Muzzleloaders (how they ruined my life and will yours’)

Stocker

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In an attempt to not derail others threads explaining further the all out evil nature of muzzleloaders and those who use them I decided to tell a story and add a PSA. As a young man growing up I took up every form of hunting I could. I hunted deer with bows and rifles and as fate would have it…. A muzzleloader. At the age of 14 I was swindled by a neighbor that told me a muzzleloader was an effective weapon to hunt with. The same time period there was a buck in the area dubbed the “Hartford Buck”. Everyone had seen him, conservative guesses placed him as the new world record typical white-tail falling in that 230” area. All the hours men spent chasing that buck and only 1 person ever got a chance at him……….


On December 13, 2003 a muzzleloader turned the trajectory of my life around, from rising hunting superstar to woeful pathetic curmudgeon. Mid morning that day my dad was making his rounds checking cattle when he seen the buck with about 20 does bedded along a creek near the cows. He came home to get me and my new muzzleloader. I snuck a hedgerow downwind of where the buck was and waited. Barley an hour had passed and the does were starting down the tree line right to me, world record buck in tow. My heart was pounding, I imagined my face on outdoor life, all of my dads hunting buddies carrying me on their shoulders like I just scored the game winning touchdown. There would be a parade in my honor, streets renamed, and women throwing themselves at me. Finally the moment came, the lead doe was 10 steps from me, the buck about 50 yards. I put the iron sights right on his heart, took a deep breath………….. then pop. The percussion cap snapped but nothing else, I fumble for another cap, the deer not sure what’s happening, again snap. Panic now sets in as the deer start moving. Visions of the beautiful girls at my high school lining up to date me were fading! As I get the 3rd cap on I line up on a now moving target at 100 yards and snap………boom. As I wait the mandatory 10 minutes for the smoke to clear, obstructing any view I would have had to determine a hit everything was gone. No blood, no hair, nothing. My dad drove up to me and explained he watched the whole thing and it was a clean miss. The buck ran into the deep dark timber behind our farm never to be seen in the daylight again.


So instead of being a hunting celebrity on IG and YouTube, with banquets and parties thrown in my honor, sailing catamarans around the Caribbean with scantily clad IG models basking in the sun all around me. I’m just a commoner, a nobody, typing a sob story on an online forum to others like him.


Remember, friends don’t let friends muzzleloader hunt. In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan “when it comes to muzzleloaders; just say no”
 
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Dave N

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Oops! Sad story. I'll keep using mine for all of my deer hunting. You see, I don't go after world record deer. I hunt deer that I put in the freezer! Seems to work quite well.
 

Stocker

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Nebraska
Oops! Sad story. I'll keep using mine for all of my deer hunting. You see, I don't go after world record deer. I hunt deer that I put in the freezer! Seems to work quite well.
Lies. Muzzleloaders have never killed anything. It’s just a satanic cult of people that spread hate and discontent amongst other hunters. To keep the story accurate though the buck may have only been 225”
 

GrantK

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Aug 30, 2018
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Western CO
In general, I think "just say no" is excellent advice about muzzleloaders...although I can say that when I was guiding elk hunters I always looked forward to muzzy season for the entertainment value, nothing I have ever seen has the potential to make grown men melt down like the combo of screaming elk and a weapon of questionable reliability and finicky operation... after the first trigger pull it's a wild world of options to get reloaded,
I've seen ramrods go downrange, bullet but no powder, powder but no bullet, lots of follow-up shots that might have had 50% of a full load of powder... guys one handing it like a pistol, upside down speedloaders, you name it... my opinion is that in most peoples hands a bow is a more lethal weapon...
 

BAKPAKR

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May 16, 2018
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Up a Holler
After a stalk that I was really proud of, I had a hangfire on a whitetail buck that I am guessing was close to or exceeded the B&C minimum. But, for some reason, I still take a muzzleloader out.
 

Dave N

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Feb 20, 2013
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Illinois
We can only use shotgun slugs or muzzle loaders here in Illinois. Well, they recently added certain handguns to the mix. I gave up my kicks like 2 damn mules 12 gauge for my muzzy and haven't looked back. One shot, flop. Daughter killed all of her deer with one. Killed my bear with HER muzzy before I bought my two. I feel for 'ya though! Maybe, just maybe, try it again? ;)
 

LopeHunter

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May 31, 2007
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3,112
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MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ-->NV
Love my muzzleloader and the nice tags I have been able to get much faster than if applied with any weapon or rifle only. Always has gone boom when was time to go boom. Something about chucking a lug nut 100 yards with a smokepole makes me want to get a racoon skin cap and make a buckskin jacket with fringe.
 

elkantlers

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May 12, 2009
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1,419
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UT
I had a cap not go off on a really nice 4x4 buck when I was in my late teens. I still remember the image of him bouncing up over the hill and out of my life. 🙁
 

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