On November 17th this year (2018) the Wisconsin gun deer opener starts. The regular gun season lasts for nine full days. I did manage to get myself a deer a few weeks ago bow hunting, but still plan to go to deer camp and hunt the opener weekend.
I’m probably not going to hunt the regular gun season to hard. I like being up at deer camp, but I like the woods a little more quiet. The regular nine day gun season in Wisconsin sees lots of hunters in the woods. Since I hunt public land things can feel a bit crowded.
The black powder gun season starts the day after the regular gun season ends, and lasts for seven days. Hardly anybody is the woods during the black powder hunt. I like that a lot. So yeah, I am looking forward to the black powder only season which I plan to hunt hard.
Felons And Black Powder Guns
A few years ago a buddy of mine that I have know for thirty-two years, since we were kids in Webolos together, made the comment that when he hunts with his black powder rifle he can’t help but feel like he’s a felon. That made me laugh, but I understood what he was getting at.
You see, a person who has a felony conviction cannot own firearms under federal law, but under federal law a muzzle-loader is not considered a firearm and does not require a person to fill out any FFL paperwork prior to buying one. However, some States have their own laws that don’t allow people convicted of felonies the right to own a muzzle-loader.
Wisconsin is one of those States. Under Wisconsin law if you are convicted of a felony you are breaking the law if you buy, own, or store a black powder rifle in your home or on property you own.
I Didn’t Know That
For the longest time I believed that a convicted felon could own a black powder fun and hunt. Luckily I don’t have to worry about that, as I am clean as the day is long. But after my buddy made that comment a few years I did do some research and was surprised at what I found.
Convicted felons within the borders of Wisconsin, resident or non-resident, are not allowed to have in their position any modern firearm or muzzle-loader style guns. In Wisconsin there is also precedent from a 2007 Court of Appeals case, State V. Jacobs, that upheld the felon gun possession law that was directly related to felons in position of traditional and modern day muzzle-loader firearms.
You Don’t Need To Feel Like A Felon – Use That Black Powder Gun
So good news to my life long friend and hunting buddy, he doesn’t need to feel like a felon when he is in the woods during the muzzle-loader deer season! Of course, felons can still own a bow and go hunting, but that’s another story entirely…
I own a couple black powder rifles. I bought a new one last year and harvested a nice doe with it. The muzzle loader only season is a great time to be in the woods in Wisconsin. It’s quiet in the woods. All the regular gun hunters are gone. I love that feeling of the having the woods to myself.
On a side note, if you haven’t read my post about deer camp, you should. Its a wonderful place. Read about my Deer Camp here.
Be sure to check out the comments below! Some interesting information has been provided by a reader by the name of John regarding felons and black-powder firearms.
UPDATE To My Felons and Firearms Post: If you are a non-violent offender, you can very possibly get your gun rights back depending on the State you live in. Check out this link: Get Your Gun Rights Back.