Back in the old days of hunting with muzzleloaders in modern times, we used black powder. Conical bullets were just being introduced to the blackpowder hunter. I’ve been an avid deer hunter all my life, and in the early 1980s, I started instructing at various CVA blackpowder schools held at Westervelt Lodge, White Oak Plantation and Bent Creek Lodge, all quality hunting lodges inAlabama’s Black Belt. In those first schools we were using round balls, then stepped up to the conical bullets and eventually to the CVA PowerBelt bullets. I’m often asked, “How does hunting with blackpowder rifles change your hunting? You’re a bowhunter, and you take deer at long ranges with modern rifles.”
For me, hunting with black powder is the middle step between bowhunting and modern-weapons hunting. Hunting with a blackpowder rifle enables me to hunt between bow season and conventional rifle season and allows me to harvest more deer. When you shoot black powder, you won’t take those 300- to 500-yard shots that I take when I’m hunting deer at long distances. Too, you’re not forced to take those 30- to 40-yard shots that I take with my bow. I prefer, what I call, deep woods hunting, when I hunt with black powder – usually hunting many of the places I hunt with a bow, but having the ability to reach out to 100 or 200 yards. To be honest, I prefer to take a deer at 20 yards with my blackpowder rifle, but I have absolutely no problem reaching out to 200 yards with the new CVA muzzleloaders. So, blackpowder hunting often allows me to use the same stands that I have set-up for bowhunting and extends my range, because from some of my bow stands, I have an open field of view 100 to 150 yards.
I’m really excited about the new products that CVA has brought out. Consider the new CVA .50 caliber pistol. The popularity in hunting with a pistol has grown dramatically. I believe this pistol really has been designed for hunting feral hogs, more than any-other animal. Not only in the South where I live, but all across the nation, feral hogs have become nuisances to hunters, threats to wildlife and cause for major health concerns. Feral hogs destroy the land, they eat-up agricultural fields, they kill and eat young fawns, they destroy turkey and quail nests, and they are known to carry brucellosis. Therefore, taking feral hogs, at every opportunity, is in the best interest of wildlife, hunters and the general population. If you really want to get sporty, the .50 caliber pistol, with a red-dot scope, can make deer hunting interesting, especially where there’s a surplus of does.
I’m also a big fan of the new CVA Mountain Rifle. It is very compact, makes an excellent truck gun and is low maintenance because of its Quick-Release Breech Plug and silver finish. I’m sure this CVA Mountain Rifle will be the choice of many deer hunters this year.
By: Dr. Robert Sheppard ofTuscaloosa,Alabama, nationally-known avid deer hunter and deer-hunting instructor.