Deer & Deer Hunting


As a former big-game outfitter, I attended many game commission meetings. One thing that always amazed me was the whim-like manner in which many game laws were passed or how a small special-interest group had such huge influence on the process.

When I lived in and hunted New Mexico, for example, muzzleloader hunters were afforded prime season dates, longer seasons and incredibly liberal interpretations of the word primitive. Even entire units were reserved for muzzleloader and archery hunting. (Note: This might have changed, as I haven’t kept abreast of developments since moving.) Interestingly, several senior state game commissioners were serious muzzleloader buffs. I have nothing against smoke-poles. I even went through a period when they were my favorite deer hunting weapon (well before scoped in-line designs). But labeling something a primitive weapon to justify better dates and longer seasons while also allowing muzzleloading rifles that are anything but

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