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Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 615
Hard Lessons Learned

Well monday kicked off the ML season here in alabama. Today was the first day i could get out and boy it was a doosey. I learned two valuable lessons.

First it was 30 deg. and the moon was about 1/5 full. About 7:00 am a spike came into the field and going along with insructions not to take any small bucks I let him pass. Around 7:20am 3 does walked out and around 7:25 I unloaded on the one leaving the field. Now here comes my first lesson: ALWAYS RELOAD!!! I didn't and sure enough 5 min after hitting the doe a nice buck walke out at about 100 yds and in the process of reloading he had enough time to make it across the field safely into cover. It only costs a few dollars every time you shoot and the gun is already dirty from the first shot so why not reload.(not quite sure why I didn't think of that before). Anyways I climbed down and went to check on my doe. It took a few min but I finally found the bloo trail and it look like someone went through the woods pouring candy apple res paint out of a can. I knew it was a lung shot but it never dawned on me to give her tim to die. So I must have pushed her b/c after about 75 yds the trail turned to droplets i continued to track her for another 125 yds until I lost the trail completely. So lesson number 2: ALWAYS GIVE LUNG SHOT AND BLEEDERS AMPLE TIME TO CROAK.

Any other lesson that you all deem important?

Location: Central Virginia
Joined: 09/10/2003
Posts: 33
Hard Lessons Learned

Hey bnon0707, I've got a few tips for you (all from personal experience I must say).

It was last light on opening day and as I left the edge of the woods and entered the field, I spyed a doe on the opposite side of the field. I took position against a large tree to use as a rest shot and took aim. The cap ignited and made a flash, but no main charge. I picked up my head to see what just happened and BANG! the main charge went off sending my 180 gr. ball down range and over the doe's back. Tip One: ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR SHOTS. I hid behind the tree and took a rule out of your book and reloaded lol I looked back at the doe who was still standing there and took another crack at her. She jumped and ran off. I waited a while and went to look for blood (with a flashlight by this time). No blood to be found. I looked for hours and found no blood, but thought I had a good bead on her when I squeezed the trigger. Went back the next morning to look and look and look some more, but not blood. After a couple of hours I see her white belly on the brown leaves. I walk over to it and saw that the area around her was soaked with pink blood (a lung shot). I tried to follow the bloodtrail backwards, but there was none to be found. My second tip is DONT GIVE UP, ESPECIALLY WHEN HUNTING WITH BLACKPOWDER. You don't get the tissue damage with those slower traveling balls. Even though I hit that doe in the lungs, the exit hole was no larger than a nickle (even with a hollow point). It didn't start to bleed until the body cavity was filled with blood and by that time she had bedded down to die.
Later in the hunt I spyed a bobcat from my treestand. It was about 30 yards away and was standing broad-side on a log. I thought to myself, "Man, that would look great mounted in my den!" So I took this peepshot and squeezed the trigger. When the smoke cleared the bobcat was still standing there! By the time I reloaded (still following your rule) the cat ran off. Tip Number 3: DON'T CLEAR OFF WALL SPACE UNTIL THE BUCK (OR WHATEVER) IS IN THE BACK OF YOU PICKUP TRUCK.

I hope these rules and little anticdotes help you (and me) out in the years to come.

Location: GP<OREGON
Joined: 01/22/2005
Posts: 7
Herd lessons

I think we all have made alot of mistakes learning blackpowder,I've been huntong BP for 28 yrs, made lot of mistakes.
In Oregon we can only use ball or bullets, the best combo I've found for deer and elk is 95gr fff infront of 275 gr maxi hunter 50 cal, this bullet expands to about the size of a quarter,
As far as blood trail, almost nonexistant, usually drops them in their tracks with good lung shot, killed 14 elk and the farthest one went was about 50 yds with a quartering away shot kinda far back.
best thing to do is wait them out if you don't knockem down, like bowhunting, don't rush

Location: Levack, Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 24
Hard Lessons Learned

hmmm interesting....now I have always hunted with tradtional bullets and found them to make nice big entery and even bigger exit holes. This made nice big bloodtrails a blind man could find.

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