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Looking at the subtitle that I just wrote, perhaps it would have been better than the X-Treme Muzzleloading: Fur, Fowl and Dangerous Game with Muzzleloading Rifles, Pistols and Shotguns official title that I used for the book; but finally, after three years in progress, it is published. Any author is happy to have his book finished, and after working with this one for so long I am too – whatever it is called.
I had already decided that this was very likely to be my last printed outdoor book and that it ought to contain the best of my writings on muzzleloading hunts that I published over the past 50 years. I do not claim to be a “big hunter” in either physical size or accomplishments. I have always enjoyed hunting with a variety of muzzleloading guns. Occasionally I take “trophy” animals, but more often they are common species taken with uncommon guns.
I wanted this to be a 9X11 format book with a sufficient number of photos to adequately inform readers about the muzzleloaders that I used, how I loaded them, hunting with them and ultimately took game that ranged from armadillos, to swan to Cape buffalo. Not only did I use rifles for my small and big game hunting, I also used uncommon muzzleloading pistols and smoothbores.
My immediate challenge was that illustrated books this size are very expensive to design and produce. I made an agreement with Hungarian editor Balazs Nemeth who publishes the “Pedersoli’s Blackpowder No. 1” quarterly E-zine to use materials from my book in exchange for designing X-Treme Muzzleloading. This way it could be submitted “ready to print” and save considerable production costs. Nemeth has also been a long-time black-powder enthusiasts in addition to having a University position, wife and young children. In between holding down three jobs, he was also working on my book. He honored his commitment and got the job done, even though it took longer than either of us anticipated.
From my end, I had to make a book from a number of articles written in various styles that had been published in whole, or part, in a number of publications, several of which were not longer in existence. These included magazines like Chevy Outdoors, Dixie Gun Works Blackpowder Annual and Blackpowder Hunting, to name a few. It would have been nice had the book contracted to the publishers of the Gun Digest Annual, but they saw this book as appealing to too small a market to be profitable.
I also looked for sponsors to help print the book and found a welcome one with Hodgdon Powder Co. who purchased the ad for GOEX powder that appears in the rear of the book. Author House, the print-on-demand publisher, was already doing Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound for me, so it was logical to also use them for my new title.
What’s in the book
Contained in the book’s 293 pages are 25 chapters considering four subject areas. Chapters 1-4 are comprehensive and cover respectively, Small Game, Waterfowling, Turkey Hunting and Deer Hunting. Chapters 5-20 are hunts for small and large game including squirrels, rabbits, quail, ducks, geese, swan, hogs, deer, bear, ostrich, bison and Cape buffalo. In Chapters 21-24, I consider hunting with black-powder cartridge guns, muzzleloading gun maintainance, knives and solo hunting. In the concluding chapter I have 31 of some of my more unusual wild-game recipes including roasting a whole boar’s head (and what to do with it) and alligator paw soup.
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This book is now available from my website www.hoveysmith.com for $27.77, from www.amazon.com and other on-line book retailers. Reviewers and Editors who would like review copy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.