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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, in Victoria Australia we have a couple of laws regarding deer hunting , the main one that effects me is you can’t hunt Sambar or red deer with a calibre smaller than .270, my question is relating to an episode of "meat eater" where he’s hunting elk with a muzzle loader, is that a legal thing or a hunting choice?
 

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Yes it’s legal. He probably had a .50 or .54 caliber. All much larger than .270
 

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It can be of both. We have muzzleloader only hunting seasons and rifle seasons.
 

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Rifle deer season, which includes .357, .41, and .44 Magnum handguns, runs through November in my home district. Centerfires producing more than 1000 ft/lbs at the muzzle are legal. Muzzleloader deer runs through December, no scopes, iron or peep sights only.

Muzzleloader Elk is legal and a personal choice in my State, no scopes allowed. So is Archery Deer and Elk, and there is a draw weight spec. Rifle Elk has a 1700 ft/lb energy requirement for rifles and no smaller than .243" bore.
 

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In Tennessee anything from 223 up is legal here.
We also have designated season to muzzle loaders, but you can hunt with the muzzle loader in the regular rifle season if you choose.

RP

Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk
 

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but red deer are more similar to elk instead of whitetail deer? I know many states had at one time or may still have caliber restrictions for many big game species. It was fairly common at one point for elk seasons to have a .270 or larger caliber restriction.
Every state that I am aware of has a designated muzzleloader season, restrictions on type and caliber will vary from state to state. Generally for big game a .45 caliber or larger is required, in my state (Pennsylvania) I think .50 caliber is minimum for muzzleloader for elk. Muzzleloader seasons exist primarily for 2 reasons: 1) it gives hunters more opportunity to get into the woods; the benefit is two-fold as hunters can get extra tags, etc.. and the state is able to generate more income. 2) It is a way to celebrate the hunting traditions and practices of our ancestors. This is the main reason why my state of Pennsylvania requires a flintlock during the regular muzzleloader season after the Christmas holiday.
 

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US federal government issues regulations regarding hunting of migratory birds and bans hunting of protected species. US law established long ago that the states "own" the animals within the state and can regulate hunting of those animals. Therefore, each of the 50 states does just that. In some states it is legal to hunt deer with any central fire cartridge, including .22 calibers. In other states there is a minimum caliber. The same goes for elk and moose, some states require much larger weapons for those. Handgun hunting is similarly regulated by specifying minimum calibers, minimum barrel lengths, and minimum energies for hunting different species, all depending on the state to be hunted. The same goes for archery and muzzleloaders. For example, some states allow "in-line" muzzle loaders for big game hunting while others require hunters use "primative" flintlocks and caplocks. It can get confusing for sure. Nearly every state has a yearly hunting guide that reads like a technical book. It's not too bad if one is hunting in only a single state, but hunting in different states requires a lot of research and reading to stay within the law.
 

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but red deer are more similar to elk instead of whitetail deer? I know many states had at one time or may still have caliber restrictions for many big game species. It was fairly common at one point for elk seasons to have a .270 or larger caliber restriction.
Every state that I am aware of has a designated muzzleloader season, restrictions on type and caliber will vary from state to state. Generally for big game a .45 caliber or larger is required, in my state (Pennsylvania) I think .50 caliber is minimum for muzzleloader for elk. Muzzleloader seasons exist primarily for 2 reasons: 1) it gives hunters more opportunity to get into the woods; the benefit is two-fold as hunters can get extra tags, etc.. and the state is able to generate more income. 2) It is a way to celebrate the hunting traditions and practices of our ancestors. This is the main reason why my state of Pennsylvania requires a flintlock during the regular muzzleloader season after the Christmas holiday.
Pennsylvania has elk?
 

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Pennsylvania has elk?
Yes. They repopulated several counties near the center of the state with a strain of Rocky Mountain Elk. There has been a regulated season since the early 2000’s. The number of available tags is very low, so of course there is a lottery system in place to get tags, but the more you apply the more points you can accrue towards future chances. If you are fortunate enough to draw a tag, the success rate is typically pretty high mainly because of the limited available hunting land and limited number of tags.
 

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Hi all, in Victoria Australia we have a couple of laws regarding deer hunting , the main one that effects me is you can’t hunt Sambar or red deer with a calibre smaller than .270, my question is relating to an episode of "meat eater" where he’s hunting elk with a muzzle loader, is that a legal thing or a hunting choice?
Hi all, in Victoria Australia we have a couple of laws regarding deer hunting , the main one that effects me is you can’t hunt Sambar or red deer with a calibre smaller than .270, my question is relating to an episode of "meat eater" where he’s hunting elk with a muzzle loader, is that a legal thing or a hunting choice?
Hunting regulations here in the U.S. have both limits, seasons, species,etc. and MEANS OF TAKE sections. That’s where CF rifle/pistols, calibers, Weapon: Bow/crossbow, muzzle loader, etc.

