John's Journal...

Decrease the Range to Take More Blackpowder Bucks

The Hunt for a Trophy Blackpowder Buck

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 blackpowder gun, the greater your odds for deer-hunting success. To take more and bigger bucks this year, instead of trying to increase the range aClick to enlargend 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.

To take a trophy buck with your blackpowder rifle, hunt the opposite way from how everyone else on that section of land hunts. Most hunters buy the newest, the longest-shooting and the most-accurate blackpowder rifles they can afford. Oftentimes, hunters think that because their rifles can shoot further, they can look at more country and take more bucks. Therefore, they'll encounter numbers of blackpowder hunters where they can see the farthest. They may fail to realize that those same rifles that can bag bucks at 200 to 300 yards also will take bucks at 70 yards and less. To pinpoint a buck to hunt during blackpowder season, if you live in a state where bow season arrives before blackpowder season, bow-hunt the bucks before blackpowder seasoClick to enlargen.
"By bowhunting, I know where the bucks are travelling in thick cover," Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Ala., a longtime, avid deer hunter, explains. "Many times I'll spot a really-nice buck from my bow stand that I can't take because he's just out of range for my bow. When I find a buck like this during bow season, I'll move out of the area and leave that buck alone until gun-deer seasonClick to enlarge arrives. Then I'll go to that same place, hunt from that same stand and reach out and take that buck with my blackpowder rifle." Even though the bucks of bow season may remain out of range of the archer in thick-cover sites, they generally won't move from those spots. Then you can hunt them there when blackpowder season arrives.

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 No-Place Places

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 4