John's Journal...

Decrease the Range to Take More Blackpowder Bucks

Research the Deer

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Increasing the effective range of a blackpowder rifle and using more-sophisticated bullets doesn’t ensure increased hunting success. Often hunters find the opposite true.  Actually the closer you can get to a buck with your blackpClick to enlargeowder gun, the greater your odds for deer-hunting success. To take more and bigger bucks this year, instead of trying to increase the range and the accuracy of your blackpowder rifle, take a step back into the past when hunters shot blackpowder rifles with open sights, used black powder and round balls and had an effective range often of less than 100 yards.

Four to 6 weeks before the season starts, Tim McKoy of Logan, Alabama, who specializes in taking big bucks, returns to each core area he's discovered and scouts the sections again to make sure that the buck he's found at the end of the season still stays in the same place. "I have had bucks move 200 to 300 yards from where I've left them in February," McKoy comments. If the bucClick to enlargek has in fact moved, McKoy cuts new shooting lanes, picks out a new stand site and prepares the area to hunt. Since McKoy makes such detailed notes, he knows exactly how, where and when to hunt each buck before the season begins. McKoy continues to take notes on each hunt site – recording every day he hunts that area, the wind and the weather conditions present, and the deer he sees.

For each buck he takes, McKoy can tell you where the buck has held, the date when he’s located that hot spot, how he's prepaClick to enlargered the region, which date he's hunted that site and all the critical information about each hunt, including the time he's bagged the deer and the circumstances of each successful hunt. Through the years, McKoy has become a detailed deer researcher who uses the information he gathers to successfully harvest bucks at close range each season, exactly how you’ll have more success with your blackpowder gun.

You can learn more about blackpowder hunting tips from John E. Phillips’ book, “Blackpowder Hunting Secrets,” which sells for $15.50 per copy (including shipping and handling). To learn more, go to You can send a check or money order to: Night Hawk Publications, 4112 Camp Horner Rd., Birmingham, AL 35243 or send the money to PayPal at to order.

Tomorrow: The Hunt for a Trophy Blackpowder Buck

Check back each day this week for more about "Decrease the Range to Take More Blackpowder Bucks"

Day 1: Step Back to Old Times and Hunt Closer with Your Blackpowder Gun
Day 2: The Master of Shooting Short
Day 3: Research the Deer
Day 4: The Hunt for a Trophy Blackpowder Buck
Day 5: The No-Place Places


Entry 486, Day 3