Colorado Muzzleloading Memories

Bowhunting has always been my passion and the bow and arrow my weapon of choice. I might add that this has remained unchanged for nearly fifty years too!

Occasionally though, I have toted around the powder and ball. Not that much, mind you, but enough to know that black powder hunting has its own special romance and charm. And, I have often said that muzzleloading may be the most effective way to take a trophy class big game animal in the west. It may be even more true today.

Here’s a long-lost photo from the early 1980’s, taken in the middle of an epic rain storm on an elk and mule deer hunt on Red Table Mountain near Basalt, Colorado.

The bucks were huge and the elk were plentiful, but I’m afraid that the weather won the week on this trip. I also learned, forever, what it means to “keep your powder dry”.

I can’t tell you how much I now wish that I had taken many more pictures on this hunt, but I do remember being far more concerned about wind, and mud, than taking pretty photos. It rapidly turned into a battle for comfort, and survival, while waiting impatiently for conditions to change. Some hunts are like that, and it’s always best to be prepared, particularly when carrying around the old smokepole.

I did bring back a bucketful of memories, however wet they may be. I can still see those giant mulies staring through the mist and downpour, on a mountain where you can barely find a buck today,

And I can truly say, that those were indeed, the days…

 

An elk and mule deer hunter in northwestern Colorado poses on the deck of a small hunting cabin, somewhere on Red Table Mountain in the mid 1980's. Michael Patrick McCarty
A Dry and Warm A-Framed Port in The Storm. Photograph by Kevin McBride

 

A muzzleloader hunter poses for the camera in northwestern Colorado, about to set off for elk and mule deer on Red Table Mountain in the mid 1980's
It’s All Blue Skies For A Hunting Man. Photograph by Kevin McBride

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