You make some very good points and to be clear, I'm not saying don't use the gun. That thing sounds over the top impressive.Great question. You could ask the same of the traditionalists. For myself, I hunt all firearm seasons with a muzzleloader and have done so for decades, with one partial year change.
About 5yrs ago, I did hunt and harvest a nice whitetail with a 450 Bushmaster during the general season. However, I used a muzzleloader during the designated "Muzzleloader Season", to harvest a second buck. The only reason I used the Bushmaster was because the scope I was using on my muzzleloader was in to Leupold for repairs.
I've said it before and will again. A known fact is hunter numbers across the country are actually dropping considerably. Hunter numbers using muzzleloaders are dropping like a rock. Oh, by the way, how many muzzleloader manufacturers are left? In many states they are now allowing "straight wall cartridge rifles" to be used during the "muzzleloader season".
Young people, having any choice, would never use a rotary phone over their "Smartphone". Most now days have never seen a rotary phone, soon to be a museum piece.
We should be encouraging and supporting ALL firearms, not debating rather one firearm is ethical for this or that and another isn't. If one doesn't understand the WHY in that, our shooting and hunting sports are in dire jeopardy.
Hunting today is FAR different than "back in the day". Private property means exactly that now. City dwellers wanting a piece of the quiet life, moved to the countryside and bought up any available land. Farmers sold frontage, then acreage. The farmer's children didn't want to farm anymore and when the old farmers passed, they split and sold off the farms.You make some very good points and to be clear, I'm not saying don't use the gun. That thing sounds over the top impressive.
The point I (and I think others, too) are trying to make is that the muzzleloader seasons exist because a few people that enjoyed the challenge of sneaking into close range got together and asked for a special season where they didnt have to compete with the high powered rifles.
The advancement in muzzleloader technology is absolutely astounding, as your rifle so clearly shows. I don't blame you for taking advantage of what is offered but as a guy who quit muzzleloader hunting because of changes to the sport, I'm glad that my home state made our ML season a traditional one.
Don't forget about the taxes & medical bills going up every year forcing the older farmers to sell off acreage to keep just a few acres of what used to be a couple hundred acre farm. And then the tougher restrictions on what crops could be planted & where. God forbid you cross pollinate someone else crops.Hunting today is FAR different than "back in the day". Private property means exactly that now. City dwellers wanting a piece of the quiet life, moved to the countryside and bought up any available land. Farmers sold frontage, then acreage. The farmer's children didn't want to farm anymore and when the old farmers passed, they split and sold off the farms.
When I was a youngster, I could start out from the farm in the morning, cross properly line after properly line of our neighbors, who also did the same. If I were to meet up with a neighbor in the marsh, we'd start hunting together. When it was time to head home, I might be 5miles from the farm. I'd unload and start walking home down the road. Normally the first, maybe the second car that came by, stopped and picked me up and took me home.
TRY THAT TODAY!
If.............. one has the property available to them, then sneaking into range is a possibility. However, I dare say that likely 80% of the country now days is made up of smaller acreage, not 10's of thousands like some large ranches out west. Regardless of the state east of the Miss., state lands look like pumpkin patches. Fights, arguments, parking issues, prevail. Private land owners argue and fight with their neighbors over hunting rights and QDM.
Yes, there's advancements made in muzzleloading, archery, and firearms in general. Those who want to dress the part and use a flint or percussion, can certainly do that in any of the firearm seasons. I applaud those hunters. I started out like that and have been hunting with a muzzleloader since "73". Today I prefer modern and their abilities.
So............... we have pumpkin patches, fights, arguments and the such, just over hunting itself. And guess what? Now we're arguing over rather a hunter can use a modern inline or a scope.
Believe me, the anti's are reading these posts, just as the DNR or wildlife officers. Divide and conquer?
Thanks for sharing. Type of info I was hoping to find.NM will be banning scopes on muzzleloaders beginning this fall. Here is their rationalization:
"Stewart Liley, head biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, told commissioners on Friday that recent improvements in muzzleloader technology have made the guns nearly as efficient as centerfire rifles. If the commission wanted to continue to allow the use of scoped muzzleloaders in designated muzzleloader seasons, he said the commission would have to reduce the number of permits it offers to avoid unsustainable losses to game herds.
(IMO fewer permits is preferable to eliminating scopes)
"What we're seeing biologically is that the harvest is going to be unsustainable," Liley said of the prospect of continuing to allow scoped muzzleloaders during designated muzzleloader seasons.
Liley said he expects that loss of animals to wounding by muzzleloaders may decrease under the prohibition against scoped muzzleloaders.
(Yea right and irons sights are going to help with hits)
Although scopes allow hunters to hit animals at long range, he said the animals may not give any indication that they've been hit so hunters may not follow up all their shots.
(IMO this is a lame excuse)
Commissioner Roberta Salazar-Henry cast the lone votes against the change on muzzleloaders. She said she was dissatisfied with the game department's public education efforts on the issue and said she was concerned that 17,000 muzzleloader hunters will find out next year that they don't have a chance to use their scoped muzzleloaders anymore."
from this article:
NM State Game Commission Bans Scopes on Muzzleloaders - New Mexico Wildlife Federation - New Mexico Wildlife FederationBy BEN NEARY NMWF Conservation Director Starting next year, New Mexico hunters who take to the field in designated muzzleloader seasons will no longer be able to use scope sights on their guns, the state game commission voted Friday. The New Mexico State Game Commission also voted on Friday to...nmwildlife.org
I am not on here telling anyone what to do, but I would never, ever take a 300 yard shot with iron sights! I mean, come on, you ain't Wild Bill Hitchcock.I also have short and not very well timed seasons. No one mentioned Youtube and other internet media including Forums. Yes, the government uses the internet to see what is going on. So many poaching cases made right off social media. The equipment is 1000 times better than it was 20 years ago, and yes more people are killing animals then ever before. Bottom line is the internet information has made it able to happen. Yes I am guilty of perpetuating the problem. I wanted a 300yd muzzle loader capable of killing elk at 300yds. Easy got on the internet and boom had a Bestill in my hands shortly after. No optics just long range iron sights, and the rifle is very capable of 300yd accuracy and energy for deer and elk. Did I mention I have my range finder to know exact yardage?
If game departments issue tags with the assumption "the tag WILL be filled" you will be SEVERELY limiting the number of tags sold.I agree with you sir, people are going to take risky shots no matter what they use. Imo when states issue tags they should consider the tag filled, this way big game herds would have a better success rate, but fascist greed always gets in the way.
IMHO most ML ranges are maxed out at 200 yards and a lot more at 150, most ML hunters cant afford the $1500.00 ML rifle or ones that cost $5k+ that can reach out over 500 yards, but the fact that they want to limit everything to primitive style better be ready for a lot of injured animals dying without being harvested by the shooter, and the research numbers will show a huge drop in filled tags and available animals. just like an adjustable stock on an AR platform does it increase accuracy yes but that's only because the platform makes the rifle more comfortable for the shooter, same scenario with a scoped ML it makes the shooter more comfortable with his shot placement leading to a more ethical harvest.Same reason crossbows aren’t allowed in real archery seasons? (In most places anyway).
I think it sucks, I have a nice in-line that I bought to use in AZ. Now in Montana they just started a ML season but it’s super traditional. They’re not selling more tags, this is an after the fact hunt on general tags.
I think traditional equipment, which MLs are, should remain range limited, that’s part of the reason you can get the tag easier, it’s supposed to be harder. If not, they should just get rid of the ML tags and make them rifle tags.