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Author Topic: WV Black powder deer  (Read 779 times)

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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WV Black powder deer
« on: December 16, 2020, 11:12:55 PM »
   Well, I just fat fingered a long post. I hate it when I do that. I'll try again. ::)

  Its muzzleloader season for deer in WV this week. I have not killed one with my TCA Thunderhawk in years. I got it out yesterday,  fired off the old round I'd left (less the primer of course) in there from last season (Okay probably not the best idea but...) and it fired right off and hit the end of an ash log about 50 yards away right where I aimed it. A few years ago I replaced the #11 nipple with one that uses musket caps which are lots hotter and easier for me to load than the tiny little #11 caps.

 I got up, loaded 2 - 50 grain Pyrodex pellets and a 230 grain, sabotted .44 caliber pistol bullet and seated it firmly and rode my ATV to the top of my pasture and parked beside the gate (which hides the machine nicely) about 250 yards from my lower/original shooting house. I stumbled up the slope and got seated about 6:15 a.m. then by cell phone light I fitted a musket cap primer on the nipple then sat and waited for daylight. It started sleeting about 5 minutes after I sat down and we had some high winds so I was concerned as a lousy day for hunting but I figured deer gotta eat and weather like this makes it hard to find natural food like acorns, beech nuts, dried wild grapes, etc like they normally find so my feeder may pan out. My feeder went off in the dark at 7:00 as scheduled. A few minutes later I heard something and looked below in the dark and under my feeder I could see a deer. I watched it about 20-25 minutes and decided it was an adult deer. Either sex were legal so I decided to take it when the light got better and it got in a convenient spot. It was directly below be and so steep it was hard to shoot.

 As the light improved I realized it was a buck and thought it had about 2" spike like one I shot there last year. Finally I realized they were actually 6-7 inches long. I remembered I had left my scope on 9 power so eased it back and cranked it down to 3 power then decided to remove my shooting hand glove. I guess the buck heard the nylon rustle over the wind and started trotting off to my left. Bad move for him as perfect field of fire for me. He slowed to a walk after 35-40 yards and I had the ramrod resting on the window sill, found my spot right behind his right shoulder. Black smoke must have reached 10-12 feet and when it finally cleared I saw the buck trotting off like he was not affected then suddenly he staggered, made a half circle and fell with his head under his body on the slope below my ATV trail.

I put down my gun and wrote up a field tag then walked down to him. He was a 3 point with a pitiful rack with the tips not over a couple of inches apart. He was fat and looked good so I was happy with him for freezer bait. He was on the side of the hill but it looked easily negotiable by ATV even with the sleet on the ground that had fallen while I was out. I walked about 175 yards over to my ATV, backed up to him and used my 1/4" X 10' long ever present log pulling cable to drag him to a horizontal limb about 7' high I have used several times before including 17 October this year during a special antlerless hunt. I pulled up under the limb, threw the winch cable over it and hooked it in the bucks hocks, lifted him and swung him to the basket then pulled the cable in and snugged it tight holding him securely in place. This was the easiest deer I have loaded in many years. I drove down to my skinning rack behind my boat house, lifted him out with the block and tackle there and weighed  him on a set of spring scales I keep there. Live weight was 132 lbs. I removed the scales and hooked my gambrel through his heels and lifted and started skinning and processing at the same time.



Not a huge deer and sure no trophy rack but I am happy with him. Perfect shot placement where I aimed. .44" hole on the right side and 2"+ on the left exit hole.


 Here my skinning rack I really enjoy. Crossbar is about 7" locust notched and bolted to the 2X12 on the boathouse with about 6' between for easy access to drive between the boathouse and the upright and about 12' clearance from the ground. The upright is another locust pole. My son got the old cast iron sink from his FIL to take to junkyard and gave it to me. I used the existing upright and added 3 short posts and mounted the sink. The short 2X6s stuck out the back and I almost cut them off then decided to add a bench/work surface which has turned out to be one of the handiest features out there. It is perfect for tools like knives and saws and such or to put pans and such. Buckets under the sink for guts. Freeze proof hose bibb 20-25 ft behind so easy to reach with one garden hose. It is easier than plumbing direct due to freezing weather like today - no draining, pipe wrap or heat or burst pipes. Scales and gambrel are hanging on the boathouse wall under the ladder. Fishing scalers and pinchers live on nails on the upright. I mounted a boat cleat about 5' high on the upright to tie off and working height. Drive right under, hook to the permanent block and tackle and lift. I ran a drain from the sink to the creek 20-25 ft away to keep the area dry.

  I also use it to lift my riding mower and sharpen blades or replace spindles and such. It works great for that too. I skin my catfish here and hang them just like my deer and it is lots easier to pull the hide down on a 20-30 lb catfish than pulling horizontal with the fish laying something like a table top. It is not a fancy station but works very well for my purposes. I have an old fridge in the log barn if I need to soak or chill meat or fish overnight or such. I have skinned/processed dozens of deer here and hundreds of pounds of catfish.

 I am a slow deer skinner/processer and spent most of the day out there in the sleet and cold. This is the worst winter storm we have had this year. At least it chilled the meat quickly which made processing easier.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Southside

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 11:39:09 PM »
Congratulations!! But, you didn't catch anything on fire... :D
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2020, 12:17:21 AM »
   No - I don't remember the last time I set something on fire. I think you have me confused with another poster. ;)

    I was just happy to get down the steep slope right below my pasture gate without flipping my 4 wheeler with that extra weight on the front.

   Our rifle season was the week before last and I never saw a buck to recognize it for one although I saw a couple in the pre and post daylight that looked like big deer and like they were running scrapes. It was concurrent doe season but I did not want another doe then. We had 4 antlerless days last week and I went and never got a shot. Today I'd have shot either and finally got what would have been a legal buck, even though not a trophy, 2 weeks ago and in the worst conditions I have hunted in for many years.

