Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 60

fly or detent, sear and sear spring - as well
as the screws that bind everything to the
external cock, frizzen and spring.
But in freezing temperatures, the lubricants can gum up or harden.
The small L-shaped fly in the tumbler's
half-cock notch sometimes malfunctions
and won't hold the hammer in the "safe"
position when drawn back.
With a hardened lubricant, the sear also
might not engage the second notch, or fire
position, which is likely what happened
to the hunter I met on last year's opener.
Luckily, there's an easy fix.
The lock needs to be unscrewed from
the sideplate and removed from the
mortise. A toothbrush dipped in some
kerosene or light machine oil can be used
to scrub the internal lock parts and lock
mortise.
Many flintlock rifle shooters never
clean the mortise area, which is a big
mistake.
Blackpowder can reach the lock mortise and turn to black goo when mixed
with lubricant that lingers there from
prior cleaning. That goo then becomes a
solid impediment, usually slowing down
the lock time, or worse, stopping the safe
function of the tumbler and sear.
The takeaway here is just don't overdo
it with lubricant in frigid weather.

SOLVING PROBLEMS

The swelling of the stock wood can
be another problem associated with the
elements.
When the lock is removed, it's easy to
see those spots where metal has rubbed
wood. These shiny areas need attention
with some medium-grade sandpaper, or
possibly a wood chisel, to relieve pressure
on affected internal parts.
Even firing a flintlock under cold, wet
conditions is fraught with problems.
60

Snow or rain dripping from limbs,
even too much humidity, might dampen
the priming powder or frizzen, preventing
sparks and ignition.
To help remedy these unwanted possibilities, cover the frizzen. The tip of an
old leather glove will work, and also help
prevent accidental trigger release. You
could also use a "cow's knee," an 18thcentury name for a piece of flexible leather
that covers the entire lock. It keeps snow
or rain off the frizzen and does double
duty by also keeping the priming powder
from getting wet.
It takes but a moment to lift such covers
off the lock and frizzen, and it's a step
worth taking to ensure flintlock ignition.

DUG-IN DEER

As the 2017 season progressed, temperatures and wind worsened, and hunters
in my area were having trouble finding
deer.
With minimal movement by whitetails
to their usual food sources, our hardy
gang of four began driving the edges of
swamps and alder-and-hemlock bottoms
in Bradford County.
We immediately found deer sign in
these thermal sanctuaries, which provide
a lot more protection than thickets on
hillsides and ridges. Deer were reluctant to
leave these security areas, but eventually,
they'd break out, offering our standers
some shooting at deer that tried to circle
back into their vacated cover.
Wintry weather is some of what makes
the late muzzleloader season a good time
to hunt. Fresh snow softens the ground,
and the deer can't hear as well when you
still-hunt or put on silent drives.
You'll tilt the odds in your favor by
following the same advice as your ancestors: "Keep yer nose to the wind, yer back
green and yer powder dry!"



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2019 - Cover4
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