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Discussion Starter #1
Question... If muzzleloaders are somehow less lethal or efficient than shotguns/rifles, why do so many hunters choose to use them during the regular firearms season in Zone III? I personally think modern muzzle loaders are extremely efficient and the thought of three more weekends of deer hunting with these things makes my blood boil.

I think at minimum, you should only be allowed to shoot a buck the first five days of muzzleloader season and then only doe's after that (in zone 1 and 2). As far as Zone III is concerned, think about it... the only reason Zone III is shotgun only is because of safety concerns due to higher (human) population densities in this region and yet we allow muzzle loaders, some of which have a range of 400 yards to be used there. Enough is enough, we can't possibly continue this unscientific management without serious fallout. What is the DNR thinking in regard to this issue besides the obvious revenue increase that is generated? Does this revenue somehow offset the negative aspects of this continuing liberalization of deer hunting in Michigan? Just wondering if anyone else feels this way :confused:
 

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I agree that the modern inlines are extremely effective and I know many guys that use them in zone 3 for deer hunting. In 1995 I used an inline but I sold it the day after muzzleloader season ended. I just couldn't see using an inline during a primative weapons season so I bought a .54 cal Hawken. I love it.
As far as the range of the inline and hunting in zone 3, you are allowed to shoot varmints with rifles (22-.250, 223, etc...). Doesn't make much sense to me but I am too paranoid to use one of these rifles around here. I usually use a .22 or my bow.
 

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First of all, I agree that muzzleloader technology is way beyond where it was when the original seasons were set.

And, for the most part so are shotguns and bow technologies as well. Why Zone 3 is limited to these high tech weapons and not rifles is really beyond my comprehension.

However, I'm not sure the technology issue has anything to do with the number of deer being harvested though. Weapons of choice and seasons with those weapons are only a tool the DNR uses to manage the herd sizes. And that has no regard as to what we particularly think of our own successes.

A recent article in MON points out that the DNR is after particular populations in each of the 3 zones. The only zone not up to the target range is the the UP. Zone 2, Northern Lower is about right and the Zone 3, southern Lower is way over the goal. The problem with Zone 3 is that no matter what the DNR does to try and shrink the herd it is not working. Too much urban/suburban area and private land.
 

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Don't see what the revenue concern means. License cost the same no matter what method is utilized.

I suppose a few might decide to hunt elsewhere (OR USE A SHOTGUN) if they couldn't use their ML's but I don't think they would quit hunting.

As for safety, I guess if enough of the Southern Mi. Residents called on politicians, NRC etc. that ML use could be eliminated in that part of the state!
 

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with muzzle loaders(old and new), You basically get a 32 day gun season in Zone 3, If people think that most hunters will only be after does, they are wrong. I know guys, myself included that save a doe permit or 2 for this season, but my main objective out there is to shoot bucks.
 

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I to know of many hunters that use their inlines instead of shotguns during rifle season. I agree with 2-BIG and take this season and hunt the way my great grandfather hunted with a hawkens 54 cal and peep sights. The way I look at it is an opportunity to see the challenges that they had just to survive and put meat on the table.
 

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a plausible reason that in-lines are still allowed (i shoot one as well) in zone 3 is that its only a single shot.

If you allowed rifles down here, you would have morons with semi's pulling the same scattergun 5 shot crap they do with shotguns at running deer over 200 yards......killing more people than deer probably.
 

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halfcore said:
a plausible reason that in-lines are still allowed (i shoot one as well) in zone 3 is that its only a single shot.

If you allowed rifles down here, you would have morons with semi's pulling the same scattergun 5 shot crap they do with shotguns at running deer over 200 yards......killing more people than deer probably.
I hear a lot of 3 and 4 shot strings. A lot of guys shoot at running deer with shotguns which can be dagerous. That would be a waste of effort with a muzzle loader.
 

