Babbs in the Woods
Well now, if it’s good enough for ole Jim Shockey, as he travels the world putting the blackpowder “pow” on prey, then, it’s good enough for this new muzzleloader hunter, aka, me. In fact, it was a most excellent choice for my Thompson Center Triumph muzzleloader.
I had two tags left from regular rifle season and we needed some meat in the freezer. Organic, healthy venison type of meat – which I recently read as being referred to as the healthiest red meat in the world.
I also have a new Thompson Center Triumph muzzleloader.
I like Leupold scopes. You can pay a lot for the top of the line and get a great scope, and you can pay for the first one in line (not so expensive) and get a great scope. I knew I wanted a great scope on my great gun. So, I ordered an UltimateSlam 3-9x40mm riflescope. It comes in matte, silver, Mossy Oak Break-up and Mossy Oak Treestand. I went for the basic black, at $339.
I know the main reason I like this scope. I can see clearly and quickly through it. These are the reasons why:
Multicoat 4 – Thanks to engineers at Leupold, each riflescope gets coated with a system that cuts down on light reflecting off the lens surface, and allows more light to reach your eye.
Quantum Optical System – As part of the line of riflescopes that include the very popular VX-1, VX-2,VX-R and VX-6, this optical system is made from a lead free, ecologically friendly glass composition that enhances light transmission, resolution and color fidelity while remaining rugged. Or, as Leupold explains it,
“The geometry of each lens is maximized through a combination of Ze-max® design software and evaluation usingLeupold’s Zygo® Interferometer to minimize wave front error and increase resolution. The result is razor sharp imaging across the typical light conditions experienced on any hunt—from the bright daylight of varminting to the dawn and dusk hours when big whitetails are on the move.”
I can verify this claim as being accurate, since I sighted in the scope and rifle in low light conditions on a cloudy day, and hunted in mid-morning winter light conditions, from a thicket.
Generous Eyebox – I have big, round eyes. I like a generous eyebox. In fact, anyone would appreciate being able to get on the target faster because the eyebox is bigger, affording more eye relief.
Ballistic Aiming System – If you learn this system, you will feel more confident with your shots. Leupold’s® Ballistics Aiming System™ contains five specialized reticles – Boone and Crockett® Big Game, Varmint Hunter’s, LR Duplex, LRV Duplex, and the new SA.B.R. reticles. A ballistics indicator ring allows a hunter to set the power for her cartridge’s ballistics and to save it, too, for future reference. I have not learned this system yet, but intend to before next year. It will take time on the range using my ammunition for hunting and the gun/scope set-up.
Finger Click – I liked how easy it was to manipulate the adjustments when sighting in my gun. No tools required for this scope.
Durable Lens Cover – It might seem inconsequential, but I like this lens cover system, called the durable bikini style. And I thought my bikini days were over!
The hunt …
So, the hunt went like this … my son-in-law, a Marine, and I went on a spot-and-stalk for whitetails here in the Ozarks during muzzleloader season, and frankly, we went all Natty Bumpo style … you know James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales’ style. Or think Daniel Day Lewis in “The Last of the Mohicans.” Where we crawled, we walked logs to get closer to deer so they couldn’t hear us and we finally spotted one ambling across the meadow while we were a couple hundred yards away in the timbers. So we crept low through the thickets and down the hillside. I was thankful for my cap or else I’d have been scalped along the way.
We arrived at the edge of the thicket. The deer stopped, munching away, oblivious to us being attacked by rose bushes on the wild side. My son-in-law asked if I could take the shot. I nodded yes, and he knelt in front of me. I lifted that gun to my shoulder, took a look through my new Leupold Ultimate Slam scope, designed expressly for muzzleloader action and took a shot. Boom. Down she went.
I started to reload because I knew that if I needed to put her down with another shot, it’d have to be quick. My son-in-law whispered, “There’s another one!” I looked through my scope again and saw it move past the downed deer. I had another tag and we would eat and share the meat with family members. So I took another shot – offhand at 100 yards. And this one took off for about 25 yards and went down.
And then, I went all Pioneer Woman Afield. My son-in-law showed me how he field dresses deer and I field dressed one of them. He skinned and quartered one and I skinned and quartered one.
Was it gross?
Here’s how I feel about it. I do not feel pity for the deer, and by the way, they were button bucks, not does. I feel respect. I am thankful that I live in a country where I can feed my family fine venison like the kings and other royalty eat in Europe. I am happy to cull a herd of deer on my property so that other deer will thrive.
So, if you ever get the opportunity to shoot a muzzleloader, try it. Whether you hunt with it, or not, it might awaken some primal instincts in you and make you feel more alive again. And if you need a muzzeloader, you can’t go wrong with a Thompson Center Triumph or Impact, with a Leupold UltimateSlam on it.