More to Ponder
So as not to hijack another thread, I started this one.
For some time now I have been thinking about this idea of shotguns and muzzleloaders being safer. I'm undecided. I agree that the laws are not consistent, but I'm not sure where I stand. I also agree that the modifications to shotguns and muzzleloaders kind of negate the whole safety reason for using them in the first place. On one hand the large and slow bullets fall quickly and therefore don't go very far and are "safer". On the other hand though, the large and slow bullets punch through brush and branches where a light grained high velocity bullet like a .243 would fragment. I know that when I shoot a deer with a .243, most of the bullet stays in the deer and it is in pieces. I like this since I know the bullet didn't keep traveling after passing through the animal. My .50 caliber flintlock usually passes through the deer, but it is not going far after that. By that time the bullet is about .75 inches around, shaped like a pancake and going really slow.
The reason I have been thinking about it is because I hunt on my own property and the property behind mine. There are some houses around, but it is safe to shoot if you use common sense. I hear gun shots almost every day from the people who live near by. My own self imposed rules are that I only shoot in the back yard, where there are no houses or roads and it is heavily wooded. I always shoot down into the ground from a stand if not using a handgun or bird shot, and no high powered rifles over a .243 or a "traditional" muzzleloader. However I'm starting to wonder if I should limit it to handgun rounds and buckshot.
One morning this season I noticed that the birds were very active in the back woods. I went scouting and found someone had shot a deer either the night before or that morning. The hide and gut pile were back beyond my property a ways. The property behind mine is uninhabited and I'm the only one who has permission from the owners to hunt on it since I look after it for them. I wasn't too happy that someone was back there during hunting season and I didn't know about it. The land owners weren't very happy either when they found out. The deer was about 500 yards from where I shoot, but was right in line with where I aim.
The real issue is that someone was hunting on private land without permission, but since the deer are always at such close range (75 yards or less) I can't help but think that I should use the shortest range weapon as possible.
Please no flame wars. I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just speaking my thoughts as I try to sort it out in my head. Any constructive input is appreciated.