Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 55

Cover
Painting
Cover
PaintingbybyGerald
GeraldW.W.PPuttutt
Feeling heat from hunters on a pleasant October
afternoon, the bear crosses a stream in retreat to a
laurel-laden "sea" on a bench halfway up the mountain.
"Bear Run Crossing," by Gerald W. Putt depicts the
scenic excitement the muzzleloader and special firearms
bear seasons can provide.
A limited edition of 150 unframed 24- by 16-inch
giclee prints on stretched canvas are available from the
artist for $233.20. Order from Gerald W. Putt, P.O. Box
184, Boiling Springs, PA 17007 or visit his website at
www.geraldputt.com.

Black bears have awesome sensory
equipment. Their eyes are as good as
a human's. Their ears, and especially
their noses, are exceptional. One errant
sound or good whiff of human scent and
a bear most likely will make tracks into
the thickest cover available.
So be discreet, and carry a hardhitting rifle that's loaded for bear. And
for those willing to break from flintlock
tradition, that rifle might just be an inline
muzzleloader.

TOOLS
FOR THE JOB
	
Jim Fulmer and I have hunted whitetails with flintlock rifles since the state's
first muzzleloader deer season in 1974.
Jim began his smoky pursuit with an old
69-caliber Charleville musket. Mine was
a Thompson/Center Arms 50-caliber
flintlock.
Soon, however, we began to experiment with different bore sizes and barrel
lengths.
Jim added to his arsenal 50- and
54-calibers he built. I moved on to a
45-caliber Pennsylvania Longrifle with
a 42-inch barrel.
A 45-caliber flintlock is a joy to carry

OCTOBER 2020	

and shoot. Lightweight 7/8-inch barrels
are fed lighter charges of blackpowder.
Both contribute to a gun that's easy to
carry up a mountain and quick to point
on target.
While the 128-grain roundball isn't
a giant in transferring energy, its accuracy makes up for its lack of brawn, but
only at close range. Even when hunting whitetails, shots with 45-calibers
should be limited to 50 yards. Deer
generally are dispatched quickly at this
distance, but longer shots aren't nearly
so automatic.
By insisting on 50-yard-or-closer
shots, I've taken 11 deer over the years
- including a 130-class 10-point - with
my 45-caliber flintlock longrifles.
But hunting in Sullivan County last
October, I had to pass up a 50-yard shot
at a bear running toward me because I
knew my 45-caliber wasn't up to the
task. I was under-gunned for bear hunting.
So to make the most of a muzzleloader season in which either a deer
tag or bear tag can be filled, break with
tradition, or break out a big bore that can
bring home either.

55


http://www.geraldputt.com

Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - 4
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Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - October 2020 - Cover4
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