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Even with todays technology, M/Ls are still at most a 200yard gun, and even that's the limit of it's ethical range. Now days with slug gun technology you can get the same ranges out of a good gun/slug combo.
Using a M/L is still a challange, because it limits you to (in most cases) one shot. Even with my H&R slug gun, I can reload allot faster then relaoding my M/L.
The safety factor comes in to effect when you talk about using say a 300wm or 7mm. Allot of hunting down here is done on tree lines/wood line over looking open ag fields. A 180gr 300wm would cary a long ways across an open 160acre cut corn field with no trees to get in it's path. Maybe even far enough to hit the next farm house, barn, cattle, or child.
Personally, I would shiver to think that any group of 6-12 big orange pumpkin head Jackalope hunter, pushing out the thicket next to me were sending 3-5 high powered rifle shots in whatever direction any deer ran...:yikes:.
I like M/L season, it makes pushing deer bit harder. Limiting those that take part in rabbit hunting for deer to one shot.
That's coming from someone that lives it and sees it..;)
 

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2-BIG said:
I agree that the modern inlines are extremely effective and I know many guys that use them in zone 3 for deer hunting. In 1995 I used an inline but I sold it the day after muzzleloader season ended. I just couldn't see using an inline during a primative weapons season so I bought a .54 cal Hawken. I love it.

If you want a primitive season, lobby for one....Michigan DOES NOT nor has it ever had a primitive season. PA has a primitive season, and it's flint only...not one of those easy to shoot sidelocks with fancy caps. Those that really think there is a potential performance difference between a sidelock and an inline don't know enough about either! Both can be effective at long range....an no, nothing like a high velocity rifle, regardless what some think. The inlines are easier to maintain and clean, thats it (easier to mount optics as well). This ease of cleaning/maintenance gets more people in the field, and that's what really pisses off some folks. And many folks are just happy looking the traditional part regardless how traditional they realy are. Plenty of room for all muzzleloader enthusiasts in my book.
The season was extended in the southern zone to help take more deer...period. Get used to it already, the DNR has not met their goals for this part of the state. This topic and the reasons have already been posted numerous times on this site. In the mean time, I have 3 doe tags left and just enough room in the freezer! The little bucks don't have to worry, they are safe, but Mr Mature better be on his toes!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If its all about killing more deer then lets "lobby" for a machine gun season, hunting with dogs or road hunting. If we continue to determine game laws by whoever does the best job "lobbying", we are in serious trouble. Where is the science in that?? We can "spin" this debate to death but the facts are what they are and the muzzleloader season in its current form is a study of contradiction.
 

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bentduck said:
If its all about killing more deer then lets "lobby" for a machine gun season, hunting with dogs or road hunting. If we continue to determine game laws by whoever does the best job "lobbying", we are in serious trouble. Where is the science in that?? We can "spin" this debate to death but the facts are what they are and the muzzleloader season in its current form is a study of contradiction.
What? How is it a contridiction? They (DNR) extended the season in hopes that more doe tags would be filled, period. They did not or have not tried to hide that fact! That information is in this forum, straight from the DNR...look it up! And yeah, the DNR is using science and biology to come up with the number of deer they feel is appropriate. Some just don't agree with what is appropriate so they feel the need to take pot shots. Don't blame muzzleloaders for management decisions...thats what you're trying to do. (yet you'll likely be in the field toting a muzzleloader at some point this December)

Plenty are lobbying for legal use of crossbows during archery season as we speak. If it were all about killing deer as you seem to think, the crossbow debate wouldn't be an issue, it would be legal!! Some of you let emotion get the best of you before you post.
 

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I own a T/C Omega, and despite the fact I read it can shoot out to 200 yards I have not even attempted to shoot a target at that distance. The longest shot I've taken with it is 70 yards while sighting it in. I eventually sighted it in for 60 yards, only around 10 yards farther than what I consider my max effective range with my 12 gauge 870. Just because they can shoot that far doesn't mean that every hunter who takes one out in the regular firearm season is doing so to shoot out to 200 yards. I've been taking my muzzleloader out this season simply because it forces me to be more picky when deciding to take a shot or not. Despite the fact it's a modern muzzleloading rifle, you still only get one shot, it's still more of a challenge than my pump slug gun.

I don't think I'd shoot a deer at 200 yards even if I knew I could because I just can't see the fun in that, I like my deer hunting to be up close and personal because let's face it, it's a lot easier to remain undetected by a deer at 200 yards than it is 50 and under. Heck I've only got one spot where I hunt where I can actually see deer that far away, and most of the time I don't spot em until they are a lot closer than that.

