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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Joined: 04/16/2009
Posts: 659
Legal muzzleloaders for Idaho help?

Hi all, I'm new to muzzleloaders and having a hard time finding different makes and models that fall legal to hunt with in Idaho. Below are the laws for Idaho…. I would appreciate any help that you guys could provide me with in selecting a muzzleloader to hunt with in 2010 : )

Muzzleloader Caliber Requirements
In any hunt, including general any-weapon seasons and short range
hunts, it is unlawful to pursue or kill big game animals:
• With any muzzleloading rifle or musket that is less than
.45 caliber for deer, pronghorn, or mountain lion; or
is less than .50 caliber for elk, moose, bighorn sheep,
mountain goat or black bear.

Muzzleloader-Only Season
Any person hunting in a muzzleloader-only season, including
controlled hunts, must have in their possession a license with
a muzzleloader permit validation. During a muzzleloader only
season, it is illegal to pursue or kill a big game animal
with any firearm, muzzleloading pistol, or weapon other
than a muzzleloading rifle or musket. In addition, the
muzzleloading rifle or musket must be:
• Capable of being loaded only from the muzzle.
• Equipped with only open or peep sights. Scopes and any
electronics are prohibited. Except hunters with a visual
disability may apply for a permit to use nonmagnifying
scopes. (Applications are available at Fish and Game
• Loaded only with loose black powder, loose Pyrodex, or
other loose synthetic black powder. Pelletized powders
are prohibited.
• Equipped with a single or double-barrel.
• Loaded with a projectile that is within .010 inch of the
bore diameter. Sabots are prohibited.
• Loaded with a patched round ball or conical non-jacketed
projectile comprised wholly of lead or lead alloy.
• Equipped only with a flint, percussion cap or musket cap.
209 primers are prohibited.
• Equipped with an ignition system in which any portion
of the cap is exposed or visible when the weapon is
cocked and ready to fire.

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Legal muzzleloaders for Idaho help?

The last two paragraphs are what are going to limit you to what you can use. It pretty much looks like the only rifles that are legal are going to be a traditional type of side lock muzzle loader. Cabela's http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/compchart/comp-chart.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/index/index-body.jsp.6_A&_DAV=false&chartName=trd_blk_pwdr_rfl&backLink=/cabelas/en/templates/index/index-display.jsp%3Fid%3Dcat20815%26navAction%3Djump%26navCount%3D1%26cmCat%3DMainCatcat20712%26parentType%3Dcategory%26parentId%3Dcat20712&backTitle=Rifles&hasJS=true have quite a few that will fit the requirements along with Thompson Center that has a couple that would work for you. I have a Thompson Center Renegade in .54 caliber and have taken two elk and 5 deer with. I would suggest that you go down to a store that sells muzzle loaders and check them out.

Location: Bavaria, Germany
Joined: 10/06/2007
Posts: 264
Legal muzzleloaders for Idaho help?

Being from Germany that are much more detailed rules as here. In Germany we are allowed to use any ML firearm for hunting deer. Doesn't matter which cal, kind of propellant (loose or pelletized bp or subs), traditional or modern, scope or not. We also have no special ML only season. During the normal season all kind of firearms are allowed. And our seasons are much longer than in the USA.

Seems to be a paradise! Thumbs up



jaybe's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 832
This is an old post, but

This is an old post, but since I found it, there's a good chance that someone else may find it, too.

I am on a muzzle loading forum where this question has come from Idaho hunters before, and I can recommend a weapon for you. It is made by White Muzzleloading: whitemuzzleloading.com.

They make several models that will meet the Idaho rules. They are of the "inline" design, but they have open actions so that the cap is exposed rather than inside a closed breech like a break-action weapon such as an Encore.

Here is a picture of what mine looks like, though you can only see one side.


This rifle is a .50 caliber (.504 muzzle diameter) with a 26" barrel and comes with a composite stock. It is considered a "slip-fit" barrel that will take anything you want to stuff down the barrel. You can shoot it all day long without cleaning (that's something that many won't believe - you have to see it to believe it). It comes with three breechplugs; so you can set it up to use 209 primers, #9 or musket caps. From off sandbags, I can keep mine in a 1 1/2" group at 100 yards. With a better shooter, or by using one of the modern bench rests, it could do better. It shoots saboted bullets and pure lead conicals with equal ease. It is the most reliable, no nonsense rilfe on the planet IMO. The only problem - and some people find this insurmountable - is that the company went out of business a couple of years ago, and I have not heard that they have been restarted, though there have been rumors to that effect.

You can find these rifles (and other models) online in various places as well as at used gun stores.

If you're looking for a good gun for Idaho - or anywhere - check out the website. Even if you don't buy one, there is a ton of good reading on there.

Good Luck and Good Hunting! Thumbs up


White M97 Ultra Mag.jpg
White M97 Ultra Mag.jpg13.26 KB
Joined: 08/26/2010
Posts: 13
I thought I would chime in

I thought I would chime in since I will be doing a combination archery/muzzleloader hunt this year in Idaho. In case anyone is in my shoes and needs updated information.

I don't plan on purchasing a ML until after the archery season closes (just in case I don't require the use of one).

My initial search shows that all the major ML manufacturers produce "Northwestern Edition" ML. Meaning, they have the ability to shoot both the #209/musket or #11 caps. They also have the exposed breach design so the cap is visible before firing. It wasn't until a few years ago that these options were not available, so you had to use the traditional-style cap/flint ML here in the West. 

I've been looking at the T/C Northwest Explorer, Traditions Vortek Ultralight Northwest Edition, Traditions Evolution and the CVA Elkhorn Pro. I haven't narrowed it down yet as the T/C is true inline and the Vortek are in-lines and the Evolution and CVA are bolt-action. Not sure if there is a benefit to either. Probably be able to find that in another post.


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