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Late muzzleloader season offers extra time in the woods

By ROGER WILLIAMS, SWT Outdoors206283_531982796828103_661345506_n

Late muzzle loading for deer and bear is an exciting time to take a hunting trip to the nearby mountains. These seasons run through Jan 4, 2014.

The weather will definitely be a factor so you should dress accordingly. Warm, dry boots are the most important items of clothing on these treks. Insulated underwear, heavy socks, and waterproof outerwear, if called for, are also a necessity.

At times, I have been so bundled-up that it was difficult to sit down when I chose to stop for a breather while climbing the steep trails where I hunt. One of my hunting buddies said I resembled a blaze orange “WEEBLE”, the character that wobbles but cannot fall down. No matter, comfort first is my motto.

Once, on a prior years late season deer hunt, it was so cold that the fine mist of rain that was falling froze to the gun barrels and formed frost on the rifle scopes. We had to build a warming fire in order to continue our hunt. One member of our group stood a little close to the fire and set his coveralls ablaze. After we put the coveralls out, he said he thought that might be the warmest he had been all day.

The deer do not seem to mind the weather as much as the hunters. They seem to be more active on cold days as they roam the mountains in search of food.

A deer was once shot within sight of another hunter in our group and an argument ensued as to who would get to open the deer and be first to warm his gloveless hands in its body cavity.

We have pursued our quarry in early fall when the weather required a prompt retrieval and quick skinning to preserve the meat.

We have been successful when the weather was wet and freezing. The most important fact is that we were in the field seeking our quarry regardless of the weather conditions.

I am more of a fair weather hunter these days. If the wind is atrocious and there is frost on the pumpkins at 4:00 a.m. I sometimes slip back into bed. Second shift hunting has become much more agreeable to these old bones.

Get out and hunt a few more times this year. Be sure to watch for bear.

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