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2017-2018 RENDEZVOUS
Always check websites for date changes!
We will be adding events as they become available thru the year.

Frontier Festival
Jan. 5-7, Albany, GA

United Nebraska Muzzleloaders Association Convention & Trade Show
Jan. 12-14., Kearney, NE

Florida Frontiersmen
Jan. 20-27, Bartow, FL

Fort Foster Rendezvous
Jan. 27-28, Thonotosassa, FL

Frozen Toes Rendezvous
Feb. 22-25, Fort Lupton, CO

Camp Dubois Spring Rendezvous
May 5-6, Wood River, IL

Plainsmen Black Powder Club Rendezvous
May 19-21, Kindred, ND

Lancaster Restoration Rendezvous
May 24-28, Fort Lupton, CO

Paul Bunyan Plainsmen Rendezvous
May 25-28, Puyallup, WA

Fort Koshkonong Rendezvous
May 26-27, Fort Atkinson, WI

Fort Crevecoeur Spring Rendezvous
May 26-27, Creve Coeur, IL

Prairie Villa Rendezvous
June 15-18, Prairie Du Chien, WI

Trapper Days Rendezvous
Sept. 6-9, Fort Lupton, CO

White Oak Society Rendezvous
Aug. 3-5, Deer River, MN

Hunters Widows Rendezvous
Sept. 15-17, Fort Lupton, CO

Warsaw Pioneer Heritage Days
Oct.21-22, Warsaw, MO
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The MountainGnome
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ISSN: 1529-6520


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  • When you enter an area that says "GUN FREE ZONE", YOU become the victim!



We started the MountainGnome back in the winter of 1999. My inspiration for starting the newsletter was a young man named Chris Pirillo who owns the website The LockerGnome. That winter brought us a lot of snow here in the foothills of the Sangre DeCristo mountains of Colorado. We proceeded to acquire many fine readers through the years, but times changed and I went to different careers that took most of my free time. I saved to disc all of those old issues from the beginning. Recently I stumbled in to the old stored directory and started opening many of the old issues. The old issues brought back so many great memories of the past and all of our wonderful readers and sponsors. So I thought, why not, I'm retired now and it would be great to bring back the website and update the site for young and old alike!
     We hope you will come back often to see more of the new content we will be adding to our site.
Black Powder & Muzzleloading articles and products!
Ammunition reloading articles!
Hunting Articles!
We will be adding interesting new products for you the reader.

And remember: please feel free to e-mail your comments and suggestions for content on the MountainGnome.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." - Patrick Henry

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The MountainGnome


Setting up my Shooting Bag
by Jonathan Koziol

I've been wanting to do a little piece on the shooting bag, what to carry in a hunting situation VS rendezvous or a shooting event.

Over the years I've learned that weight is a major issue for me. I can not stand having a lot of weight or pressure pushing/pulling down on my right or left shoulder.

With my new range bag, I laid out all of my shooting/reloading stuff and studied it hard.

My biggest problem is, I might need this! Ahhh, I really might need that... And never use it because by the time the first day of the hunt is over, my neck is hurting from the extra weight or am tired of the bulk of the bag rubbing against my side.

Now I also carry a backpack for food, water, knife, sharpener, rope, along with some other small items for starting a fire. All this weight adds up. Your Shooting Bag is not your Possibles/Haversack bag!

There are many times when I am hunting I will drop my backpack and come back for it after my walk is over, or if I filled my tag. The backpack is just to heavy and bulky to try to wear while stalking game. Some times however, I have no choice but to leave my back pack in place while stalking an animal.

While stalking game, I have my rifle, my shooting bag, powder horn ( Some times I use are consistent. speed loaders to ease weight/bulk) and this is the set up that works best for me. Light weight, easy to handle and allows me to move faster and quieter.

My newest shooting bag is made by a gentleman out of Montana called Buckskin Jim, he made it out of heavy cow leather and also stitched it with the same hide that was used for the bag and strap. This bag measures 9"x8"x1.5" and with all of the must have items for firing and maintaining my rifle, this setup weighs 1lb 11oz.

The strap on this bag is long enough to sit right at hip level on my 6'3 frame. Some shooters like the bag strap short enough, that they can pin the bag against their ribs with an elbow while trekking at a fast pace to prevent the bag from noisily flopping around at your side. This is an area that is completely up to you and what feels most comfortable.

The strap on my bag is only 3/4" wide, but because my bag is light weight when fully loaded, it is superbly comfortable and does not cut into my upper shoulder. Bags that carry everything, including the kitchen sink, must be set up with a wide 2" + shoulder strap to help distribute weight and keep the shooters shoulder, feeling comfortable throughout the day.

Some bags also come with a fixed strap. Meaning, if it's to long or to short, you are going to have to make your own adjustments. My bag is non adjustable, but lucky for me, I am tall and it fits me perfect. A buckle can also be added down the road should it be needed to make the bags shoulder strap shorter.

