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Commission to Reconsider Muzzleloader Rules

From Idaho Department of Fish and Game

-- The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants to know what muzzleloader hunters think about a proposed change in the rules that would allow the use of in-line weapons during muzzleloader-only seasons.

In January 2007, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted new equipment rules for muzzleloader-only hunts.

Nearly 4,000 hunters commented during 2006 on the original proposal with roughly equal numbers supporting and opposing the proposed rule changes. While many traditional muzzleloader hunters support the new rules, many others, including modern muzzleloader hunters, do not.

The most controversial rule change has been the requirement for a pivoting hammer, functionally prohibiting the use of many in-line muzzleloaders in muzzleloader-only hunts. Additionally, the pivoting hammer requirement has been confusing to many hunters, generating numerous requests to Fish and Game to clarify whether individual muzzleloaders are legal to use.

In-line muzzleloaders have no ballistic or overall range advantage over "side-lock" muzzleloaders.

The Fish and Game commissioners are expected to take up the issue during their annual meeting Jan. 16-18 in Boise.

Written comments may be submitted online at, or send them to Brad Compton, Idaho Fish and Game, Muzzleloader Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707; or by fax at 208-334-2148 or 208-334-2114, attention Muzzleloader Comments.

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