Posts Tagged flintlock

Hunting Site Review: Black Powder Notebook

Black Powder NotebookOne of the things I want to do with this blog in the new year is add reviews of other hunting related web sites. Well, it’s the new year, so here’s our first review.

I was turned on to this site by my hunting buddy and co-blogger, Keith. The name of the site is Black Powder Notebook and it chronicles the adventures of Bob Spencer as he sets out to hunt and camp as our forefathers did as this country was being founded. He strives to re-enact exactly as a late 1700’s homesteader or pioneer would have hunted. He has logged many of his treks through the years and it’s very entertaining reading.

He seems to favor squirrel hunting (something I’ve never done but am curious after reading his site) .and he begins his first article reminiscing about how he came to be at that moment while hunting squirrels. He talks about how he got started in the black powder world his love of flintlocks. What I like is how he’s out to just do just more than hunt, but to experience it from a different viewpoint. I like these quotes (from various articles):

“As each new aspect of the subject opened to me, and I acquired new skills associated with it, I began to have a better understanding of our ancestors. It is impossible to know what they and their life were really like, but muzzle loading has opened a small window into the past for me, and I thoroughly enjoy the view.”

“Sitting there under that walnut tree, I realized with surety that black powder had been for me a siren song, leading me inexorably onward to more wonderful experiences. Because of it, I have become a better, more thoughtful hunter, a more involved and knowledgeable citizen, a happier and more satisfied person.”

A Siren Song

“I truly do enjoy hunting them more than killing them, and I’ll miss all those early mornings, watching the woods come alive.”

Perfect Doe Hunt

“The center seam elk skin moccasins made ala Mark Baker may be the best thing I’ve ever made. They are, I suspect, the real secret to my enjoyment of this season, because there’s something elemental about traipsing through the woods and streams with nothing between you and the good earth but a soft layer of elk hide. Contact…I can’t describe it better.”

Special Turkey Season

One of my favorite stories is Squirrel Stew, a story about an overnight trek where he describes the entire trip. It sounds so peaceful and relaxing, enough so that I envy him. I would really love to experience the outdoors in that way.

Along with his hunting stories are some black powder related articles on loads, shooting, fire making, tomahawk throwing and casting round balls over a camp fire (which is another thing I’ve been wanting to try my hand at).

This is a great site to get in the mind of a hunter and outdoorsman. It’s refreshing to read about someone who enjoys being out in nature more than just bagging a trophy buck. It’s a feeling we attempt to reach at our deer camps as well, but I think Bob has us beat, by a really long shot. Even if you’re not into black powder hunting or shooting, this site is a definite must read.

Hunting Site Review: Black Powder Notebook

One of the things I want to do with this blog in the new year is add reviews of other hunting related web sites. Well, it’s the new year, so here’s our first review.

I was turned on to this site by my hunting buddy and co-blogger, Keith. The name of the site is Black Powder Notebook (http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/) and it chronicles the adventures of Bob Spencer as he sets out to hunt and camp as our forefathers did as this country was being founded. He strives to reenact exactly as a late 1700’s homesteader or pioneer would have hunted. He has logged many of his treks through the years and it’s very entertaining reading.

He seems to favor squirrel hunting (something I’ve never done but am curious after reading his site) .and he begins his first article reminiscing (http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/song.html) about how he came to be at that moment while hunting squirrels. He talks about how he got started in the black powder world his love of flintlocks. What I like is how he’s out to just do just more than hunt, but to experience it from a different viewpoint. I like these quotes (from various articles):

As each new aspect of the subject opened to me, and I acquired new skills associated with it, I began to have a better understanding of our ancestors. It is impossible to know what they and their life were really like, but muzzle loading has opened a small window into the past for me, and I thoroughly enjoy the view.”

Sitting there under that walnut tree, I realized with surety that black powder had been for me a siren song, leading me inexorably onward to more wonderful experiences. Because of it, I have become a better, more thoughtful hunter, a more involved and knowledgeable citizen, a happier and more satisfied person.”

Siren Song – http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/song.html

I truly do enjoy hunting them more than killing them, and I’ll miss all those early mornings, watching the woods come alive.”

Perfect Doe Hunt – http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/PerfectDoeHunt.html

The center seam elk skin moccasins made ala Mark Baker may be the best thing I’ve ever made. They are, I suspect, the real secret to my enjoyment of this season, because there’s something elemental about traipsing through the woods and streams with nothing between you and the good earth but a soft layer of elk hide. Contact…I can’t describe it better.”

Special Turkey Season – http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/SpecialSeason.html

One of my favorite stories is Squirrel Stew (http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/squirrel.html), a story about an overnight trek where he describes the entire trip. It sounds so peaceful and relaxing, enough so that I envy him. I would really love to experience the outdoors in that way.

Along with his hunting stories are some black powder related articles on loads, shooting, fire making, tomahawk throwing and casting round balls over a fire (which is another thing I’ve been wanting to try my hand at) (http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/runningball.html).