The bag is treated with oils & waxes and dyes in such a way that when pulled or stretched, the finish becomes lighter in those areas. This is considered a mark of high quality, ideal for rugged outdoor use. Surface scratches and marks can simply be rubbed out with your hand. ( Note from Buckskin Jim about the bag) "It's consistent with bags depicted by the artist Alfred Jacob Miller at the 1837 Trappers Rendezvous."

Most of my shooting bags weight is actually from the smaller powder horn that carries enough powder for 30 to 40 shots depending on how many grains I am shooting on that hunt.

Do I really need that much powder for a hunt? No! But it's the smallest horn I have and to be honest, 5 or 6 speed loaders or premeasured powder tubes would do the job as well and take off a lot of weight. Again, the horn is romantic and makes you feel complete. Speed loaders are a hunters best friend. Your choice!

My horn is attached directly to my shooting bag strap with leather thongs that are then tied around the base ( Or staple ) and nose of the horn. I also like to attach the Spout plug with the same thong and tie it down tight so when a branch snags the thong, it will not be able to fully pull the plug free of the horn and dump my powder out while I am hiking through the mountains.

Keeping the bag closed, but easy enough to open in a hurry, I like how this bag came with a small deer antler that you can twist, and the leather thong pops loose and you have access to the inside of the bag. I am not a fan of steel buttons as they are loud and snap open to easily. You can not go wrong with an antler and leather thong to secure your bag closed! I won't even mention how I feel about zippers.

One compartment? Two compartments? Or more! That's always the question! Is bigger better? Do you need more compartments so you can have every little item in its own place? That's up to you!

Because I pack light, my bag has two compartments. The first smaller compartment, I store my leather #11 capper, spare caps, powder measure ( Soon to be fixed to a leather thong on the shoulder strap) ear plug, and extra patches. Again, does one really need an extra 100 patches for a hunt? No, just more added weight and wasted space in your bag. During a hunt, these extra patches will stay at camp.

The second, and largest compartment I keep my small short starter, Nipple pick and a TC arms 3 in 1 combo tool, which consists of a Nipple wrench - small hammer or flint knapper & a wedge key puller. My cleaning jag is always attached to my ramrod so I know I have it on me at all times in the field! Occasionally I will throw in a small rag just in case I get into foul weather and need to wipe the rifle down in the field."

Now one last thing I'd like to show is how I carry my extra round balls. In a hunting situation, I normally only carry 5 to 6 round balls in my bag or in my ball bag. Now because of my neck issues, carrying weight directly on my neck like a ball bag does, is a huge no no. Its uncomfortable for me and always in the way when leaning over to look at something or during a stalk. I normally put the balls into my bag, but you know how round objects are. They roll around and clatter into everything in your bag.

I now use my ball bag and have tied it to my 3" wide belt to help ease the weight from my upper body and of course, to keep them within easy reach. On a hunt, I only carry up to 6 balls in this ball bag. Anymore is just extra weight I do not need to carry around!



And while you're there REGISTER with the folks at Frontier Muzzleloading!
NOTE: This article and many other interesting articles can also be found at the BACKWOODSMAN MAGAZINE.

Internal Lock Polishing: $45.xx. CVA/Traditions/Siler/L&R locks only. I will polish all moving/mating surfaces and lock plate for a smooth grit free feel. This speeds up lock time and makes it butter smooth.
Trigger Polishing: $20.xx. Work would include the internals of the lock, the double set triggers MUST be polished for a smooth crisp, grit free feel!
Accuracy Bedding: $60.xx. Needed just like a center fire, your wood stock muzzle loader is actually prone to the tang screw/s loosening due to the weaker wood actually pulling the metal parts up and into the wood under heavy recoil! Loose tang screws are a dead giveaway of this happening only after a few shots, killing your accuracy.
Wet Weather soaking your wood stock also is a common problem. "In order to do the job correctly you will have to send your complete muzzle loader so I can bed all parts as one for the best accuracy possible."
Coning the Muzzle: $35.xx. This procedure in present day is known as "coning”. It was known in the 19th century as a "relieved" muzzle and also as a "funneled" muzzle. Once the rifle has been “coned” it can be loaded rather easily without using the short starter.
Barrel Browning: $65.xx. I use nothing but the best to brown all muzzle loader barrels. It’s a slow process which generally takes 3 to 5 days to complete properly. This included sights, tang, screws, etc. If it deals with the barrel/attachment. It is included in the price.
Browning Accessories: Contact for price! Butt plate, trigger guard, nose cap, patch box, Etc. Just let me know what all you have and I will work on a price for you.
Stock Refinish: $125.xx. Have an old beauty of a muzzle loader but the stock is looking a little beat up? No problem! All finishes are hand rubbed from the low gloss, matte to high mirror gloss, I can do it in whatever finish you want. Walnut normally does NOT get stained unless the owner wants it reddish or almost black. Good walnut normally never needs staining.
Brush the Brass: $25.xx. To rid that beautiful rifle of yours and that ugly shiny cheap looking brass, I can also provide a Brushed look to your rifles furniture that will age nicely and cut that cheap shininess out! Stop scaring game with that mirror! It’s a hunting rifle, not a beauty pageant!
NOTE: For additional information on our services, please contact the following email address: FrontierMuzzleloading @
The above states DO NOT recognize any other states concealed carry permits! Until they change their SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST agenda's, We at the MountainGnome ask you the hunter, fisherman, sportsman to spend your money elsewhere!


