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Old May 21, 2009, 05:24 PM   #1
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taking deer with cap and ball carbine

now this gets my blood pumping- after reading it, I'm definitely taking one of my 40+ grain capacity c/b pistols for deer this season

A Cap-and-Ball Buck
Deer Hunt with a Black Powder Revolving Carbine
By Russ Chastain,

"I'm proud of you."

Those four words made me feel better than any others possibly could have. The deer in my truck was great; the feeling of accomplishment was wonderful; knowing I'd scouted the area where I'd taken him, and watched him chasing a doe was immensely gratifying - but they were nothing compared with the feeling I got when Dad told me I'd done good. I was positively floating.
It had all started a few weeks before, when I'd once again explored an area of the forest near the river. I'd found, to my surprise, that a bulldozer-wide trail had been plowed along the forest boundary. Where there had been nothing but thicket upon thicket, there was now a nice, straight, well-defined trail. It hadn't been long since the trail's creation, and the snow-white sand was still soft and loose underfoot. This meant a direct and silent approach was possible, where before it had not.
It was archery season when I'd found the trail, and it was riddled with deer tracks. I was uncharacteristically in awe of the place - I'd always liked the area, where hardwood hammock abutted scrub country strewn with crowds of sand pines, but it had been excruciatingly hard to hunt. This new trail made it highly huntable. I had even managed to miss a doe with my bow on that trail, when she "jumped the string" and stepped forward before the arrow could find its mark. Best of all, no other hunters seemed to have found the trail... yet.

Time to Hunt

Then came our three-day muzzleloader hunt. I'd hunted another area - in fact another wildlife management area entirely - the first morning of the hunt. That afternoon I'd driven north and set up my climbing stand on a fairly straight water oak along that trail.
The following morning dawned moist-cool, with low-hanging fog soaking up sound and soaking into my clothes; condensing on, and dripping from, leaves. Dad was hunting elsewhere that day, so I parked and walked in alone.
I had chosen to carry a Uberti revolving cap-and-ball carbine that day. With its .454-caliber round balls over 38 grains of black powder, it provided ballistics roughly approximating the performance of a 44-40. Most importantly, it provided quick follow-up shots - and extensive shooting on the target range had proven it plenty accurate at fifty yards. This was the first hunt I'd taken the gun on, and I chose it because I liked it, it was new, and the fog and terrain meant that I would not get any long shots that morning.

Buck-Grunt Mayhem

I had been on my stand for some hours when I heard some grunting in the thick hardwoods, south of me. My first thought was that some yay-hoo was over there blowing on a grunt tube, because this grunting sounded more like a tube than any other I'd heard in the woods before. When the grunting was shortly accompanied by crashing in the brush, I started to reconsider my earlier line of thought.
I stood in my stand, facing the commotion, which seemed to be heading my way. Suddenly the world exploded! Either that, or a whitetail doe came crashing through the brush. My adrenal glands and heartbeat responded as they would to either scenario, and I instantly fought through the intense rush and the pounding in my chest to focus my attention on the deer. The doe was not alone; it was being followed - nay, pursued - by a young buck intent on romance.


The pair ran a zig-zag pattern through the woods, passing almost underneath my position in the tree. The buck was grunting to beat the band, and the doe wanted no part of it - or of him. They continued in their chase, looping back into the thick woods and going back the way they'd come.
I had not had a chance to shoot, they were moving so quickly - but I didn't care. I realized that my face was split by the widest of grins. Whether I bagged a buck or not, I had just had one of the most intense and enjoyable, though brief, moments of my hunting life. I said to myself, over and over, "This is great!" I was awestruck.
I basked in the glow and the slowly-fading adrenaline rush for a short time, but the deer didn't give me much time to think it over. I was still standing there with a silly grin on my face when I heard something coming my way again - and that something sounded deery to me.
Soon I spotted a whitetail moving through the thick brush. It had come toward me and then turned to its right, traveling broadside towards the 'dozer trail. As it neared the trail, I spotted another deer following. "The one in front will be the doe, and that's the buck coming along behind her," I told myself.
When the lead deer got to the trail, it stopped for a moment. I grunted in my throat and it turned my way for a second. It was clearly a doe, and probably the same doe that had run past me minutes earlier. She looked back over her shoulder, and then walked nervously away from me along the trail. The other deer was still moving through the brush along the same route the doe had taken.

When a Buck Ain't a Buck

When the second deer stepped out, I tensed, because I just knew it would be the randy buck that had been hot on the doe's trail before. Alas, it was not! This deer was apparently her offspring, noticeably smaller now that it, too, stepped out onto the trail where I could see it fully. With little hesitation, it spotted mama down the trail and followed her.
Before disappointment could take hold, I heard yet another deer traveling through the brush, following the same route the other two had taken. It soon reached the trail and paused, and there was my buck. I grunted to get his attention and possibly bring him closer and he looked my way, but I could tell he was ready to follow the doe away from me. He stood broadside in the trail and this was going to be my only chance.

