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A Hunting Trip of a lifetime in the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness! Extreme Elk Magazine

Author Topic: Muzzleloader popularity  (Read 1109 times)

Offline cohochemist

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Muzzleloader popularity
« on: September 19, 2017, 12:06:42 PM »
I was reading through previous year harvest reports and noticed muzzleloading consistently has 1.5-3x fewer hunters than archery seasons.  I was a bit surprised by this considering I grew up in a state where muzzleloading is quite popular.   Are there specific reasons why so few people shoot muzzleloaders?   I personally prefer this method and have taken most of my deer with my CVA.  This will be my first year chasing Elk, looking forward to the challenge!

Offline bobcat

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 12:15:20 PM »
Historically there were very few units open for muzzleloader season. That changed a couple years ago, so that's not as much of an issue anymore, but there's still a lack of hunting opportunity for the late season. Early season is only 7 days. Archery has longer seasons and a greater number of GMU's to hunt, and the best GMU's.

So I think a lack of opportunity is one reason archery is more popular. Another reason is probably the fact that muzzleloaders are not the best choice in wet weather.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 12:22:02 PM by bobcat »

Offline Bob33

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 12:19:58 PM »
General Elk Season, Eastern Muzzleloader: October 7-13 (7 days)
General Elk Season, Eastern Archery: September 9-21 (13 days)

Archery season is nearly twice as long, and earlier when elk are more likely to be rutting and responding to calls.
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Offline klickman

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 12:26:26 PM »
It's all about opportunities. Limited for muzzy hunters. To be honest muzzy hunters get screwed based on tags and season length for both deer and elk. Also not much for late season elk.


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Offline carpsniperg2

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 12:29:35 PM »
 :yeah: Yup I am still a muzzle guy if I don't get a multi tag. They nuked our early season hunt here and we don't have a muzzle elk season in either 382/388. 388 has rifle and archery, 382 only has rifle :bash: You would think they could do more then just a single elk season in a unit.
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Offline cohochemist

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 01:41:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies,

I grew up in Nebraska were the muzzleloader deer season is very generous, plus we could use during rifle and special late season hunts.  This worked to our advantage because much of the very limited public land around Lincoln and Omaha prohibited high power rifles but would allow muzzleloaders; too many houses, not enough trees to stop wayward bullets...  During general rifle season, the deer would actually hide out on the public land rather than risk it in a farmer's corn field.  Needless to say, muzzleloading became quite popular with me and my hunting buddies!  Enough so that I traded in my archery and rifle equipment years ago before moving to WA.   

So, how far removed from the peak Elk rut is muzzy season?  Am I wrong to assume you would see more movement in early Oct. compared to November with the westside rifle season?  I am largely a muzzy guy and would prefer to stick with my black-powder rather than dropping $300-600 bucks on new rifle or bow.   Or, should I do an equipment upgrade for next year? 

Offline floatinghat

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 10:07:26 AM »


Muzzy still doesn't get the seasons or the number of units but it has improved.  There were a lot of new muzzy hunters last season with the opening of a few new GMU's in the early season. For the areas I hunt it got much busier.  A good number of archery guys I know tried to deflect attention sayin muzzy got the peak of the rut... We didn't my buddies had bulls screeming and we had silence.  Not saying we didn't have chances.   But due to the number of hunters our season and access to special permits are limited.

Offline Stein

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 04:42:59 PM »
I've been on one muzzy hunt and it was a special permit cow hunt.  I can say without doubt it was the biggest pumpkin patch festival I have every been involved (roughly similar to opening morning at the Samish unit if you are a waterfowl guy).

There are better hunts, but I don't know that it really gives a guy less competition than modern.

Offline OutHouse

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 04:54:05 PM »
It depends on the unit and for me it depends on whether I have a MS tag. Where I hunt deer anyway, the muzzy season is the perfect balance between not having the pumpkin patch and not having to draw the bow to take a shot. If I don't tag out during archery then I bust out the hawken for muzzy.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 05:08:24 PM »
It depends on the unit and for me it depends on whether I have a MS tag. Where I hunt deer anyway, the muzzy season is the perfect balance between not having the pumpkin patch and not having to draw the bow to take a shot. If I don't tag out during archery then I bust out the hawken for muzzy.

I hunted modern elk for years. Than switched to muzzy about 6 years ago.
No way I see as many other hunters in the woods as modern.
I think I saw 6 guys last year in the woods I didn't know. I have gone days without seeing another hunter outside of my partners.
I like muzzy for that reason less folks.
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Offline Little Fish

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Re: Muzzleloader popularity
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2017, 05:21:41 PM »
I went from modern to muzzy to archery primarily to get away from the crowds. When I started there were way fewer options for muzzy guys and the woods were almost as crowded during muzzy season as they were during modern season.

Given that early muzzy season is still during the rut I can understand why it is shorter. Rutting bulls are way easier to kill than the non-rutting variety so if the season were longer I think there would be a lot more dead elk.

 

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