The Idaho F&G department is once again reviewing its definition of a muzzleloader. They are accepting public opinion statements via their website. Last season it was illegal to use inline or modern muzzleloaders (as well as powder pellets and sabots) in the designated muzzleloader and short-range seasons, but hunters could continue to use them during the rifle season. This basically left the late-season elk and short-range deer seasons open to hunters using flintlock and sidehammer cap guns.
I realize there may not be many muzzleloaders on this board, but I do know there are a lot of people that hunt Idaho. I’m curious about anyone’s thoughts regarding these changes and whether or not the definition should be changed back to include in-line guns. Any opinions? Do you think in-line and traditional muzzleloaders should have seperate regulations? Would a decision one-way-or-another influence your desire to hunt in the Gem State?
Let me tell you about Virginia. First it was "In-Line", no Sabots, no pellets. Then it was sabots and pellets. Now it is In-line, with pellets, with sabots, with shotgun primers, AND the scope of your choice. Next year I think they are going to add a week to the Muzzle Loader season. :eek:
We have a LOT of deer in VA, so this is not going to exterminate the deer, BUT you see where I am going, once they get their foot in the door.
Every states hunters must decide where they want to draw the line in the sand and go to the Fish and Game meetings and make their voices herd.
In PA the "Primitive Weapon Season" I believe, is Flintlocks ONLY, granular powder and ROUND BALLS.
Idaho the last time I looked did not allow mechanical broadheads, or bows with more than 65% let off to be used in the archery season.
"How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual... as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded, controlled, supervised, and taken care of."
--Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp (TX)
i'm from Pa and i rather like the idea of flintlock in the primitive season. they've changed the round ball only to being able to use maxi balls now. i like hunting with the flintlock, haven't done it in a while but it's a lot of fun. the rule that keeps it primitive is no scopes.the other side of the coin would be what i shot my world record whitetail with. it was an in-line with a 3-10 scope. have shot big deer at almost 250 yards with it. use open sights and an all lead projectile, and the weapon stays pretty much short range. the in-line is not much of an advantage without the scope.
I had no idead Virginia made that kind of progression in their regs. You guys both offered some things to think about. I've always hunted with iron sights and lead balls so you can imagine which way I'm swinging in this debate. This past fall I felt alone in the hills, only saw 3 other muzzleloaders chasing cows the entire three week season. It was great.
But Dave, your point about scopes is something I always thought would be a way to go. I always hear the argument that in-line guns aren't more powerful at long ranges than traditional guns---their just more accurate because of scopes. I'm sure you can shed better light on that than I can. What would you think about putting all muzzleloaders (including in-lines and sabots) on a level playing ground by permiting their use, but denying the use of scopes???
I've never felt the woods were "crowded" during the muzzleloader season, even under the old regs that allowed in-lines, so if they reverse their definition, I won't be too upset. It sure was nice having a season just for the traditional shooters however!
I've hunted with muzzleloaders for over 30 years. I started with a Sante Fe Hawken with a 34" barrel, buckhorn sights, patched round ball and FFg blackpowder. That gun has killed mulies, whitetails, bear, elk and a couple of turkeys, not including the numerous vermin that got caught in my sights. Granted I kept the ranges under 150 yards, but that is the reason of hunting with primitive weapons. I think (MY OPINION) that all muzzleloader seasons should be limited to sidelocks with mini's or roundballs. I have a TC Black Mountain Magnum (sidelock) that with a 3-10 scope, sabots and 130 grains of 777 will print 2-3" groups all day at 200 yards. It's fun to shoot and I love shooting vermin and hogs with it, but during the muzzleloader season, I carry my Hawken, all 11 pounds of it. The way guns are being built now with in-lines, scopes, electronic ignitions, specially designed twists smokeless powders and sabots, I really think they belong in the rifle season. It's not the fact of sharing the game, but more like putting all the shooters on the same playing field. I was on the range last month and the shooter next to me was shooting a new in-line and had an ignition problem. Offering to help I asked what the problem was, during that conversation I learned he had loaded 120 grains of 777 in the gun BY WEIGHT on his reloading scale and had all of his pre-charges weighed ready to load, because he couldn't figure out how he would load them in the field!!!!! He had no idea nor his shooting partner about the shooting of BP guns, he just wanted to hunt an extra season! Thank God the gun didn't fire as I was on the bench next to him!! Shooting sidelocks and flintlocks does require more time and a lot more people shooting them get to know more about BP shooting. Not saying the same mistake couldn't be made by the traditional shooter, BUT I see a lot more of them researching the world of BP shooting. Most hunters here in Florida don't even realize that smokeless powder is illegal here, but they show up at the range to sight in their new Savage smokeless all the time. I know I'm just running on , but I do believe the muzzleloading seasons should stay traditional, just look at what happened to the archery seasons, but that's another rant for another day!!
Bill. that's pretty much my point. get rid of the scopes and the capabilities of the gun are neutralized. in-lines are what everyone wants and the gun makers want to make what is wanted. all percussion guns are fairly equal without scopes.
Dave, Smitty, and dirtball---thanks for the input! Gave me more to think about before I write up my opinion to the F&G. . . I'll let you know what I hear either way, they should reach their decision sometime around March I believe.