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Kickapoo Muzzleloaders Hunting Competition


Hunting With Muzzleloaders

This huge black bear is probably the biggest you will ever see (600+ lbs). It was shot with a 54 caliber muzzleloading mountain rifle. The range was about 100 yds. The load was a .54 Maxi-ball over a maximum charge of 120 grains of FFFg black powder.

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The Tale:

I had been waiting anxiously for several hours, and dusk was approaching when the bear appeared. My guide, Garry Nemetchek of Bear Camp Outfitting, had put me on my stand in the early afternoon, then gone to check on my father (pictured with me above), who was hunting a stand in another area.  I was unaware that Garry had returned and was watching from a distance. Although he was a lifelong professional guide, he had never guided a black powder hunter before, and was sceptical about my muzzleloader.

From his position, Garry could not see the bear, but was able to watch me aim and fire. Even to a professional bear hunter, who had literally seen dozens of bears shot with high power rifles, the fire and smoke and roar of a heavy black powder rifle charge at dusk was a stirring experience.  The shot was well placed. The bear bolted into the bush and traveled about 60 yds before dropping. The heavy slug had traveled completely through the huge bear, coming to rest under the hide on the far side.

I was especially proud to have taken this trophy with a traditional 19th century style muzzleloader as Garry had told me that earlier in the season a hunter using a modern, scoped, high power rifle had missed an opportunity at a huge bear in this same area. When skinning the bear we found the half healed wound on his rump. Traditional craftsmanship and skill had succeeded where modern technology had failed.

Hunting Pics!

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