Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

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Ben Sobieck
 
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Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby Ben Sobieck » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:34 am

The following is a news release from North American Muzzleloader Hunting Association.

Ever since the first Wisconsin muzzleloader deer season in 1992, hunters have been denied the opportunity to use a magnifying riflescope on their front-loaded big game rifles. And many feel that it has been that one restriction that has held back participation in the post November firearms season hunt, and why the muzzleloader season in this state has failed to blossom into the wildlife management tool that so many other states have realized.

But, that could all change on April 13.

That day, all across the state, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress is conducting county meetings on a wide range of outdoor resources topics, and one of the most debated will be whether or not to give hunters the right to use a magnifying riflescope during the muzzleloader season.

Those who oppose the use of scopes on muzzleloaders tend to favor the older, more traditional style rifles. And their arguments against such optics include claims that such sights are not traditional; would give the modern in-line ignition muzzleloaders the effectiveness and range of a modern center-fire rifle; and would encourage hunters to attempt shots that are too long.

Knowledgeable proponents of allowing scopes point out that magnifying riflescopes were in use, on original muzzleloaders, as early as the late 1830s; that a scope does not make any rifle shoot farther, but allows more precise shot placement for a quicker and more humane harvest of deer; and that the legalization of such sights would permit more hunters to ethically participate during that season.

One of the biggest arguments for allowing muzzleloader hunters to use a magnifying scope is that an ever growing segment of hunting cannot see open rifle sights clearly enough for proper shot placement. It is a fact that the largest age group that hunts today is comprised of those over the age of 40. And this also just happens to be the age class that is most affected by the loss of close focus, and the inability of an older eye to shift focus rapidly enough to permit a rear sight, front sight, and deer standing at 50 to 100 yards away to appear somewhat in focus simultaneously. And when hunters can no longer see the required sights well enough to place their shots with the degree of accuracy needed for a clean harvest, most simply will not hunt a season with such requirements.

And that has been the one factor that has most likely kept many hunters from taking part in the December muzzleloader season.

Next door, across Lake Michigan, in the state of Michigan, as many as 200,000 deer hunters participate in the December muzzleloader season there, and the annual deer take during this season is usually in excess of 60,000.

In Wisconsin, only about 25,000 muzzleloader hunters head out during the season established just for muzzle-loaded guns, and the harvest during the past few seasons has only been around 10,000 deer during each.

Wisconsin is home to about 1.7 million deer. Michigan is home to around 1.8 million deer. The muzzleloader seasons in both states take place at basically the same time of the year. And the weather is typically near the same in each of the two states. Why do so many more hunters participate during the muzzleloader season in Michigan - and harvest so many more deer for a greater contribution to herd management? The only real difference is that in Michigan, the muzzleloading hunter has the right to choose whether to use a precision riflescope on his or her muzzleloader - or not. And it is that right of choice that many Wisconsin hunters are now seeking.

This is not the first time that the issue of allowing scopes during the muzzleloader season has come up at the annual Conservation Congress meetings. Repeated resolutions for allowing scopes are what led to the legalization of the so-called "1x" scopes.

However, Wisconsin's muzzleloading hunters quickly discovered that such non-magnifying sights resolved nothing. In fact, these single- or zero-power optical sights tend to make targets at 100 yards appear much smaller, and precise shot placement more difficult. The "1x" scopes have proven inadequate for hunting deer.

The issue of allowing magnifying riflescopes on muzzleloaders has carried the majority support of hunters several times in the past, and has been voted down by the Conservation Congress regulation committee who felt that the muzzleloader season should remain primitive in nature. The sportsmen of this state are now getting outraged over how this regulation body continues to ignore their wishes, especially with a burgeoning deer herd that becomes a bigger and bigger problem each year. And they are expected to show up in force at the Conservation Congress meetings on April 13 to once again vote in support of legalizing scopes on muzzleloaders - likely wondering if their wants and needs will be ignored once again.

A new twist to the question on the ballot this year is the concern for human safety. Could the use of a clear, bright and magnifying riflescope give muzzleloader hunters one last split second to more positively identify the target as a deer and not another hunter, hiker, or local resident - before the trigger is pulled?

