & effective as the typical centerfire deer rifle.  Want to hunt in a separate muzzleloader season?  At the very minimum keep the scope at home and learn to use open sights. 

At least here in Nevada, a separate muzzleloading season for deer came about as a way to increase hunting opportunities for a class of weapon judged to be inherently less efficient & therefore less successful that centerfire weapons.  Lower hunter success rates meant that more hunters could hunt deer without having a negative effect on population dynamics or decrease the number of tags available to other classes of hunters (archery, centerfire).  More than anything it's a people management thing not a wildlife management thing.

By constantly increasing the efficiency of muzzleloaders whether its ignition systems, powder &/or bullet development or the use of scopes, the hunter success will constantly increase.  Getting to the point where there is little or no difference in success rates & management agencies will most likely discontinue the separate season.

I can see an exception to the use of scopes ; that would be for medical reasons, specifically vision inpairment.  Back in the late 70's early 80's I knew a gentleman (almost but not quite a mentor) who suffered from macular degeneration.  This guy was completely old school.  Built his own rifles, made his own traditional cloths, tents, camping & hunting paraphenalia.  The whole works.  He lived the life & was always at rondevous & traditional muzzleloader shoots.  The last couple of years I knew him before I left the area, he would get injections in his eyeballs a few days before the shoot just so he could adequately see the sights.  To this day it raises the hair on my arms just thinking about it.  He got a medical waiver on the no scope rule from the Dept of Wildlife that would allow him to put a minimum power (1.5x max) scope on a rifle for use in the muzzleloader season.  He was more distressed over contaminating one of his rifles by putting a scope on it (god - they were beautiful weapons) than he was about getting shots in his eyes.

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I agree with you on a scope

I agree with you on a scope on a ML.  For some reason when I see them on an old sidelock something just doesn't look right.  Also this last year while I was using the old smoke pole in Utah on the deer hunt there were a few hunters after the same bucks that I was.  One of them had a legal 1x scope on his inline but he had it adjusted and marked up for a 200 yard zero.  For some reason he didn't get it to work since every shot that he took at the 5x5 buck would either sail over or under the buck and you wouldn't see him for the next couple of days. 

As of right now I own both a inline and a sidelock and have taken the inline out hunting.  I'll usually pack it instead of the Renegade just for the weight factor.  But even when it is legal I can't bring myself to put a scope on the inline.  I did however place some peep sights on it due to a cataract that I have in my shooting eye.  I just couldn't focus the two sights together along with the target.  But on my Renegade I had no problems since the sights were larger, figure that one out.  But that will soon be fixed since I am having the cataract removed in a couple of weeks. 

So in the long run I am a traditional muzzle loader at heart but at times I will drag out the inline depending on where I am hunting. 

CVC
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These last two posts have

These last two posts have intrigued and informed me and i think i will try the muzzle loader without a scope.  I may eventually succumb to greater distances and put one on, but I think I'll give it a go without first.

It makes sense to have a separte muzzle loader season if they are indeed "primative" weapons, but if they are essentially a center fire rifle, then what is the purpose?  Good points made as usual.

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