Kentucky’s early muzzleloader season for deer will be held this weekend, Oct. 16-17.
Hunting with a muzzleloader used to be called traditional hunting because it harkened back to the days of buckskin-clad hunters stalking the woods with flintlock rifles reminiscent of Daniel Boone and company. There are a few adventurous souls scattered about these days who wouldn’t think of hunting any other way and I admire their perseverance. For the most part, muzzleloader hunting today is anything but traditional.
Legal firearms for the muzzleloader hunt are defined by the KDFWR as a rifle, shotgun, or handgun that is loaded from the discharging end of the barrel or the discharging end of the cylinder (KAR 2:172(14). Hunters may use black powder or any of the black powder substitutes including both granular and pelleted propellants. Even modern smokeless powder may be used in muzzle-loading rifles that are designed specifically to use modern smokeless powder. Do not put the modern smokeless powder into a regular muzzleloader, however, or key parts of you and your rifle will be scattered about upon the ground.