Folks, here are some great books to read, while relaxing in the evening........

Buy Today...Great Reading!! A Rocky Mountain Christmas
1800's Western
by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone

The families Jensen and MacCallister reunite in a gripping tale of tragedy, survival, love, betrayal, and maybe even a miracle . . .

Three days before Christmas, Matt Jensen is traveling the Denver and Pacific railway when an avalanche slams down onto the train, trapping it in desolate Trout Creek Pass. But it wasn’t an act of nature that caused the accident; it was a gang of outlaws attempting to rescue their leader, who is being taken to Red Cliff to be hanged.

As Smoke Jensen and Duff MacCallister frantically try to make their way to the scene, Matt struggles to save the survivors, among them a beautiful young woman with a dark past, a merchant seaman turned rancher, and a senator with his very ill young daughter. Starving under a bitter, driving snow in the brutal, unforgiving Rocky Mountains, and surrounded by armed and desperate outlaws, Matt still dreams of making it home for Christmas. But unless fate lends a hand, nobody will.

NOTE:Folks, every book I review on The MountainGnome, I have read and give my honest opinion. This book is excellent reading and exciting (IMO)!


NEW Our new sound board for your Jupiter 2 Space Pod Brings your Pod to Life with Amazing Engine and Thruster sounds.
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    - Noah, 4314 BC
ALTA, WYOMING: Teton Teepee Lodge

Unique lodging in Alta, Wyoming offering authentic charm and western hospitality.

The Teton Teepee Lodge has been a landmark in Alta, Wyoming and Teton Valley Idaho since its construction in the early 1970s and is your destination for Teton Valley lodging. Located just 6 miles from downtown Driggs, Idaho and 7 miles from Grand Targhee Resort, you’ll find the perfect location to enjoy all of the amazing recreational opportunity of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.

This historical property and unique structure, is a great destination for Teton Valley lodging because of its close proximity to Driggs and Victor, Idaho. The Teton Teepee Lodge is a one-of-a-kind building that offers free internet, clean rooms, a quiet setting, and access to endless outdoor recreational opportunities.

The 17 rooms are circled around the large common room and iconic fireplace. When you lodge at the Teton Teepee you’ll feel at home, mingle with your neighbors, and enjoy a tranquil setting on Teton Creek. Choose from either a standard queen room or twin room.

If you are looking for reasonably priced lodging accommodations near Driggs, Idaho then you have found it.

The Teepee is also perfect for groups, family reunions, weddings, and corporate retreats. Let us help plan you next group retreat.

NOTE: We will no longer suggest Colorado, or any other state that legalized the sale of illegal drugs, as a hunting, skiing, vacation destination without warning you of the consequences!
Due to the legalization of drugs in the state: increases in crime, drug related shootings, increasing traffic deaths, increasing hit & run incidents, we feel your vacations are better spent elsewhere!!


Every week read about the latest developments in privacy software for the home, internet, e-mail..etc..Is the government sticking their noses to far into your private life? Find out more...

Software, Articles, Web Sites and Tips helping YOU protect your PRIVACY!!

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If you would prefer to keep your personal details private, a VPN or proxy tool will help. See the guide to setting up and maintaining a VPN.

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CHUCK WAGON COOK you'll find delicious recipes for main dishes, deserts, "kool" drinks, wild game, and more ~ Updated in every new edition of The MountainGnome!

Have a special recipe you want to share?
Please e-mail us at

Roasted Goose with Blackberry Gingered Sauce
By: Danny Boome on Food Network
  • 1 (10-pound) goose, cleaned and trimmed with innards removed Sea salt
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons goose fat
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cups Zinfandel
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash the goose thoroughly inside and out. Dry well with paper towels. Prick the skin with a fork or fine skewer (this helps release the fat during cooking) and generously rub all over with sea salt. Stuff the bird with the cut fruit. Tuck the wings under so they are not exposed. Add 1/2 inch water to the roasting pan and position the goose breast side down in a roasting rack. Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes. Check the bird while it's roasting to make sure the water doesn't evaporate or the goose fat will burn. After 45 minutes, take the goose out of the oven. Turn it breast side up and prick the skin again. Carefully remove the excess fat by tilting the pan and using a baster. Add another 1/2-inch of water to the pan. Continue to roast for another 2 hours.

The goose is cooked when its juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. If they are at all bloody, roast for a further 15 minutes and check again. To be sure the goose is cooked, insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh. It should read 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Pour out excess fat leaving about 2 tablespoons. Add the scallions, ginger, blackberries, sugar and soy sauce. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the blackberries begin to break up and the juices are released. Add Zinfandel and reduce by half then add the chicken stock and reduce by half again. Pass sauce through a sieve and discard the pulp. Serve with the goose.

For more great recipes come back soon!

  • Life isn’t worth living for, unless you have something worth dying for!