I have not made my own yet , but I made my own charcoal out of a hybrid poplar that is half willow and half popple . It should make good powder. I will get on that this winter since I shot my smoke pole last week and remembered how much I liked it. Now I have to find a way to make my own caps.
So neat to hear your making your own powder. When I was 14, my friend had a chemistry kit and we made our own gun powder (I believe it was salt peter, sulfer, and crushed charcoal) and made our own fireworks.
I have been out 2 times with the smoke pole. I have 4 muzzleloaders but only use the TC Renegade 54 cal. I make my own patches and cast my own round balls. I enjoy that. I have not gotten a deer with it yet .. I also plan on making my own black powder too. It really is not dangerous to make .
Bennilli 12, Congratulations to your father, that is awesome.
JC, I think the hunting gets better later in the season, not enough hunters or bait by me to matter. Rut is a lot later in the north then most realize. Muzzleloader hunting is a good time to be in the woods. Shot this buck chasing doe on 11/24.
River Chaser... Newman Springs is just down from My place. I'm in Springstead. We hunt areas a little west and north of there up off of 153.
Wolves . Yes they are there. There are now areas we Don't grouse hunt because of it. One area we hunted north along the river we stopped deer hunting becausecameras were only showing wolves and very few deer. Found out from the DNR that's where they were relocating problem wolves to ! Was one of our better areas for 10 years.
We've adapted and moved spots. Sometimes miles, sometimes 2-300 yards... believe me, I get excited when I see deer. Let's me know I'm doing something right !
I bowhunt a couple farms around Cross Plains and shoot plenty of deer but I expect to see deer there... just different up north.
"A question for the big woods hunters. Do you think it gets better as the weeks goes on?"
This was the first year I didn't hunt the big woods for gun season, but I did the past 20+ years at some point during the season. I actually had great luck during muzzleloader season of all things, well after gun hunting. The biggest buck I ever shot was on 12/5 in Price County national forest. People were gone, we had fresh snow, could easily find deer, etc. That also showed how void much of the woods was of deer, but you could find pockets of them. There were definitely less people during the past 10 years.
I would prefer to hunt the northwoods still, but its not really practical for me now. Really just my dad and I left and I guess if we were really motivated we could do it, but I have a lease by my house and its sort of stupid to not hunt it for gun season if I paid for it. Seeing deer almost every day vs a couple a season is more interesting, but its also more hectic with other people running around and the deer not being as natural.
Bennelli I have used Newman Springs for the past 26 years for XC skiing and have watched the number of deer tracks dwindle. The past 3 years I have seen a total of exactly zero tracks on my ski outings. Back in 2019 I had the fortune of being on one of the trails far back near where a foot bridge crosses Newman Creek. Several wolves had gathered in one place to frolick in the snow I could see the places where they ran and chased each other, rolled in 2 feet of fluffy snow. Looked like they had quite the merry time. Very interesting find to me anyways.
"A question for the big woods hunters. Do you think it gets better as the weeks goes on? I ask cause if so, it may be from less bait in the woods. We seem to do better Sunday afternoon and opening day. Not sure why."
I think the best time to shoot a deer is opening day between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm. But the best time to actually hunt them is from Monday onto the end. At least in the big woods. Lots of the camps by us were closed up Sunday afternoon already and I doubt it was because they filled up. It definitely is different than 15 years ago when nobody left. I prefer this version we stick to ourselves for the most part but the neighbors said even the bar down the road was closed on Sunday, a packer game and opening weekend hard to believe they were not open. The deer seem to sense the pressure either way and if you are willing to work and be patient you will find them later in the week
Totally agree Ihook ! We have shot more deer after opening weekend than on the opener. But we also change our tactics. After the opener we are more less still hunting the ridges and swamp edges. Finding new travel routes, food sources ....
A question for the big woods hunters. Do you think it gets better as the weeks goes on? I ask cause if so, it may be from less bait in the woods. We seem to do better Sunday afternoon and opening day. Not sure why.
We too hunt the big woods up- north in Iron and Price counties, have been since 91'. Agree with most the numbers up there are tough to swallow BUT there are deer.
The best part is no pressure from others. Haven't seen another hunter in 3 years in the area we hunt... the deer we do see are in their natural movements ( we don't bait ). There is one big group ( 20 plus ) that use to do pushes from opener to close daily. They even stopped mostly because of age !
In those 32 years between Gun, Bow, And Muzzleloader the 3 of us have shot 71 deer. Some nice bucks have been felled I think 11 that most would mount over 125". We aren't antler hunters we like venison. If you see a buck consider yourself lucky. My brother kind of worked out a ratio from our log book... if you see 5 deer 1 will be a buck and for every fourth buck you see 1 will be a mature buck... it kind of rings true. This year My 82 year old dad in his 70th year of deer hunting shot a fork horn opening day. I think he was more excited with that then the 150" 10 point he got 10 years ago !!!
I shot a spiker late Saturday, was the 5th deer I saw. 3 does, 2 bucks. Couldn't get a shot at the first buck. I think we saw a total of 13 deer during gun season.
It's different hunting than down south . Big ridges, swamps, find acorns and set up. I started hunting farmland forty + years... ago love the big woods solitude, actually hunting I've learned way more up there than sitting on a corn field or bean field seeing 20+ deer a day. ( which I did for 10 years )
Hunt how you want, shoot what you want, as long as I am able to get in the woods you will never hear me complain !!! I hope everyone enjoyed gun season ! It means something different to everybody .