Woods & Water

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By Ken Sim­mers

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.

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