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Muzzle loader or Rifle #7197611 06/14/18 05:01 PM
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I have the oportunity to hunt bull elk in NM unit 36 with an outfitter. I can choose muzzle loader Oct 6-10 or rifle October 13-17. I don't own a muzzle loader nor have I shot one. I know I have time to get one and become proficint with it.

My question for you guys is which hunt would you choose and why?

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7197614 06/14/18 05:04 PM
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Muzzle loader season is usually less crowded, and may increased your chances. Plus, we've seen good bugling late Sept, so they should be able to be called in. I'd lean towards muzzle loader. But, there's lots of factors to consider.



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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7197632 06/14/18 05:16 PM
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For 36, I would choose muzzleloader for sure. Should fall in the tail end of the rut. 36 has a pretty limited draw, so it won't be that crowded for the most part. Lots of good elk country, but some of it is thick and tough to hunt.

As for a muzzleloader, I prefer a non-break action with an enclosed ignition area that uses 209 primers. My dad and I each use T/C Omegas. Both shoot MOA or better 3-shot groups at 100 yards... No, that is not a typo - they shoot that good. Good chance for showers in 36 that time of year, so keeping your powder/primers dry is important.

Good luck on a great opportunity for a MONSTER bull!!!

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: ChadTRG42] #7197669 06/14/18 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Muzzle loader season is usually less crowded, and may increased your chances. Plus, we've seen good bugling late Sept, so they should be able to be called in. I'd lean towards muzzle loader. But, there's lots of factors to consider.


Totally agree but you will be limiting your range with a muzzle loader. Do a lot of "closing the distance" or "hunting in a crowd"?



Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7197828 06/14/18 08:40 PM
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I don't like crowds, muzzle loader is the way I'd go. Today's muzzle loader firearms are accurate and good range.

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7197847 06/14/18 09:02 PM
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I own a TC Triumph and know jack about muzzleloading, and can still shoot right about MOA at 100 yards. Buy a modern muzzleloader and give yourself time for a few range sessions to make sure your rifle likes your selected load. It's not rocket surgery these days.


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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7197908 06/14/18 10:26 PM
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I would opt for muzzleloader. I have every confidence in my muzzleloader up to 200 yards. Acquire a good in-line model and put bullets downrange until you are confident. There have been many occasions I took my front-stuffer hunting during modern gun season. As noted above, modern ML rifles are a far cry from the old patch-and-ball era.

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7198137 06/15/18 02:01 AM
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Originally Posted By: JTS
I have the oportunity to hunt bull elk in NM unit 36 with an outfitter. I can choose muzzle loader Oct 6-10 or rifle October 13-17. I don't own a muzzle loader nor have I shot one. I know I have time to get one and become proficint with it.

My question for you guys is which hunt would you choose and why?


Ive done both hunts in the Gila not too far from their, they both have their benefits usually at that time for ML the rut is winding down so theirs not as much bugling as sept. so they dont come to the bugles as easy but their still with the cows so you have alot of eyes to contend wirh and its hot still, in NM you can use the ultimate ML which i had a friend kill a 5x5 at 625 yds (not.normal but 300-400 us easily attainable.with practice), 1st rifle.its starting to cool.down normally and big bulls are breaking away from the cows so your working more off sight and no bugling, that being said if their not with the cows any longer their easier to sneak in on but harder to spot. My guide prefers the late ML in Nov. Which some units offer because its getting cold so the big bulls are up feeding during the day and easy to sneak in on. So i guess what im saying is theirs alot of.opinions and it really.depend swhat you want to do. With a rifle you generally get more accuracy and longer range so it has the highest kill% so on a good trophy unit like that i would prefer the highest chance to kill a muy grande.

Last edited by sparrish8; 06/15/18 02:02 AM.
Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7198715 06/15/18 06:39 PM
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Done both and opinions expressed are accurate. Muzzle loader is usually less pressured and ahead of rifle so more options available. However I have regretted using my muzzle loader with some really nice bulls outside my practical range.

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7198764 06/15/18 07:25 PM
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I would go with the rifle, hunting that area is hard work, add in the expense of the hunt I would want the ultimate chances for success. Be in the best physical shape you can before you get there, and get there a few days early so you can acclimate yourself to the high altitude.


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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7198822 06/15/18 08:18 PM
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Be sure to check local laws before buying a inline muzzle loader some state require flint locks or traditional muzzle loaders. And don't forget your camera


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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7199005 06/16/18 12:18 AM
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I would say Rifle because of your statement "I don't own a muzzle loader nor have I shot one."
Since you are spending lot of money, time and a limited opportunities I suggest you use what you are familiar with.

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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7199036 06/16/18 01:03 AM
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I realize its added expense, get the muzzle loader, practice, practice and practice, THEN decide which one you think you are okay with, jmo


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Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: Team Hillbilly] #7199740 06/16/18 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: Team Hillbilly
Be sure to check local laws before buying a inline muzzle loader some state require flint locks or traditional muzzle loaders. And don't forget your camera


Inlines are approved for 36, as well as scopes.

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7201990 06/19/18 03:24 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys,

I made the choice to do muzzleloader. I ordered a Knight Ultra-Light and all accessories and several bullets to try. I have a shooting range set up at my farm which is about 15 minutes from my house. I'll get out there and practice a bunch over the summer.

Re: Muzzle loader or Rifle [Re: JTS] #7202003 06/19/18 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted By: JTS
Thanks for all the help guys,

I made the choice to do muzzleloader. I ordered a Knight Ultra-Light and all accessories and several bullets to try. I have a shooting range set up at my farm which is about 15 minutes from my house. I'll get out there and practice a bunch over the summer.


Push your range at the farm. That way you are a 100 confident. Great tag! Good luck.


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