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October 20. 2012 8:31PM

Dick Pinney's Guidelines: Muzzleloading season makeover

We're trying to make some sense out of the special muzzle-loading deer season that starts before the regular deer season. When this special season was initiated the liberal early season was predicated on the use of traditional front-end loading, single shot rifles and smoothbores. The deer take during the special muzzleloading season was miniscule, compared to what has happened since with the extreme makeover to these guns. Now, when the deer kill is added to the archery take, equals that of the regular gun season take.

Don’t take me wrong. We’re not against muzzleloading seasons. But we are concerned that the regular gun hunters are actually being taken advantage of if they don’t partake of the muzzleloading season, which is a huge number of people.

Improvements such as powder formed into pellets which can be loaded singly, doubled and in some instances using three, eliminates the weighing or measuring of the powder charge. Instead of a patched round ball of lead, which only the purists use now, rifle type projectiles encased in a plastic sabot (pronounced say-bo) are pushed onto the powder charge. And instead of the typical muzzleloading ignition cap, most of these have been replaced by using an almost trouble free shotgun primer. And recently on the market, ignition can be provided when a trigger pull releases an electric pulse from a tiny battery.

If you find a muzzleloading hunter out with a flintlock muzzleloader you’ve found kind of a real traditionalist that belongs in a museum. (We’re just kidding, here but the gun belongs in a museum.)

My question to Fish and Game management is, why haven’t the special muzzleloading seasons been shortened so as to not give these modern-day shooters the advantages that they now have by being able to hunt well before the gun season? Or better still, with the only disadvantage of the new muzzleloading guns being a single shot firearm, allow hunters armed with breech loading, single shot-weapons to enjoy the same early season and privileges enjoyed by the muzzleloading hunters?

During the Civil War, when the vast majority of the soldiers were armed with muzzleloading guns, some of the soldier-snipers armed with rifled-barreled guns made kills at 500 to 1,000 yards. So these guns don’t have any safety factor of limited range. They all can shoot a heck of a long way and are just as dangerous as a modern rifle.

As we previously wrote, we are NOT against muzzleloaders or their special seasons. But we do think they should be adjusted and limited, or better still, liberalized to make regular single shot regular guns legal in this season.

The impetus that the special muzzleloader season had on gun manufacturing and sales of accessories has been huge.

The gun industry soared for several years with much of this new business caused by the need of muzzleloading firearms and innovation by the muzzleloading manufacturing businesses.

Gun manufacturers are currently setting sales records, but most of the impetus is fear of our current administration creating some very serious anti-gun laws which could easily happen by the replacement of one Supreme Court Justice.

Public sentiment is easily swayed by news of rampant and unexplained multiple gun killings and woundings. The cause of these shootings is so random that it’s hard to both predict and prevent. And as gun owners we have to bear the consequences that these shootings create — more anti-gun sentiment.

A person that is motivated to kill others doesn’t need to use a gun. But plenty of regular people have saved lives because they were gun owners.

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Check out the upcoming Rockingham Chapter of Ducks Unlimited Dinner Banquet to be held in Plaistow on Nov. 10. Email Fancis Magie at fmagie@comcast.net for more information.

Dick Pinney’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email him at DoDuckInn@aol.com.


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