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#3306190 - 11/08/22 02:15 PM First Mule Deer!
erikc838 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 1417
Loc: Las Cruces, NM
I purchased my first muzzleloader, a CVA Paramount 45 cal just shy of a year ago this month in preparation for additional draw opportunities. I had zero experience with muzzleloaders but had a fantastic experience with this one right off the bat. 100 grains and 105 grains by weight and a 285 Powerbelt ELR worked great immediately. SD numbers for 3 shots were less than 10 and velocity was hovering around 2,400 ft/s.

All year I practiced leading up to my November 5-9 muzzleloader mule deer hunt in NM Unit 34. It is a very tough hunt which for some reason in nestled right in between the first and second rifle hunt. The first rifle hunt, they issued 735 tags, not sure on the second. I took all five days off and headed over on November 4 and was set for some awesome weather. Day one, we really covered some ground but didn't see a single deer, let alone a legal buck. We did spot a giant bull elk at almost 1500 yards, as well as a medium sized bull, a spike and about 3 dozen cow elk.

Day two, more beautiful weather and started out with a small mule deer buck and doe on private property, near the southeast corner of the unit. As we worked west, more deer, but still on private property. Mid day we enjoyed some BBQ in Cloudcroft, NM and headed back out for the evening, glassing and moving along some hillsides and a small stream. Just after 1630 hours, I caught a few doe feeding and drinking away from us. The wind was about 5mph or less in our face and couldn't have been better. They continued to feed and water away from us and around the corner. I moved in cautiously on foot, taking the angle out of where they walked toward and spotted a small forky leading their way. A quick check with the rangefinder confirmed he was in range at 176.7 yards. I put the bipod down and laid down, reaquiring what I thought was my target. The head was down feeding but a few seconds later it popped up, confirming a legal deer. He was broadside when I let the Powerbelt 285 grain ELR bullet fly from the CVA Paramount over 100 grains (by weight) of Blackhorn 209.

He dropped and instantly I saw a deer on his side and doe scattering. He didn't take a step and expired within seconds. The bullet entered about center body right behind the shoulder and created a 3" exit out the other side. The ground behind was littered with bright lung blood. A quick field dress before dark and got him back to civilization and on ice. I couldn't have asked for a better time and the area I shot him in was very nice. He's not big but we worked hard almost two full days for him, and I bet he will taste great.
_________________________
Erik

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#3306191 - 11/08/22 02:16 PM Re: First Mule Deer! [Re: erikc838]
erikc838 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 1417
Loc: Las Cruces, NM






_________________________
Erik

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#3306211 - 11/09/22 12:42 AM Re: First Mule Deer! [Re: erikc838]
DesertRam Offline
Director/Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 9431
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
Good deal Erik, and congrats on your first muley buck. I bet that guy is some darn fine eatin'. My muzzleloader hunt in the bootheel was a bust this year. Nothing but sheep and rattlesnakes! smile Pretty good shooting with a muzzleloader too. I see it's for sale. I wonder how many others will follow? I'll have to pull the scope off mine and dig out the old irons for next year...
_________________________
"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

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#3306219 - 11/09/22 09:19 AM Re: First Mule Deer! [Re: DesertRam]
erikc838 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 1417
Loc: Las Cruces, NM
Originally Posted By: DesertRam
Good deal Erik, and congrats on your first muley buck. I bet that guy is some darn fine eatin'. My muzzleloader hunt in the bootheel was a bust this year. Nothing but sheep and rattlesnakes! smile Pretty good shooting with a muzzleloader too. I see it's for sale. I wonder how many others will follow? I'll have to pull the scope off mine and dig out the old irons for next year...


Appreciate it. It was a good time just to be out there. We saw a lot of awesome country and luckily it all came together. I never messed with muzzleloaders before this so I had no idea how it would respond being left loaded (primer out) for almost 2 days. Did just fine. Itís a shame I have to sell it but my eyes are quite bad. I may be able to get away with it at 50 yards, maybe to 100 but thatís it. Sorry about how yours turned out. I would have enjoyed the sheep part it. The snakes not so much. Iím surprised they are still out. Were they very active/aware? We hunted sheep country the first day but I canít say Iíve ever seen one (knock on wood).
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Erik

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#3306242 - 11/09/22 09:44 PM Re: First Mule Deer! [Re: erikc838]
weekender Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 5196
Loc: NC
Your gun is shooting great and congrats on the muley buck.

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#3306259 - 11/10/22 11:55 AM Re: First Mule Deer! [Re: erikc838]
erikc838 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 05/04/13
Posts: 1417
Loc: Las Cruces, NM
I have been very impressed with it thatís for sure. A lot of people complain about them.
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Erik

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