The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 5, 2013

Ken Maurer's Inside Line column: Of fire and steel


One of the things I like to stress about flintlock hunting is to follow up your shot. Track the deer 150 yards or more. We have found deer dead that far away from the shot that showed no sign of a hit. Finding no hair or blood at the spot where the deer was shot at does not mean you didn't hit it. If there is no snow, search the area where you last saw the deer heading into.

Patched roundballs are deadly, but they don't do near the damage a rifle bullet does. I have heard of some hunters having good luck with maxi-balls and sabots. I've never used them, but I have had good success with powerbelt bullets. I tried them for the simple fact of having a larger projectile. My .54 Renegade shoots the 348 grain copper bullet quite accurately, though I have heard that different bullets shoot differently in various guns. The patched round ball is the traditional choice and for many years it was the only legal projectile in flintlock season. I've burned up my last pack of powerbelts and this year I'm going to go back to the roundball. Getting any deer with a flintlock is an accomplishment, and there are still some nice bucks running around out there.

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