Backyard Hunting for Deer, Squirrels and Geese
Concluding his hunts with percussion revolvers, Hovey takes an 8-point buck with a Ruger Old Army .44 and progresses to a one-day squirrel, deer and goose hunt with a muzzleloading pistol, rifle and shotgun.
Although not a shot was fired during the multi-gun hunt, this event provided the opportunity to introduce two new guns, the Knight Rolling Block in-line rifle and Thompson/Center Arms’ Mountain Magnum 12-gauge musket-cap-fired shotgun. These two guns will be used for the remainder of the hunting season until they take significant game. Both the rifle and shotgun were dropped from production, but are owned by many shooters and available on the used gun market.
Conclusions regarding the percussion revolver as a deer-hog hunting gun are that loads of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven powder with either round balls or newly designed elongate bullets can be used in strongly built guns with adjustable sights to make reliable, and effective, hunting instruments. They are best used where 1. Follow up shots are needed on wounded game, 2. multiple targets are expected or 3. to kill something with evil intent that is approaching the hunter.
There are shortcomings. The pistols are noisy to manipulate. These guns are shiny. They are an S.O.B. to clean, although this process does get less bothersome the more you use the guns. Even if only one shot is fired, for best service the remainder of the cylinder needs to be shot off and the entire gun field stripped and cleaned. A shooter can get away with not cleaning the interior parts for a period of perhaps a few days (longer in very dry climates) and only clean the barrel, fired chambers and any fouling that can be reached on the gun’s frame. This is expedient, but as soon as possible the entire gun needs to be disassembled and cleaned, even if made of stainless steel.
The Kaido Ojamaa 240-grain bullets tended to creep forward in the chambers and tie up the cylinder after two shots. These could be pushed back into the chambers and shooting resumed. A new 255-grain bullet has a longer bearing surface and may alleviate this problem.
One load of 1 1/4-ounce (volume) of no. 4 HeviShot was used for waterfowl and squirrels with a charge of 90 grains of Hodgdon’s TripleSeven powder. This abrasive shot was contained in a red Winchester shot cup for 1 1/4-ounce of shot. A 12-gauge over-powder wad was used over the powder, 40-grains of Cream of Wheat and then the wad was loaded, the shot added and capped with two thin over-shot cards. This is a potent load and a slip-on recoil pad was added to the gun and a pound of lead shot and melted bees wax poured into the hollow butt-stock to reduce felt recoil.
Ads for this show include pickled calf’s and hog’s eye-balls for an attention-getting holiday soup from Old Home Products and a new self-cooking turkey from SIN, Inc. (Industrial Non-Nutritives Incorporated.) Gift suggestions from Hovey, include his outdoor books (Backyard Deer Hunting, Crossbow Hunting, Practical Bowfishing and X-Treme Muzzle loading), Backyard Deer Hunting T-Shirts and donations to finance his delivering a paper or poster at the 9th INTECOL Wetlands Conference sponsored by the University of Florida to be held in early June where he will present a long-term plan for the preservation of the Mississippi River Delta.