Following a trend that is in place in many western states already. New Mexico is banning scopes on muzzleloaders starting in the 2023 hunting season. This comes after the New Mexico State game Commission voted on the ban. The new ruling specified that muzzleloader hunters are not allowed to use scopes on their muzzleloaders during a hunt.
But that scopes are still legal for muzzleloaders during Any Legal Weapon hunts only. Unless you are challenging you self I do not know many hunters that would choose to use a muzzleloader for any legal weapon.
The head Biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Stewart Liley stated in the meeting with the commission that technology improvements have made muzzleloaders nearly as effective as centerfire rifles.
Which is hard to argue now a-days people are taking shots over 500 yards with a muzzleloader.
Liley went on to noted.
“what we’re seeing biologically is that the harvest is going to be unsustainable,”.”Stewart Liley
You can read here the full statement from the New Mexico game Commission. So Remember when applying next year in New Mexico if you are going to muzzleloader hunt take your scope off
Lots of “science” behind NM Game and Fish’s ruling. I’d like to know how many “primative’ hunters hunt with a round ball, and unrifled barrel. How many bowhunters would be willing to loose their range finders and 100+ yard bows. The answer is likely not many.
I’m a muzzle loader hunter. It’s hard, even if you run a scope on it. I’m ok with giving the wildlife more of a chance, but let’s be reasonable and do restrictions across the board.
When I was a kid, a 200 yard shot with a rifle was a long shot. A 40 yard shot with a bow was a long shot. So let’s get this straight, this rule isn’t about the wildlife; somebody has a burr under their saddle about the muzzle loader industry and muzzle loader hunters. It’s a shame.