In my area almost no one uses muzzleloaders during regular firearm, my dad and uncle have both used shotguns all this season, I haven't touched my shotgun this year. I've only heard the tell-tale roar of a muzzleloader a few times while out hunting this year. Yet I continually hear the bam-bam-bam-bam-bams of idiots emptying their shotguns, muzzleloaders are not as popular in this area as the original poster makes it sound.

I also don't get your idea of only allowing hunters to take a buck the first 5 days of ml season then they can only take does. I just don't get the concept, how will that help take out some more of the does? I'd be willing to bet you'd get guys who would hunt those first 5 days then they'd be done for the season.

I already took a doe this year, I've got meat in the freezer and contributed to the management of our hunting area in taking the doe, my uncle is gonna take one pretty soon too so I don't need/want to shoot anymore does this year. The guys on the neighboring property also took a bunch of does so I don't see why we need to take anymore than that. I'm looking for a nice, mature buck now, I'm happy I'll have some extra time this year to hunt. In our area muzzleloader is a fairly quiet season because I think most guys around here are too lazy to even try muzzleloading, or don't do it because they can't rattle off shots like they do in the regular season.
 

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Bentduck, sorry but I just don't quite understand your beef on this matter. You say you don't want another 3 weekends with inline muzzleloaders? Relax already, you don't have to use one. So they may not be a "primative weapon" in your eyes, so what? Use a flintlock. Don't begrudge those of us who shoot an inline. Primative, schmimative. I use an inline because it is easier to clean, shoot, maintain, mount optics, yada yada yada. And so what if they are as efficient as say a shotgun set up to shoot sabots. That still gives you or anyone else the choice to use them or not. Myself, I am pleased about the extra week of muzzle season, simply because it is an extra week that I can fulfill my obsession with the whitetail.
 

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skipper34 said:
Bentduck, sorry but I just don't quite understand your beef on this matter. You say you don't want another 3 weekends with inline muzzleloaders? Relax already, you don't have to use one. So they may not be a "primative weapon" in your eyes, so what?

The point I am making is being missed here. What happens if the DNR approves hunting deer with dogs like they do in other states? According to your logic, I shouldn't complain but instead simply choose not to participate. I was not made that way and I choose not to go through life with my head buried in the sand.

When is enough enough???
 

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Here we go again. Another one of our own dividing us among the ranks. Get over it and go hunting.
 

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What? How is it a contridiction? They (DNR) extended the season in hopes that more doe tags would be filled, period. They did not or have not tried to hide that fact! That information is in this forum, straight from the DNR...look it up! And yeah, the DNR is using science and biology to come up with the number of deer they feel is appropriate.

The contradiction is obvious if you read the original post. Rifles are not allowed in Zone III because the DNR has deemed them to be unsafe there. However they seemed to have overlooked this fact in there quest to kill more deer. Why? Because for some reason they allow modern muzzleloaders that have similar range and killing capacity to be used in zone III. If that isn't a blatant contradiction, I don't know what is.

Want more? How about allowing December bowhunters in the woods wearing full camo while the muzzleloading and late antlerless seasons are in full swing? Think we may be compromising safety a little bit in order to shoot a few more deer? I mean if blaze orange is mandatory during firearms season for SAFETY reasons, why isn't it required during the late seasons for bowhunters? Are they somehow immune from accidently getting shot?? Contradictions have become the rule ever since we began this quest to kill more deer or risk lawsuits from insurance companies... that is really what this is all about. I admire everyones attempt at shielding the DNR in this matter but the facts cannot be denied no matter how you spin them... ;)
 

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Sorry, but I cannot agree with your assessment of the killing efficiency of inline muzzleloaders to high power rifles. Like I said before, shotguns, 12 guage with rifled barrels and sabots perhaps, but high power rifles, sorry but no way. It's also quite obvious from the other posters on this thread that the Dnr wants more deer killed in zone 3. Just live with that fact and go out and do your part as a steward of the resource, with whatever legal method you choose.
 

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Swamp Monster said:
If you want a primitive season, lobby for one....Michigan DOES NOT nor has it ever had a primitive season.
You may want to actually research the creation of the Michigan's archery and muzzleloading seasons, as they were approved based on the "primtive" nature of those weapons! Sure are primitive now, eh?? :rolleyes:

Swamp Monster said:
Get used to it already, the DNR has not met their goals for this part of the state.
I will agree with you on this point. They still "need" to wipe out the herd in the SLP so as to appease their special interest friends.

Dan
 
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