Muzzlerloader time: Some hunters are traditionalists, others go modern

by David Figura, The Post-Standard  |  published on December 16, 2012

The late muzzleloading season for deer hunting in the Southern Zone began last week and ends Tuesday.

The only firearm allowed is a muzzleloader. Shotguns and rifles are banned.

The firearms used by muzzleloader hunters, though, do vary. There are the traditionalists with their flintlock and caplock rifles with iron sights. The vast majority, however, use the modern “inline” muzzleloaders with high-powered scopes.

Just what is a muzzleloader?

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation website, it’s a rifle or pistol loaded through the muzzle, shooting a single projectile and having a bore of .44 inches or larger. You’re allowed to use fiber-optic sights or scopes on your firearm.

The ammunition ranges from the round lead balls that were shot by the American colonists and the likes of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone to modern-day sabot slugs or bullets that look and act like they were shot out of a rifle.

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