   I will say shooting the muzzleloader was fun. I just hate the detailed cleaning that comes afterwards. Black powder is awful corrosive and pretty unforgiving.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2020, 12:27:25 AM »
VERY corrosive! And you are right, very detailed cleaning is a must. Thats the biggest appeal that smokeless has. Oh well, if you play the game then you must pay the price. But typically very fun 🤩 
Trying harder everyday.

Offline Southside

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2020, 12:37:32 AM »
I was going to mention the whole 4 wheeler / rolling down the mountain routine too but figured I would be nice.  :D
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2020, 01:25:38 AM »
Congratulations! Awesome story 👍

Offline Nebraska

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2020, 07:27:08 AM »
Congratulations Howard that should be  tasty. What do you do with the antlers? I have a friend who remodeled his kitchen years ago and used them for drawer pulls.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2020, 09:13:33 AM »
@Nebraska ,  I generally save them but have not been using them for anything yet. There are 3-4 small sets hanging behind the ladder in the photo from one horned spikes to a small 6 point. I guess I could nail them to the back or side of the shed or something. Several would make nice jack-a-lopes if someone we so inclined including this one. One of these days I might put several on a primitive hat/coat rack.

  We stayed in a primitive camp in Namibia (Roy's Camp) that was made of native stone and rough timbers. He used springbok horns and warthog tusks for door pulls, a sprinkbok hide for a rug, old chamberpots for trash cans, old wooden mortars for stools, etc. The guy had a sense of humor and it was a great place to say. Here it is: Roys Camp | Namibia | Roys Rest Camp
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2020, 09:38:49 AM »
   When I see a post from @WDH I think of this tale from his neck of the woods:

             A bunch of guys met for their annual deer hunt at their camp in south Georgia. The first day of deer season opened clear and cool and promised to be a perfect day for hunting. They all left in pairs and returned to the camp at dusk except for one pair. It was nearly an hour after dark when Billy Ray returned carrying a very nice 8-point buck. He threw it on the ground in front of the porch and said “Whew, I’m give out.” The rest of the gang came and admired the deer – the best of the day – and complimented Billy Ray on his success. Finally one of the guys remembered and asked “I thought Bubba was hunting with you. Where is he anyway?” Billy Ray replied “Yeah he was hunting that Magnolia stand about 150 yards from me. When I shot this deer about an hour before sunset he came over and was helping me drag the deer out. When we got up about that big curve in the log road all of a sudden he grabbed his chest and went to wheezing, fell over and passed out. I guess he had a stroke up something.” Several of the others replied “You mean you dragged this deer all the way back but left Bubba back in the woods?” To which Billy Ray sagely replied “Yeah, I thought about it a good little bit but I figured if anybody came along that way nobody would  steal Bubba.”
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline WDH

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2020, 12:07:25 PM »
You cant be too careful. 
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Offline Nebraska

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2020, 02:13:38 PM »
That looks like a neat  place to visit Howard.   I worked on a Kinkajou  yesterday if that counts for something. Alas wrong continent, my travels are pretty vanilla  when compared to yours.  I also have a collection misc antlers as well, they come  with a bunch of, "I should do something with this sometime" intentions.  I had  better go get the tire fixed on wife's work truck and quit procrastinating.   :)

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2020, 06:18:37 PM »
Nebraska,

  We were on our way to Etosha game park and just rambling on a private tour and our guide took us to Roy's camp for an overnight stay. We were not on any particular schedule and had not made prior plans or appointments to stop off there. The people were nice and the decorations included old truck bumpers, the cast iron bathtub made into a fountain by the pool, all local wood and stone, old ax heads and implements hanging on chains and such. Kind of like a Mick Dundee motif if you remember his cabin. It was a hoot, comfortable and reasonably priced as I remember.

  I know S Africa and I think it was true of Namibia and Botswana had a lot more B&Bs than hotels and when you stopped in you might find yourself in the family guest room or their kid was off at school and you had their room or such. Very personal and we liked it.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Online SawyerTed

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2020, 07:58:33 PM »
Congratulations!! But, you didn't catch anything on fire... :D
Thats a nice supply of meat!  That cleaning station is cool.  I see where many a catfish have been introduced to ziplocks!
I resemble that fire thing. ;D Seems like Howard has the acrobatic ATV.  Glad it appears hes broke that ATV of the bucking and rolling.  And no chipmunk attacks! 
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2020, 03:50:27 PM »
   Here are a couple of pictures of the head so you can see the size and shape of the antlers. No more than 3" between the tips, maybe 7-8 inches long and the one side point on the left antler. Sure not going to win any big buck contests but we just ate the first batch of BBQ - one of the last pints of canned deer I canned last night did not seal properly so we had it for lunch. Very tasty.


 

 
I still have not gotten around to sawing off the skull cap. Then again I could just leave it attached and let it dry and take it to Louisiana or Mississippi the next time I go and sell it to a VooDoo shop.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2020, 06:48:05 PM »
Hang it in a tree and let nature and the bugs work it over. Then bleach the skull 💀 on that monster 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2020, 08:12:39 PM »
   Maybe I can save them for rattling horns. :D I hear those old monster bucks really get pithed off when they hear a couple of those little upstarts fighting.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: WV Black powder deer
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2020, 08:20:57 AM »
Congrats WV,some good eatin there
Muzzle season is winding down here.
Ends tuesday.
Son and a friend out this morning.
I have to grind a little more and package this AM, may get out in the late afternoon.
Deer have been very scarce here this season, I am the only one out of 4 hunters to be successful.
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