John’s Note: Rain, sleet, snow or hail will keep most blackpowder hunters at home and from hunting deer. On the days the weatherman predicts wet weather, I know the lands I hunt will have less hunting pressure from any hunters, particularly from blackpowder hunters. I’ll also have better odds of seeing a deer. During bad weather, I do lose my ability to hear deer walking in the woods, crunching acorns, sparring or grunting – some of the best ways to find deer on still, calm days. I also lose some vision because during rain or snow I usually can’t detect a deer’s tail or ear twitch. However, on rainy days, deer can’t hear, see or even smell as well as I can. Rain provides the best conditions for me to stalk. Deer rarely like to move in the rain. Although I hunt in the rain, I usually hope the rain will stop at some time during the day. When the rain quits, even if only for 30 to 45 minutes, I know the deer generally will move then.
Early blackpowder hunters used beeswax to waterproof their rifles on rainy days. They stuffed beeswax down the ends of their barrels after they had loaded and warmed the wax in their hands to make a seal around the nipple and the cap. But today’s modern blackpowder hunter doesn’t have to carry beeswax. He can use either a plastic shoot-away muzzle cap or finger cots purchased from a drugstore to protect his muzzle.
The small, hard-plastic nipple caps I buy from CVA (http://www.cva.com) not only protect the nipple of my blackpowder rifle from moisture but also add a safety feature, whether I have the hammer cocked or half-cocked. Even if a cocked hammer falls with the nipple cap in place, the hammer will hit the plastic, and the gun won’t fire. Using the nipple cap allows me to carry my rifle at half-cock any time I hunt or even at full-cock before the shot. I only have to remove the nipple cap when I want to take the shot.
If you use speed loaders, you can carry your powder and your bullet safely, regardless of the severity of the weather, in a dry plastic container. Modern blackpowder hunters don’t run near the risk of getting their powder wet or of having misfires as earlier blackpowder hunters did. To ensure all my blackpowder equipment performs properly during bad weather, I use Ziploc bags. Although I know my speedloaders will keep my powder and bullet dry, I put my speedloaders in a Ziploc bag (www.ziploc.com). Even though the tin in which CCI caps come will keep my caps dry in bad weather, I place them in Ziploc bags. My patches and lubes and any other equipment I think I may need during a day of blackpowder hunting go into another Ziploc bag.
You’ll learn more deer-hunting information and tips from hunters in John E. Phillips’ Kindle, CreateSpace and Audible books. Go to http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer to purchase and download to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You also can go to Nook Books at www.barnesandnoble.com to buy. Also you can download free books by going to http://johninthewild.com/free-books.