The Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks recently approved the use of scopes on muzzleloaders during the state’s early-season deer hunt. Previously, only open or peep sights were allowed, though scopes had been allowed on muzzleloaders during the regular firearms season. This is great news for muzzleloader hunters, though I know a few blackpowder aficionados who don’t like the growing popularity of in-line muzzleloaders and modern optics. These guys prefer percussion caps and smoothbores, feeling it’s more in line with the spirit of “primitive arms” hunting.

I won’t argue against that, but as a muzzleloader who uses a ”modern” in-line I have to say I much prefer my gear. Why?

Mainly because I know the gun will fire when I pull the trigger. I am not a fan of flash in the pan or any of the other things than can keep a primitive arm from igniting. The inline muzzleloader is a tool, one that allows me to hunt more. Many states are awash in deer, and game departments are seeking ways to get hunters to spend more time in the woods. The modern muzzleloader is one way to do just that.

But whether you use an inline or a percussion cap, you’re still limited to a single shot. And that puts a premium on careful shot placement. I, for one, have no problem with that.

—Slaton White