By limiting certain weapons to certain seasons, they satisfy both the take (ughh..I‘m gonna say it...for those PC readers!! “Harvest”...yuck, I could taste it!) needs of the species to achieve the goals they set yearly for proper management of the game on each states land. The second need satisfied is as most hunters are “Sportsman”, then the special seasons and weapons (means of take) allows certain ”Sportsman” who love bow hunting (me) or muzzle loading BP weapons (me) and who also loves center fire weapons and shotguns too (me) the opportunity to peruse..heheheer..pursue game using their preferred means of take and..and... when Muzzle loading and Bowhunting...you gotta get close! (Me again!) Hahahahaha!

P.S. There are less “Sportsman” in the woods during bow only, muzzle loader or shotgun only...seasons. Just letting you know....
 

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Hi all, in Victoria Australia we have a couple of laws regarding deer hunting , the main one that effects me is you can’t hunt Sambar or red deer with a calibre smaller than .270, my question is relating to an episode of "meat eater" where he’s hunting elk with a muzzle loader, is that a legal thing or a hunting choice?
Deer are legal to hunt with a 22 caliber centerfire caliber and larger where I'm from here in Texas. Although, I have hunted and killed deer with shotguns using buckshot on my small property. Neck shots only. But as to your question. Yes it is legal to hunt with muzzleloaders, although, what game to hunt and caliber to use, are regulated by the state or county within that state. It would also depend if you are hunting on public land or private land. Here in Texas I do a lot of drawn hunts on state or federal land. If you're from Texas you know what I am talking about. I would not be able to use a shotgun for deer hunting except at certain parks and under certain rules set by the agency administering the hunt. But on my property I can pretty much use whatever I want except a 22 rimfire, for deer. Some hunting outfits may require a minimum caliber on their properties though. I can only speak from my hunting experience in Texas. What regulations other states have I do not know.
 

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Here in Indiana for deer we can use most rifles over .243, 10 through .410 shotguns loaded with slugs or sabots, muzzle loaders .44 or bigger .357 bullet size. Public land limited to pistol caliber rifles, muzzleloaders and shot guns. Special seasons and reduction zones have their own rules.
We also allow pistols .243 and over. And bows and crossbows.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies, all the deer here are pest animals sambar , Russ and red deer ( most breeds actually) can be hunted all year , we have state land areas that we can go for it but a lot is pretty tough terrain. There’s a minimum of .270 on the bigger deer and .243 on the smaller breeds, Hog chittal and fallow, muzzle loaders have different calibres for different breeds .45 and .38 , I’m not sure in the other states. One reason for asking is I was chatting with a mate and he was looking at a Howa in 350 legend , said it was made to fit some of the laws in the US about straight walled and muzzle loaders
 

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One of the problems we have in the US is how game animals have adapted to live in closer proximity with people in developed areas. Hunting them safely and ethically is a subject of much debate. Conventional wisdom has been to allow shorter range weapons in certain areas depending on how close to residences and such. Archery only zones and shotgun only zones exist for these purposes. Typically muzzleloaders have been allowed in shotgun only zones, however, the advancements in performance with inline muzzleloaders has taken them to a point where some muzzleloaders can be equal or better than some centerfire cartridges. From my take, this is the starting point for the reasoning behind the straight wall cartridge laws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One of the problems we have in the US is how game animals have adapted to live in closer proximity with people in developed areas. Hunting them safely and ethically is a subject of much debate. Conventional wisdom has been to allow shorter range weapons in certain areas depending on how close to residences and such. Archery only zones and shotgun only zones exist for these purposes. Typically muzzleloaders have been allowed in shotgun only zones, however, the advancements in performance with inline muzzleloaders has taken them to a point where some muzzleloaders can be equal or better than some centerfire cartridges. From my take, this is the starting point for the reasoning behind the straight wall cartridge laws.
Yeh, makes sense, we have a similar issue here , the deer seem to know if they live close to houses and roads their biggest predator is a car/truck, they wander in and destroy garden all through the outer edge of the metro, even had one make it into the city last week, but can’t be hunted without property owners permission ....and lots think they’re free range pets so getting the go ahead to knock them over isn’t common, still , we have it pretty good and one of the up sides to our gun laws is we only have about 4% gun ownership so there’s not really a lot of competition.
 

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Laws change from state to state and have even changed a bit in my state since I was a lad starting out deer hunting. Anybody that hunts in another state needs to study the rules pretty well and not assume things are the same. Now they pretty much leave it up to the hunter in my state to choose a proper rifle for deer whether it's a ML or centerfire. There used to be more size restrictions. As for elk, states usually have a minimum caliber.
 
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