Let's talk about Pennsylvania Flintlock Season.

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GAHUNTER60

Senior Member
Pennsylvania just celebrated its 46th annual flintlock-only hunting season. This last year, the special season ran for almost six weeks from Christmas until the end of January. In that period around 100,000 hunters took to the woods with rock locks, and harvested around 12,000 deer (the vast majority of which were antlerless). The exact number of hunters and harvest is not known, because PA does not differentiate its stats between hunters who hunt and harvest in the early, seven-day "any muzzleloader" season, and the long flintlock season. In all, there were right at 30,000 deer harvested in the state last year by about 160,000 muzzleloader hunters.

Now, hunters in Pennsylvania are in a unique situation, in that PA is the birthplace of the most American of all rifles, the longrifle. In fact, there are builders of longrifles in the state whose business is uninterrupted from before the Revolution to present day. It was only natural that the state would want to celebrate this heritage with a flintlock-only season (even though the vast majority of the rifles used in this hunt are Hawken-style, half-stock flinters imported from Spain and Italy by Traditions, Pedersoli, Lyman, and CVA, as well as thousands of mass American-made Thompson Centers). There are, however, enough folks using custom-built and semi-custom American longrifles to keep these small builders in business.

When reading about this special season, I learned one important factoid -- game managers do not use the flintlock season as a management tool in any way, shape, or form. It is there simply for the traditional flintlock hobbyists, and as a celebration of the state's contribution to American firearms history. Over the years, despite the difficulties of harvesting a deer in the deep snows typical of Pennsylvania in January, it has become wildly popular among the hunters who participate. Most say that in addition to giving them a last-chance opportunity to harvest a deer, they appreciate the connection to history and their ancestors who stalked these same woods with basically the same weapon hundreds of years ago.

Now to my point, what would be wrong with doing something similar here in Georgia as an add-on to the regular season? Of course, I don't think it should be limited to flintlocks only (though I'd like that), there's enough owners of traditional sidelocks, and those who would become owners given an extra hunting opportunity, to warrant such a season.

I don't feel real strong about it one way or the other. I'm going to hunt with a traditional muzzleloader during regular gun season anyway. But the thought of acknowledging the place of traditional black powder guns and allowing those who love them their special time in the woods, brings a smile to my face!
 

35 Whelen

Senior Member
Never participated in the late season flintlock season when I lived in Pennsylvania, weather was just too miserable to be out. My brother and his brother-in-law did most every year. The biggest challenge (besides the weather) was getting the gun to go boom!
 

Ray357

Senior Member
I guess I am just different, but I don't see having a special season for percussion muzzleloaders or flintlocks. We don't have you must drive a horse and buggy week or a you must drive a T model week.
Have deer season. Hunt with what you want. Long bow, compound, cross, muzzleloader, 50 BMG, whatever you want.
 
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lampern

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS
Maryland and West Virginia also now have "special" muzzleloading seasons

So do several western states.

The trend is to enact those kinds of seasons.

More states will follow.

Surprised more states haven't followed Mississippi and Lousiana actually and gone the other way with single shot 19th century type cartridge rifles.
 
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Rabun

Senior Member
I have hunted the Pa flintlock season a couple times during the 90's and always had a ball. Have trudged through deep snow several times. Dawson Forest WMA used to have a primitive weapon hunt that I would go on and use my flintlock. I've killed quite a few deer with that smoker during that hunt.
 
After the season closes the second Sunday in January, make the last two weeks open for Traditional bows and Flintlocks only.I like the old ways of hunting the older i get. This might teach the younger generation years ago folks had to work for a deer and might appreciate the traditions handed down to us.
 

Darkhorse

Senior Member
I think I could go for that.
 
If we had a flintlock only season you would find scopes for flint locks on sale today. Maybe they already exist, but it just ruins the spirit of it to me.
 

rugerfan

Senior Member
Never participated in the late season flintlock season when I lived in Pennsylvania, weather was just too miserable to be out. My brother and his brother-in-law did most every year. The biggest challenge (besides the weather) was getting the gun to go boom!
I participated a couple of years when I lived up there. The weather usually was horrible, and as stated by 35 Whelen, the gun sometimes just wouldn't go off. Powder in the flashpan got damp or just soaked. Trying to load the thing with cold hands. After the second year I went, I sold the muzzleloader. I was inaccurate with it anyway.

Now, down here in Georgia? Maybe, but I wouldn't want it to interfere with any of the dates and seasons that we currently have.
 

lampern

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS
Why not enact such a season on the Chattahoochee National Forest?

The gun season closes there earlier than other public lands.

Just place it after the gun season closes. You can hunt in the snow
 

Darkhorse

Senior Member
Primitive weapons special season legal weapons. Only side hammer rifles with percussion or flintlock ignition. No scopes. Patched round ball only. .45 caliber and larger.

If the legal weapons are identified like this scopes won't be a problem. And we can't leave out side hammer percussion rifles. I personally would rather it be flintlock only but I don't think there are enough of us to sway the DNR. This is Georgia not Pennsylvania.
I don't really like the idea of nailing this down to a few tracts of land because those living in other parts of Ga. will find it hard to attend.
 
I live in pa, always save a tag for flintlock season. It can be cold and snowy in January, killed one this year January 13th. 9 degrees for the high temperature that day. Almost as exhilarating as killing one with my recurve.
 
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