First time hunting with a traditional muzzleloader and I have a few questions
I recently bought a .50 caliber caplock muzzleloader and I’m planning to take it out deer hunting during the upcoming alternative methods season here in Missouri. I’ll be hunting from the ground without a blind or stand. I’m planning on using traditional patched round balls (177 grain) and limiting my shots to about 80 yards or less.
I have a few questions about hunting with a caplock rifle that maybe some of y’all can answer. First, should I carry it with a percussion cap on the rifle ready to go? I suppose the safest way if it’s capped is to carry it half-cocked, right?
Second, what should I do after I shoot a deer? I’m guessing the smoke will prevent me from seeing whether and how it jumped and if I hit it or not. Should I immediately reload before going to see what happened? In some areas I’ll be able to carry my .44 magnum revolver for follow-up shots, but in some conservation areas I plan to check out they are muzzleloader and archery only, so I can’t have that as a backup. I’m thinking about buying a muzzleloading pistol, but those are only powerful enough within 25 yards or so.
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