The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
Way back on September 15, Missouri's archery deer season opened. Next Wednesday the archery season will close for good signaling the end to all of Missouri’s deer seasons. At the time of this writing, over 281,000 deer had been harvested in all the various deer seasons. The muzzleloader season still has a few days to go but the number of deer taken in the next few days will be as the lawyers say, deminimis, in other words not very many. The statewide kill for the Alternative Methods season, which is the official name for what once was the muzzleloader season, will end up being just over 10,000.
Most of the hunting that goes on during this season is with muzzle loading firearms, but because of regulation changes a few years ago, atlatls, pistols, muzzle loading revolvers, and air guns can now be used during the muzzleloader season.
Atlatls have been used since the stone age and air powered guns have been around for a couple hundred years as well. You may remember Capt Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame using his air-powered rifle to impress the natives that they contacted along their way during the Corp of Discovery's exploration of the Missouri river.
Air powered guns have made a comeback in recent years. A couple of years ago I was talking to Dale Fease at Casey's and learned that he had taken a nice buck, with of all things, a homemade air rifle. Dale is an old high school classmate and pretty mechanically inclined. His rifle operated by using compressed air stored in a cylinder that doubled as the stock. The Lewis and Clark air gun used compressed air stored in the stock also. The air was forced in with a pump similar to what you and I would call a bicycle pump. Pretty ingenious in 1804 and the present.