Finding a Hole

I straightened, seeking and finding a hole through the slick-dark, shiny-green leaves of a magnolia tree between me and my prey. With my right elbow high, I propped it against the trunk of the oak in which I was perched. I steadied the sights on the buck's side, and fired the little carbine.
Immediately, the buck was on the run. He crossed the trail and plunged into the woods beyond. Startled by my own inhumanly-fast automatic response, I found that I had promptly re-cocked the six-shooter and was swinging the gun with the deer as it ran. I fired, with no visible effect. Then he was gone.

Adrenaline Aftermath

The diminutive gun in my hands, already re-cocked against the possibility of getting another shot, I strained to see where the buck had gone. Within seconds, I heard crashing in the leaves and brush, not far away. "He's down," I told myself, "He's down and dying." Still I craned my neck, seeking movement amongst the scrub oaks and saplings. I trembled, I panted.
Then I spotted motion! The deer was struggling in the brush, and even as I raised the gun he stood, facing towards me, a narrow target. I fired and was rewarded with a thick cloud of white smoke from the black powder, which maddeningly obscured my view. I watched intently as the smoke drifted and dissipated, in reality fairly quickly though it seemed like forever at the time.

How'd I do That?

I peered across the trail, searching for the buck. I didn't have to wait long. With his body lying on the ground and hidden by brush, he was raising his head, again and again, apparently trying to get up. With alacrity and skill that again astounded me, and which elude me at less intense moments, I raised the little gun, timed the shot to coincide with the raising of the deer's head, and fired.
This time, there was no subsequent movement across the trail. All was still, with the exception of another slow-drifting cloud of aromatic white smoke, my thundering heart, and my quaking limbs. My post-kill attack of the shakes was, as usual, deliciously unrelenting.
After a few minutes of observation, I safed my gun and ratcheted my stand down the tree. I shakily crossed the trail and stepped into the woods beyond, and very shortly was admiring my buck. A nice young spike, this deer would be fine table fare.

Shot Placement

I found that my first shot had been true, as I'd felt it was when I'd fired. It had been a touch too far back for my liking, but a killing lung shot nonetheless. I had apparently missed when I fired as he ran. My third shot, taken as the deer stood up, had grazed its shoulder, stripping a path through his hair but otherwise producing no effect. My final shot had been perfect, connecting with the neck at the base of the skull as the buck had raised its head.
Thanking God for his infinite grace, I dragged the buck to my truck and loaded it. Cranked the Chevy, backed it out, and headed towards the area where Dad had gone to hunt. Drove along with a wonderful, warm feeling of great accomplishment. Turned off the pavement onto the dirt road leading to Dad's spot, and met him as he was driving out.

Powerful Words

As we climbed out of our trucks at the same time, he knew by the grin on my face that I had gotten a buck. As we walked around to the back of my truck to admire the deer, I said, "I carbined him."
"You did?" was his reply. He sounded mildly surprised. I answered with a smiling nod.
Dad shook my hand, gave me a hug. He said, "I'm proud of you, son. You done good."
If there is any feeling better than what I felt upon hearing those words from that man, I don't know what it might be. I think I floated back to camp that day.
CaptainCrossman is offline  
Old May 21, 2009, 07:56 PM   #2
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Location: west virginia
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sounds good but they are illegal here, muzzle loaders must be single shot, to be legal.
hillbille is offline  
Old May 22, 2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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we can use them but they have to be 44 caliber minimum, and during the modern rifle hunting season only for single action sixguns to be legal for deer- we can also use flintlock single shot rifle or pistol during regular modern rifle hunting season, and of course single action cartridge pistol

oddly enough, during early muzzleloader season, we must use cap ignition single shot rifle/pistol, during the late muzzleloader season must use flintlock single shot rifle or pistol
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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Location: Mississippi
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Have to be single shot here too but we can use breech loading cartridge guns with smokeless powder and scopes as long as it has an external hammer and 35 caliber and above. -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- is primitive about that? :barf:
Hawg is offline  
Old May 23, 2009, 06:09 AM   #5
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I guess they look at an external single action hammer as primitive, compared to the new semi autos, pumps, levers, bolts ??

The idea of shooting a deer with a Walker is attractive. If loaded to maximum, it's basically a "45-60" with 60 grains of black. Just 10 grains shy of the tried and true 45-70 Winchester.
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Old May 23, 2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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...and about 15" of barrel...
mykeal is offline  

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