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Old September 16, 2009, 01:58 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 12, 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,728
First of all, you have had hunter's ed. yes? I'm assuming NJ requires it, most states do these days.

How much time do you have before deer season comes in? It may be a little late in the game to get into a completely different set of shooting equipment (muzzleloader). If you've got the time between now and then to dedicate some range time to shooting it and the study time to learning the ins and outs of safe muzzleloading then go for it. If not, stick with the shotgun.

I'd not bother with a scope on a smoothbore gun. If you are buying a rifled barrel and shooting sabots at 100 yds plus then by all means invest in some optics. Otherwise it's a waste IMO. Pick up an open sighted smoothbore slug barrel for your gun and be done with it.

If you can, get someone to help you scout the area you'll be hunting. Look for border zones between fields/woods. Look for fencelines or other areas where deer "funnel" through. Set up a tree stand within shooting distance of that funnel on the downwind side. Camo is nice, but not completely necessary. Scent products are over-rated.

Learn how to properly field dress an animal ahead of time. Don't wait until you have one laying on the ground decaying to figure that part out .
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