Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - 60

does matter is that it's mounted parallel
to the face of the frizzen and strikes at
about midpoint to two-thirds up the face
of the frizzen.
A worn-out lock also can cause
sparking problems. As a lock ages, it
wears down the shoulders of the tumbler axle, which secures and aligns the
hammer. This impinges the transfer of
energy, and if the hammer is wiggly
loose, the flint usually won't strike the
frizzen with enough sustained energy
to cut sparks.
Don't be tricked by advertisements and
catalogs: all flints are not hunting flints!
If you buy something other than a black
English flint, such as an amber French flint
or North American jasper, you bought a
flint that can't be knapped.
True flint and jasper stones contain
silica and they spall. They chip off and the
chips look like deadly sharp glass. They
also can be knapped - sharpened - many
times, which promotes sparking when the
flint hits the frizzen.
Also, if you have trouble seeing your
iron sights clearly, consider switching to
fiber-optic front and rear sights. They'll
liven up your retina and they're an easy
fix.
Another alternative is an aperture sight,
also called a peep sight. These sights can
be particularly beneficial to farsighted
hunters who have trouble seeing or aligning their rear and front sights.
And if you're sticking with primitive
sights, you can still enhance them. Use
some plastic model paint - the kind that
comes in the little glass containers - and
paint a thin line of yellow across the top
of the rear sight, and then paint the vertical edge of the front sight - facing your
eyes - with light blue paint.
Science suggests that yellow and blue
are diametrically opposing colors that are
60

easy for the eye to separate.
Water dissolves blackpowder, so the
two don't mix well. But don't let the wet
ruin your hunt. Instead, employ some
foul-weather flintlockin' strategies.
To prevent rain, misty fog, melting
snow or sweat from your brow from
wreaking havoc on your powder, you must
take steps to keep it dry. Start by loading
under a porch, or a mature hemlock. Run a
dry cotton patch up and down the barrel to
ensure the bore is dry. Then follow immediately with the loose powder, a greased
patch and a lead roundball.
If you load a plastic sabot and lead
bullet, know that the plastic will not seal
the bore the way a greased, cloth patch
will. And don't prime the pan, because
blackpowder can absorb moisture from
the environment like a salt shaker at a
picnic, and become harder - even impossible - to ignite after you've hiked to your
distant place of ambush. Now is the time
to use a leather frizzen cover, greasedleather cow's knee, or - yuck - your
favorite store-bought plastic device that
covers the entire lock area. I also place a
piece of black electrician's tape, a balloon
or other thin rubber contraption over the
muzzle until I'm on stand.
I like to hunt in adverse weather,
because you'll get a lot closer to deer.
Moisture turns crunchy leaves into noiseabsorbing, soggy carpeting. Snow muffles
the sound of your boots. And a snow
squall can hide you until you're on top of
the bedded whitetails.
While Murphy will try his best to ruin
your success with malfunctioning locks,
water-swollen wooden lock mortises,
slow lock times and other maladies, you
can beat him at his own mischievous game
by staying ahead of him.



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021

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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2021 - Cover4
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