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Muzzleloader Deer Season
Muzzleloader hunting is a little more challenging than hunting deer with a shotgun. You have only one shot and you have to make it count. However, it is made much easier with modern equipment. Ohio has been allowing the use of percussion rifles and rifle scopes. Even though muzzleloaders are referred to as primitive weapons, the new modern guns are very accurate especially when shooting sabot bullets throughthe rifled barrel using a scope. Ohio usually has two muzzleloader seasons each year. The first is in early October and is limited to specific areas, e.g. Wildcat Hollow, Shawnee State Forest, and Salt Fork Wildlife Area. A map of the areas included is available online from the Ohio Department of National Resources. Wildcat Hollow includes portions of Wayne National Forest and Wolf Creek Wildlife Area near Burr Oak Lake. The second season is the statewide muzzleloader season which falls late in the year around the last week of December. The weather in Ohio during that hunt can be unpredictable. The cold doesn’t seem to bother the deer but it can be unpleasant for the hunter. Archery hunting has traditionally been allowed during both of these seasons. Below are some tips for hunting deer with a muzzleloader in Ohio.
Hunting Tips & Techniques
Early muzzleloader season is during pre-rut so some of the bow hunting techniques can be used, if the hunting pressure is low. Otherwise, you may have to sit and wait for the deer to come to you. With the modern muzzleloaders and scopes, you can kill deer up to 200 yards away. This allows you to pick a spot where you can see for a long distance increasing your chances of seeing an approaching deer and at the same time decrease the chances of it seeing you. However, deer have a keen sense of smell and can detect motion easily. If you are hunting on the ground, you may want to use a blind or at least sit in front of something to breakup your silhouette. Unlike turkeys, even though deer can see you, they can't distinguish you from part of a fallen tree, if you are sitting motionless with it behind you. Hunting during the late muzzleloader season is different from hunting earlier in the season and may require a different approach. Deer have already formed small groups. You can sit a long time without seeing a deer but when you do, you are likely to see several. If waiting for the deer to come to you is not working out, you may want to go to them. If the leaves are wet and you can walk quietly, this may be the best strategy.
                           Evolution of the Muzzleloader 
Browning Safety Overlay for Adults Thompson/Center Omega .50 Caliber Blackpowder Muzzleloader Rifles Nikon Omega Muzzleloader Scopes