Hunting With a Muzzleloader Tips
Are you headed out into the hills this year with your old smoke-pole? If so you may want to read this.
So dig it out of the closet and give it a good cleaning to get started. Then head out to the range. Now if you are a multi weapon hunter it may take a little bit of time to get reaccustomed to that smoke pole so now is the time to do it. Some states alow some kind of optic for a sight while others require only open sights so it may be different from your high power rifle. So doing a little bit of shooting will help you get reaccustomed to how the rifle fits and get you onto the target.
Depending on the muzzleloader that you are shooting you may be able to fire quite a few shots before fouling starts and it is harder to reload so do it accordingly to what you have. I have found that with both my Thompson Center Renegade and Triumph that as few as 5 shots can foul the barrel to where it starts to affect accuracy. On the Renegade I'll run a cleaning patch through it every couple of shots and on the Triumph when I am shooting saboted loads I'll run a patch which I have sprayed with Windex through it every couple of rounds. This works for me and may for you. I'll try to fire at least 50 shots to get back to where I have no problem with either rifle.
I'll also pack one of the muzzleloaders with me when I am doing preseason hiking to get used to the weight. Also when ever I spot a rabbit, bird, or some other kind of animal I'll pick a spot where he was sitting at and take a shot. Mind you I didn't say to shoot at the animal but where he was since where I am at hunting season is a ways off still. This will help you get used to shouldering the rifle and shooting at different angles.
After all this shooting comes the job of cleaning and putting it back into the safe until I am headed out for that big buck of my dreams.