The majority of deer muzzleloaders used today are.50 caliber. And, providing they're properly maintained, employ 240-grain or bigger saboted bullets of sound design, and are filled with 90-150 grains of propellant, most are intrinsically accurate enough for big-game hunting. Modern rifles of this type can reach speeds of over 400 feet per second and have maximum rates of fire in excess of 100 rounds per minute.
Deer and other large game animals are vulnerable to injury from bullet impact. The massive skull of a mature deer is capable of withstanding only about 15 foot-pounds of force per square inch, which is less than one-tenth the pressure exerted by a.30-calibre bullet at full speed. A well-placed shot with a modern muzzleloading rifle is therefore likely to be lethal.
Large predators such as wolves and bears are also susceptible to being hit by shots from a 50-caliber rifle. However, due to their thick skulls, they can withstand higher-speed impacts without suffering serious injury. A wolf's head has been recorded at 250 degrees Fahrenheit after being exposed to the heat of the sun for several hours. This means that if it was cold outside, the animal could have been shot with a 50-caliber muzzleloader and still survived.
Modern muzzleloading rifles are not designed to replace firearms but to complement them.
What bullet size should I use for my muzzleloader?
If the Wildlife Council grants permission, Ohio deer hunters will be authorized to use any straight-walled cartridge rifle with a minimum caliber of.357 and a maximum caliber of.50. These rifles can be purchased commercially or built by qualified individuals. The only requirement is that they must be equipped with open sights.
The council's decision comes after more than a year of discussion on ways to improve hunting opportunities for Ohio residents. A number of factors were considered when making the decision including hunter satisfaction, availability of ammunition, cost of equipment, experience levels of hunters, and safety concerns for both hunters and animals.
Ohio is one of eight states where open season applies to all deer species. The other seven states are Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Virginia. Michigan used to be one of these open season states but changed its policy in 2011. Previously, hunters had to tag at least two different species in order to take a single animal. This rule was changed so that now anyone who wants to can shoot at whatever they find during open season.
During regular deer hunting seasons, which are usually held each November and April, hunters are allowed to pursue white-tailed deer, mule deer, and desert deer. These three species account for almost all of Ohio's deer population.
What caliber is ideal for deer hunting?
That cannot be described as compassionate. The goal of a competent hunter should be to shoot to kill. We may fairly state that any muzzle energy of 50 FPE or above is sufficient for deer hunting. Nonetheless, the minimum allowed caliber for hunting various wildlife is shown in the chart above.
The choice of firearm is not critical when it comes to hunting deer. A high-powered rifle will kill more animals per hour spent shooting than a low-power rifle. However, a big game animal can take its time dying and a wounded one can run away or play dead until it has a chance to recover. A large-caliber weapon makes it easier to hit a moving target but does not necessarily give you a bigger bang for your buck.
A high-quality rifle will deliver more shots per cartridge than a cheap one. This is important because most animals don't fall over when you shoot them at close range. A good shooter can still come out on top with an inferior weapon if he shoots carefully. There are many factors to consider before you buy a gun. Size, weight, cost, and availability are all relevant considerations. Then there's style. Do you like the look of a certain model? If so, this might help determine which guns are available where you live. Some people prefer a rifle that is easy to carry around while others find these weapons too bulky. You should also know how to handle and shoot your weapon.
So I believe 60-80 grains of powder will suffice for you with that bullet in a muzzle loader. Determine which load is the most accurate in that range of powder quantities, and then go create some meat, as advised. Have fun!
Deer and bear shotguns must be 10 gauge, 12 gauge, 16 gauge, or 20 gauge and discharge slugs or # 1 or bigger buckshot. Slugs can be used to hunt elk, goats, sheep, and moose using 10-gauge and 12-gauge shotguns. There are also 20-gauge slug guns available for hunting larger animals.
You can also use slugs in place of shot for small game hunting. Just make sure to use shells that will hold more than 4 or 5 shots if you plan on using them for varmints because they won't reload as easily.
Slug loads are not recommended for upland birds because they're designed for deer and bears which don't typically fly away after being hit by a slug. However, if you do need to dispatch a bird quickly, then a slug is the way to go because it doesn't require precision shooting like does does/will with a lead ball. Of course this only applies to non-flying prey items.
For flying prey items such as pheasants, ducks, and geese a shot from a 12-gauge shotgun will always get the job done. It's not recommended to use slugs for these types of hunts because they aren't effective at all against skinned carcasses.
5 Things to Think About When Purchasing a Deer Hunting Rifle