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How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a
12 pound Mountain Howitzer Cannon
...by: Buck Stix
THE WHITETAIL DEER HUNT WITH A MOUNTAIN HOWITZER
BUCKSTIX DEER SCENT MADE THIS HUNT POSSIBLE
For those of you unfamiliar with cannon artillery talk, a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer cannon was a small cannon used during the Civil War. The early mt howitzer cannons were originally designed to be disassembled and packed into the mountains on horseback, hence the name, Mountain Howitzer. The later model Mountain Howitzers, like this one, were built on a carriage designed to be "pulled" by horses.
The "pound" designation ( 12 pdr ) in the name " 12 pound Mountain Howitzer " refers to the weight of the projectile that the mt howitzer cannon shoots. Therefore, a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer ( 12 pdr ) shoots a 12 pound cannonball. All artillery cannons with smooth bore barrels were described in the "pound" weight of their projectiles and were called "Cannons." ( like the 12 pound Mountain Howitzer Cannon ) Artillery cannons with rifled barrels were described in the "inch" of their bore diameters and called "Guns." ( like a 3 inch Gun )
First, let me start by saying that I'm pretty sure that it may not be entirely legal to use a Mountain Howitzer Cannon for deer hunting, at least not in Wisconsin. ( I didn't actually ask the DNR about using a Mountain Howitzer, but according to Thomas Van Haren, a Conservation Warden & Natural Resources Policy Officer of the Bureau of Law Enforcement for the Wisconsin DNR - "the use of a Cannon is not legal for hunting any species of game in Wisconsin." )
Be sure to check with your own State Hunting regulations, ...... ( Call them and ask them to look under the "Hunting with Artillery" section. )
never-the-less, if you live on the edge, and want a real hunting experience, ...
read on ...
THE " HUNT "
In order to shoot a whitetail deer with a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer Cannon, you must first purchase a 12 pound Mountain Howitzer Cannon. Or if you prefer, you can build your own Mountain Howitzer. Anyone needing help building his own cannon, please e-mail me ........... or click the links below for a special deal on Mountain Howitzer blueprints.
THE " HUNT " CONTINUES
To begin with, one must decide on a proper load with which to shoot a whitetail deer using a Mtn. Howitzer Cannon.
it would be rather difficult to hit a deer with a Mountain Howitzer Cannon that
used a single 12 pound cast iron ball, ( even an exploding one ) and because
down range fall-out ( from 1000 to 1500 yards ) would be a factor with that
single 4-1/2" diameter ball, it would be more practical to use a standard
load of what was called "Canister Shot". Using Canister Shot
turns the Mountain Howitzer into rather large shotgun.
Here is what the assembled canister shell for a Mountain Howitzer looks like.
12 pound Mountain Howitzer canister shell is easy to make. You simply fill
a tin container with the 148 lead musket balls, and then attach the container to
the top of a wooden sabot ( spacer ) with small nails. A standard load of
1/2 pound of cannon powder ( in a packet ) is tied to the bottom of the wooden
sabot. When the Mountain Howitzer is fired, the tin can ruptures and
separates from the musket balls, much the same way as a shotgun wad separates
from the lead shot.
Now, set up the Mountain Howitzer aimed down your favorite deer trail and adjust the Mt. Howitzer barrel elevation to 5 degrees using a gunners quadrant. ( shown below ) This angle will give a clear shot from 100 yards out to about 250 yards and limit your down range fall-out of fire. Keep at least 30 feet clear "behind" the mountain howitzer for recoil.
2. Mark the probable down-range DANGER area with "Danger-Tape", the kind of tape that says "Police Line DO-NOT-CROSS" is a good choice, or, "DANGER --- BLASTING AREA" is another good one. You will need about 1000 yards of this tape. Lay the tape along the ground starting from 5 foot either side of the mountain howitzer's muzzle and flare down range at a 15 degree angle. Extend the tape out to about 500 yards. Keep the tape laying directly on the ground so the deer can easily step over it. ( Don't worry about the wording, the deer can't read ) IMPORTANT, BE SURE THE TAPE DOES NOT GET TANGLED ON BRUSH. ( the reason for this will be made clear in step 7. )
everyone in your hunting party to STAY AWAY from you, ... until 1/2 hour
"after" they hear a really BIG BOOM. Or, better
yet, hunt alone when using a Mountain Howitzer.
With the friction primer in place in the fuse hole of the Howitzer barrel, a long pull-cord ( lanyard ) is attached to the wire loop. It allows you to position yourself far away from the Mountain Howitzer Cannon. Distance is limited only by the length of the lanyard you use. Make sure to stay off to the side and not directly behind the Mountain Howitzer or it's wheels. REMEMBER! The Mountain Howitzer will "recoil up to 30 feet" depending on the terrain.
an unsuspecting deer happens to wander in front of your Mountain Howitzer
Cannon, PULL THE CORD! Make sure that the deer is within 250
yards range and directly in-line with the howitzer's bore. Also be sure
the deer is no closer than 100 yards. A minimum
distance of 100 yards is a "must" for reasonable meat
recovery. ( less damage ) You don't want to hit the deer with all
148 musket balls. ( your goal is to shoot the deer with your
mountain howitzer, not "pulverize" him ) Also, at
extended distances, it will be less likely that you will shoot off the horns if
the deer is a really nice Buck.
8. Now, "GET THE HELL OUT OF THE AREA UNTIL THE SMOKE HAS CLEARED" ( You have just created a smoke cloud that is likely visible from the moon. It may take up to 30 minutes for the smoke to dissipate depending on the particular area and wind conditions ) Move away from the howitzer by one-half mile. ( or more ) Sit down and eat your lunch. Keep an eye on the area from a distance, making sure there are no nosey hunters that wander over to see what all the noise ( and smoke ) was about. In the unlikely event that a crowd of unknown hunters should wander over, play dumb, talk with your mouth full, drool, and entice them away from the area of the howitzer. If they comment about the "smell of rotten eggs" ( the sulfur form the 1/2 pound of black powder you just ignited ) tell them you ate a lot of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, and you have gas. If they should discover the Mountain Howitzer Cannon, "tell them that they are trespassing on private land", and threaten to call the Sheriff if they don't leave at once.
Wrap-up. OK, since there was very little for you to do while you were just sitting there hunting with your Mountain Howitzer Cannon, you would find it easy to "simultaneously" take a picture of your shot with your digital camera.
Be sure to take a lot of pictures of your successful Mt. Howitzer cannon hunt so you can show all the grandkids.
( Having a lot of pictures also helps to convince the disbelievers )
This wonderful trophy was taken at 8:00 a.m. on November 22nd, 2003.
it was done without damaging a single point of this Buck's very nice 8
recovery was very reasonable for this 120 yard shot. Although the holes
look big, there was very little extended meat damage.
only 6 HITS . . . . . . ! ! ! ! ! !
Please feel free to circulate this to as many interested people as you like .... its time we started having some fun with our Mountain Howitzer Cannons.
Next see how we built the Mountain Howitzer >> BARREL
Or.... see how to hunt Feral Cats with a Coehorn Mortar >> MORTAR
THE ACTIVITIES SHOWN HERE ARE FOR VIEWER ENTERTAINMENT ONLY
NO ANIMALS WERE ACTUALLY HARMED OR INJURED IN ANY WAY
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