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Experiencing the Outdoors;
Muzzleloader Season
by Cory Boothe


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Muzzleloader season is in for the woods of Calhoun County. A lot has changed during this season in the last 20 years. Now, when one thinks about a muzzleloader, they picture an in-line topped with a scope capable of shooting deer out to 150 yards and beyond.

Not that long ago, the smokepole hunter’s number one concern was if the gun was going to go off. Inclement weather was a very limiting factor. There was nothing worse than hunting all day only to have your gun not fire at the moment of truth.

Today’s muzzleloader has basically solved that problem. I own a Thompson Encore and it has never failed to go off when I pull the trigger. It used a 209 shotgun primer to effectively get more spark to the powder. Gone are the percussion caps for most hunters. Also, for most hunters, we leave behind the measuring of powder. Today’s muzzleloader hunter often has premeasured pellets that slip effortlessly into the barrel.

I do miss the days of open sights and muzzleloaders that would often misfire. In my opinion, my Encore is capable of almost everything my rifle is, in the Calhoun woods.

Don’t forget the effectiveness of deer drives during muzzle-loader season. Go out with your in-line or traditional muzzleloader and enjoy the season at hand. Good luck and be safe.

If you harvested a large buck or had an extraordinary hunt, please email me at

Editor’s Note: Cory is the son of Ronzel and Karen Boothe of Russett. He is a 1996 graduate of Calhoun County High School and is a teacher at Meadow Bridge Elementary, Fayette County. He resides near Summersville.)

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