Woods & Water
Prepare to make a loud noise!
Muzzleloader season, one of my favorites, is about to begin; Oct. 20-22 are the dates. So, right now, we still have time to get ready. What does get ready mean? Divide it into: Sites, rifle, equipment, permission and yourself. First, clear your schedule. Too often I let work get in the way of a good hunt or fishing trip. When you get to the end of the road you realize you really didn’t accomplish what you wanted.
I don’t mean skip work once a week, but once a year or maybe twice, and then enjoy these days. When I retired I had 265 full sick days I could have used; that means a year and a half of sick days were unused. Yes, you can add a year to retirement, but all the rest is lost. So, clear your schedule for these three days, one of which is Saturday.
Be sure you still have permission to hunt the area of your choice. Things change: Owners may be new, an area may be logged out, your area could now be a pasture or a hundred other things.
Your rifle can be a big concern. If it worked like a top last year, there may be no reason it won’t do it again. However, if you had a misfire or your sights weren’t dead nuts, it’s time to do something about it. Don’t wait until the Saturday before season; get it out today, oil it, be sure that the primer will seat correctly, put in some powder and a piece of cloth or a sabot and go outside and fire a round.
Next, get your range gear in shape. Be sure you have a four foot stand, plenty of powder, primers, and bullets, range scope or binocular, target patches and get ready for the range. Have a friend go with you, taking their gear, also.
Make adjustments at the range; be sure your scope is shooting where you want it, probably right on at 100 yards. It’s rare to shoot further with a muzzleloader this early in the season when the leaves are still on the trees.
Last is equipment. Check to see you have everything you need and not too much extra. Have a 20-foot hank of rope, a good pair of binoculars and the knowledge to use them, a good sharp knife, two flashlights, your license, a pencil and trailing tape. Save room for sandwiches, water and snacks.
Always identify your tar- get with your binoculars, then use your scope to put on the finishing touches. May the bubble in your eye be true!
Permethrin can be a lifesaver; it keeps off ticks, including deer ticks. Spray on your clothes a day or two in advance to let the smell cool. Don’t be fooled into thinking that deer ticks die when it gets cold: they don’t. In fact, they may even bite when there is snow on the ground and may even lead to the dreaded lyme disease. Permethrin is easy prevention and well worth the effort.