So, this is a great site to get in the mind of a hunter and outdoorsman. It’s refreshing to read about someone who enjoys being out in nature more than just bagging a trophy buck. It’s a feeling we attempt to reach at our deer camps as well, but I think Bob has us beat, by a really long shot. Even if you’re not into black powder hunting or shooting, this site is a definite must read.

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Deer Hunting With The Northwest Trade Gun

So Bill asked me to post a story of hunting with my North West trade Gun. First the history lesson. I hope this doesn’t sound too lame or condescending.

What is commonly known as the North West Trade Gun (NWG) was developed around 300 years ago by, you guessed it, The Northwest Company! It was designed to be a cheap weapon to trade with native populations around the world.

The NWG was a smoothbore flintlock made by various manufacturers in calibers ranging from .45 (.410 gauge, I know .410 is a caliber not a gauge) to around .72 caliber (12 Gauge). The NWG was crudely made, wood to metal fit was poor; the stock was almost strait. The butt was strait. The butt plate was nailed on with horse shoe nails and the wood had no figure.

However, the lock was made from the same molds as the British Brown Bess musket. The NWG was (contrary to pop literature), easy to use, quite “pointable” and very reliable. It had to be. A gun in the farthest reaches of the Canadian wilderness which did not fire due to lack of maintenance etc. was not going to be of much use to a native whose livelihood and life depended on it.

The NWG can be recognized by the distinctive brass serpent on the off side from the lock. The brass serpent was a sign of quality to native populations. Old photos even show natives wearing the serpents around their neck for adornment (kind of like 1980’s rappers wore Mercedes symbols around their necks).

Well it appears I write the same way I talk (too much). So I’ll just move on to a description of my NWG and tell you about my hunt.

I bought my NWG from North Star West which makes an excellent kit. My father, Wes Lumry put it together for me and the only way it differs from an original is in the fit & finish. My dad has been building muzzleloading rifles for forty years. The fit and finish is probably the best of any NWG in history!

My NWG is .65 caliber (16 gauge). Keeping with Native American tradition we cut the barrel from 36″ to 30″ (That KILLED my dad!). Then we hammered tacks all over it. Dad mad a leather/red wool sling for it also.

The first hunting season I had my NWG was also the first season I decided to “hunt only for horns.” That’s right, this year I was holding out for a MONSTER BUCK!

The first evening of muzzleloading deer season I walked across the road from my house to a corn circle (do you like the way I casually let the reader know I live in the middle of hunting paradise!?). And settled in to a corner. I was soon surrounded by 18 (I am not kidding) does and one spike buck. I just sat there putting a bead on various deer and thinking of where I would place my shot if indeed that deer was a MONSTER! Ultimately the sun set and I returned home and reported the evening’s activities to my dad (visiting from Wichita).

The next morning me and my old man walked to the same corner of field. Soon three does appear walking from west to east. The set up is about perfect. The sun is at our backs, no wind, and deer coming strait to us.

But remember, I am only hunting horns. I’m waiting for the MONSTER! The does stop short and begin grazing about 40 yards in front of us.

The following conversation takes place over approximately the next 15 minutes (cut to hunting show TV whispers).

DAD– Hey Keith, you gonna shoot one of those deer?

KEITH– No dad they’re does. I’m holding out for a buck!

DAD– I think you should shoot one of those does.

KEITH– I told you I’m going to shoot a buck, it’s only the second day of the season!

DAD– I think you should shoot one of those does!

KEITH– No response.

DAD– Hell, I built that gun! I should at least get to see you shoot one of those does!

KEITH– No response.

DAD– Go ahead, shoot one of those does!

DAD– I can’t believe you’re not going to shoot one of those does!

DAD– After I built that gun for you…

Meanwhile those does are still THERE! By now dad is yelling at me (okay, not really, but you know what I mean).

DAD– I’m not getting any younger. I don’t know how many hunting seasons I have left….

(Okay, so he probably didn’t say that last line, but it was definitely implied!).

DAD– Go ahead, I want to see you shoot one of those does with that smoothbore flintlock.

DAD– That I built!

Damn those does! They’re still there! They’re sooo close! And Dad WILL-NOT-STOP-TALKING!!!

I break like a number 2 pencil.

I throw my Northwest Trade Gun (which DAD built! Did I mention that?) to my shoulder put a bead on the nearest doe and fire. The world is consumed by smoke, sparks and fire. I can’t see…

YOU GOT HER! Yells dad.

I pace off forty yards to a huge splash of blood.

I am on the edge of the corn circle, the scene is somewhat macabre. On both sides of the corn stalks it looks like someone has entered the standing corn with a garden hose in each hand spraying blood. The ball must have gone clean through. I am so fascinated that I almost step on the deer.

So I’m standing over the deer with mixed emotions. The NWG had performed flawlessly and was massively lethal. I had a successful hunt. My dad was fit to bust over the performance of “HIS” gun. But it’s only the second morning of muzzleloading deer season and my hunt is over. With no MONSTER BUCK!

Oh well at least that corn fed doe was delicious.

And I could always hunt for horns the next year… but that’s another story.

Lum

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