Idaho muzzleloader definition

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by billtyler, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. billtyler

    billtyler Member

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    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?
     
  2. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    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.
    Dave
     
  3. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. billtyler

    billtyler Member

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    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! :)
     
  5. WSmitty01

    WSmitty01 Well-Known Member

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    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!!
     
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. billtyler

    billtyler Member

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    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.
     
  8. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    There is certainly a BIG difference between "primitive arms" and "muzzleloaders", at least the muzzleloaders that are prevelent today.

    As cartridge loaded firearms & bow hunting equiptment have advanced so has the regulations which govern them. New equiptment has become the order of the day and the Game Commissions have not sought to ban them, but rather work with them.

    IMO we should maintain a primitive arms season where scopes, sabots, pellets, 209's, etc are not permitted while still recognizing that most muzzloader-hunters would still like to have an opportunity to use their prefered modern muzzleloaders without having to use them in the same season that conventional modern arms are allowed.

    I'd suggest splitting the muzzleloader season into segments which meet both goals. I believe that PA has already done something similar with their seasons. Lets face it - you could hunt with a bow during the rifle season (in most states) but who really wants to do that. It would have been the death bell for bowhunting. A primitive arms season should come immediately after the bow season and before any other season which allows the use of more modern equiptment. The primitive arms season should be fairly short as long as the participation level is low. Should that change (and it probably would) the seasons could easily be ammended to meet demand.
     
  9. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    Well, just to swim against the current.

    I put away my percussion cap 54 cal Hawken when I could not longer see well enough to shoot 100 yards with the iron sights. I had an 8 pt buck at 100 yards and could not see the sights and him and so I gave up the sport then. The regulation change that allowed me to hunt with a scope caused me to come back to the sport. I do not normally kill any deer with a muzzleloader so it really doesn't make much difference to the deer herd. Nor would it really make much difference to me if the scope was made illegal again being as I am just as happy hunting squirrels as I am muzzleloading hunting, but it would save me a $20 muzzleloading stamp and having to clean the rifle three or four times a year.

    The comment I made last year to the Idaho Fish and Game on bowhunting was that if they wished to continue to reduce the number of hunters that participate in the sport then they shouold just keep the letoff at 65% and as the hunters get older and their shoulders and roatator cups get bad they will be force to quit. If on the other hand Idaho wished to keep its hunting population numbers up then they should look at what us older hunters require inorder to keep hunting and one thing is to allow 80% letoff so those of us with shoulder injuries have a better chance to participate.

    And in case you have been deluding yourself about it, you aren't getting any younger either and sooner or later you will understand my point of view.

    I have no vested interest in the idaho Muzzleloader regs so I will not comment.
     
  10. dirtball

    dirtball Well-Known Member

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    This debate will continue as long as technology continues to make improvements on all of our hunting equipment. I am not trying to date myself, but I remember have some very heated discussions on how the "compound bow" would be the ruination of bowhunting, and that they should only be allowed during the "Rifle Season". Now this was with bows that had at best a 50% let off.
    It will be up to those who get involved with their state Fish & Game Departments on the regulation process that will determine the speed at which the regs keep pace with the advancing technology.
    Dave:D
     
  11. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    New technology muzzleloaders are becoming capable of taking game up to and beyond 200 yards. This kind of equipment belongs in the rifle season. If you don't like it sell it and buy a rifle. I look at this alot like the industry I work for, Golf. In the golf industry things just keep getting better and better. That's why the PGA regulates what you use. Otherwise people would be hitting 600 yard drives eventually.
     
  12. Stormrider

    Stormrider Well-Known Member

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    Mississippi recently changed their law to allow BP cartridge rifles during the muzzle loading season. I'm fuzzy on the details but the H&R Handy Rifle is legal in 45-70 calibler. Go figure.
     
  13. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I recently hunted whitetails in N.C. with a few of the good ol' boys from Mississippi. They told me about this new regulation. They said the the NEF 45-70's sold faster than they are being shipped into the state. Waiting lists are forming at most dealers. Allowing the use of cartridge firearms during the muzzleloader season will kill the sport of muzzleloader hunting IMO. Bad idea if you ask me.

    linksmechanic - "New technology muzzleloaders are becoming capable of taking game up to and beyond 200 yards. This kind of equipment belongs in the rifle season. If you don't like it sell it and buy a rifle. ......."

    I'd be interested to know just where you would draw the line between allowable accessories/equipt and that which you would prohibit for muzzleloader hunting.
     
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Stop the stupidity.

    :mad:I have seen the same debate going on for years and the only winners are the anti-hunters.

    They love to see division in the ranks of bowhunters(ie traditional vs compounds vs crossbows) and the same arguements in muzzleloaders.

    Lets face facts, hunters are decreasing in numbers and the Humane Society and other anti-hunter groups readily support every restriction that they can get installed.

    Not really in context statement. I can use any club 365 days a year and on any course. Not just this course here and during sept only!!!

    BuffaloBob is right, we are all getting older and I for one am no longer comfortable pulling my 67" recurve in dead of winter after sitting on stand for 3 hrs in 10degrees.

    Why do you want to be a "willing accompliace" to the anti hunters agenda? It is a losing propostion for all hunters and hunting!!!!!

    Really, Just what does it matter to you if someone else takes a deer/elk with a round ball, conical or sabot using smokeless or Blackpowder? A: NOT A DAMN DIDDLY SQUAT

    Now I have a custom 32 cal Kentucky caplock squirrel rifle, custom 44 cal tenn PoBoy, 50 cal Hawken and a 50 cal inline. The PoBoy is on the way to be rebored to 45 cal and for conicals.

    I have longbows, recurves, compounds with wood, carbon, and aluminum arrows. I have taken deer with a self bow and flint heads.

    However, it is my choice what I want to hunt with that day and circumstance.

    Where does the stupidity end by playing into the antis hands all the time?

    In order for it to be really primitive, should not I have to knap my own flints, grind my own powder and cast my own balls, with no prelubed patches and cut with a patch knife. Doubt anyone here is doing that. But unless you do, got to go into the rifle season now?

    Our job is to put as many hunters in the field using whatever method and tool that they feel comfortable with, otherwise our grandchildren will only be able to read about hunting and definitely not in the PC schools.

    BH
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008