As the cold temperatures move in, many bow hunters begin to slide out of the woods and now that firearm season has closed, muzzleloader hunters will slip back in for another try at that buck.

Michigan muzzleloader season kicks off today, December 4, across the state and runs until December 13.

This is a fun way to hunt for more traditional hunters because you kind of go back in time while using a black powder gun.

For those unfamiliar with muzzleloader hunting, do you remember the old muskets pioneer's used back in the day? That's basically what I'm talking about except the black powder technology has changed a bit over the years.

Don't get me wrong, there will be some old style black powder guns in the woods for the diehards but there rest of us will be using a more updated version of the black powder gun.

Once again these black powder guns are guns where you load your powder and bullet that you pack down by hand and normally only get one shot (there are models that allow a couples loads but that story is for another time). Once you have safely loaded your gun you put in the cap where the firing pin will hit to create the spark to lite the powder and send your bullet to your target.

One thing about muzzleloader hunting, your shot has to count because the sound a smoke pole will make when you fire it, if you missed the deer, well he will more than likely be gone by the time you pack that next shell. (normally, lol).

While many hunters utilize muzzleloader season to try and catch a buck either on a second rut or just trying to fatten up for the long cold winter, many other hunters use this time to manage their hunting area and take a few does.

It is important to manage your hunting area if you can in order to keep a healthy heard and maintain a decent buck to doe ratio.

Another thing nice about using a muzzleloader in the lower part of Michigan is you can use during the early firearm doe season in September, during firearm season in November, muzzleloader season in December and the late doe only season on the back half of December.

If you have not tried muzzleloader season you can find reasonably priced guns at area gun shops and if you want to save a few bucks you can try pawn shops, craigslist and eBay as well.

Good luck and be safe if you are heading into the woods. I will be in my tree this weekend as well.

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