SMOKE ’EM OUT

Outdoor Life - - SHOOTING -

Arkansas res­i­dent Mike Yancey doesn’t just be­lieve in the adage about how some hun­ters will ad­vance through five phases dur­ing their hunt­ing ca­reers— he’s liv­ing them.

Yancey has killed plenty of deer, and he went through the tro­phy phase. Now it’s all about method. The re­sult: He’s hav­ing more fun than ever.

“I started hunt­ing pri­mar­ily with prim­i­tive muz­zleload­ers. While they’re deadly weapons, they’re far more in­tri­cate than modern ri­fles. It’s not as easy as bolt­ing a car­tridge into the cham­ber,” he says. “The ex­cite­ment I ex­pe­ri­ence when I hunt with a prim­i­tive muz­zleloader is com­pa­ra­ble to the ex­cite­ment I ex­pe­ri­enced when I first started hunt­ing.” —D.M. the tools

Yancey uses a .54-cal­iber Lan­caster-style flint­lock with open sights that he as­sem­bled. He charges the ri­fle with 85 grains of loose Goex FFG black pow­der. His patch is made from pil­low tick­ing that’s soaked in olive oil to aid in load­ing. He casts his own lead balls, which weigh 224 grains each.

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