For me it’s hard to believe that the Arkansas Muzzleloading season begins this coming Saturday, Oct. 15-23.

It seems like we have zoomed right into the fall hunting season, and I have to admit that this year it has arrived rather quickly, as just a few short days ago temperatures were near 100 degrees and it seemed nothing like hunting season in Arkansas.

Usually by this time of year, I have a pretty good idea of what type of game and the quality of game that is using my “food plot” and the surrounding area, but this year I am definitely running behind as I just got my camera put out this past week and I have not been feeding as I normally would have due to the AGFC’s CWD restrictions and due to the fact that the last few years I was feeding a bear a lot more feed than the deer.

The good news though is the temperatures have lowered a bit, but we are still incredibly dry. There is a slight chance of some moisture before opening day and it looks to be about mid-week. The hot dry conditions that hunters had to put up with the opening weekend of the archery season made for a tough opening weekend and it has not gotten any better as muzzleloading sets to open.

For some of us who formerly used the truly primitive muzzleloaders there was a lot more time spent in preparation as the importance of cleaning and sighting in your gun each year was crucial, because the worst thing that can happen to a muzzleloader hunter is that buck of a lifetime stepping out and your gun fails to fire.

There were so many things that could go wrong with the old rigs, but modern technology has turned muzzleloading guns into highly efficient single shot rifles that are easy to care for and lots of fun to shoot.

Muzzleloading has become so popular that it now rivals the opening day of the gun deer season, which we could have never imagined years ago.

Muzzleloading is now unrivaled as the 2nd most anticipated deer hunt in the state and hunters will started scouting and doing a little doe hunting this past weekend during the state’s private land doe hunt.

The steady stream of campers, trailers loaded with ATV’s, and trucks will start in the middle of the week and continue right up until daylight on opening day.

To say Arkansans love deer hunting is a major understatement and the next two months will show you why as folks all across the state will be relocating to the woods in order to spend time in the great outdoors and hopefully harvest a deer.

Despite all the advances in technology, muzzleloading is definitely a more challenging means of hunting as one chance is usually all a hunter will get.

Although muzzleloading has come a long way, distance and accuracy are still issues that hunters have to consider when hunting. Most muzzleloaders will shot in excess of 100 yards fairly accurately, but those who will have the most success will be the hunters who can get within 75 yards or less of their intended target.

The deer in the Arkansas River Valley have definitely been on the move this past week with the arrival of cooler air, so the timing of this year’s hunt looks to be excellent.

One thing though is certain, regardless of the conditions or the timing, come Saturday morning, the deer hunters of Arkansas will be out in full force looking to take one of those bucks of a lifetime.

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