Tomorrow is the opener of the Louisiana Primitive Weapons season. We get a week to hunt deer before the regular gun season rolls through and in my area, it starts tomorrow. At daylight, I'll be in my stand.
I started muzzleloading in 1980, when Louisiana had a muzzleloader season. I shot a Thompson/Center Renegade rifle. I came to prefer a .54 caliber patched ball and got very, very good with that rifle. Confident enough in it that for several years I carried nothing else. I could hit with that rifle and it was all I needed for the terrain I was hunting, which was mainly swamp bottom tangles that ran near small hills that were hillside tangles. A long shot was mainly 75 yards and you never had the chance for a second shot. In those woods, a single shot muzzleloader worked just fine. I killed several deer with that rifle, then got out of the habit.
Several years ago, Louisiana liberalized their muzzleloader season to the point where a muzzleloader isn't even necessary. They publish a list of rifles that the hunter can use, but most of us use the Handi-Rifle, in either .45-70, .444, or .38-55.
I'll have the Handi rifle with me in the stand tomorrow, although I haven't sunk so low as to put a scope on it. Mine wears a Williams peep sight and I'll shoot that setup until my eyes get to the point where a scope is necessary.
I use a butt-cuff on my hunting rifles and they generally hold nine rounds of ammo. That nine rounds is my standard hunting load and I'll often go through a whole season without shooting those nine rounds. I just loaded the rounds into the butt-cuff on the Handi-rifle and those big slugs make the rifle decidedly butt-heavy.
I may have to re-think this practice for this rifle.