MSHunter
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby MSHunter » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:17 am

This is a good post. In many ways, it sounds alot like the crossbow debate.

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby buckhunter21 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 pm

I haven't started to smoke-pole hunt yet (I do plan on in the near-future, just have to purchase that fine piece of equipment first), but am all for a powered scope on a muzzleloader.  What's the use of even having a scope if there isn't any power on it?  Might as well shoot with open sights.  I can see where the 'traditional' smoke-pole hunters are coming from though...Muzzleloaders have come a long way and aren't quite what they used to be, but that's a change of the times.  There is a slight comparison to the crossbow debate but I don't see it relating.  My stance on crossbows was that I don't believe we should be able to hunt with them unless there is a disability involved.  JMO!  Let's stick to regular bows (compounds, longbows, etc)  Crossbows to me seem more like shooting a gun than actually shooting a bow...If you want to hunt with them during gun season so be it!  But, getting back to the issue at hand here...I would be all for being able to hunt a muzzleloader with a powered scope.  It's more or less just an addition to the gun...So what's the big deal?
QDM!

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Luv2Hunt
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby Luv2Hunt » Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:41 pm

"Wisconsin is home to about 1.7 million deer".

"especially with a burgeoning deer herd that becomes a bigger and bigger problem each year".

I fully support allowing scopes, but must ask what comic books your reading to make such statements as noted above.

wisbooner3932
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby wisbooner3932 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:34 pm

I dont mind if they start allowing muzzleloaders to use magnified scopes. I dont muzzleloader hunt but have always wanted to try it. Just a question to be raised though: If you were to use a magnified scope how would it be any diffrent than using a shotgun with a scope (besides the obvious one shot oppurtunity)? If I were to ever muzzleloader hunt I would go tradtional just for an extra challenge and to know what it was like "back in the day" JMO though. Like I said I woudln't mind it but I'd rather see it stay the way it is right now.
You can take my gun, from my cold dead hands.

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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby DoeEyed » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:40 pm

There is also going to be a question about changing the muzzleloader season to later in the year. Whatever it takes to get the hunters out there. 
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Fish
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby Fish » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:48 am

It's irrelavent.  Magnified or not, you still will not have a huge increase in harvest.  Like a shotgun, you still have limited distance.  Magnification always will cause more difficulties in shot placement.  The closer you think you appear to an animal and any slight flinch will cause more variance in the shot. 
 
And yes, this is very much like the crossbow debate.  Another issue tended to divide hunters.  Might be an interesting thing to talk about but I wouldn't put much into it.

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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby wack » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:57 pm

I kind of like the situation WI has now. You can use a scope on a smoke pole in regular gun season in shotgun and rifle territory. I believe they had like 2x maybe 4x power scopes in the later part of the smoke pole era didn't they? I also like the idea that it would bring more hunters in as the Mich study indicated but this isn't the time to increase the harvest in this state. I wouldn't vote against scopes, but not sure how much support I'm willing to give. I'd rather bow hunt.
American by birth, hunter by choice.

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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby msbadger » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:55 pm

[quote]I wouldn't vote against scopes, but not sure how much support I'm willing to give. I'd rather bow hunt.

Wow...heres another definition for you.....

Hypocrite \Hyp"o*crite\, n. [F., fr. L. hypocrita, Gr. ? one who
  plays a part on the stage, a dissembler, feigner. See
  Hypocrisy.]
  One who plays a part; especially, one who, for the purpose of
  winning approbation of favor, puts on a fair outside seeming;
  one who feigns to be other and better than he is; a false
  pretender to virtue or piety; one who simulates virtue or
  piety

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: Opportunity to Eliminate Muzzleloader Sight Restrictions Unpopular Muzzleloader H

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:21 pm

ORIGINAL: Luv2Hunt

"Wisconsin is home to about 1.7 million deer".

"especially with a burgeoning deer herd that becomes a bigger and bigger problem each year".

I fully support allowing scopes, but must ask what comic books your reading to make such statements as noted above.

 
I agree....1.7 million deer.  Might as well say 5 million.
QDM!

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