Brining back tradition...
eeping a muzzleloader and the components dry is the most important issue one faces. Because rain or possibly snow is likely at some time during a hunt, a waterproof bag or case is needed to carry a loaded muzzleloader in the field.
Based on my conversations with Jim Shockey, a well-known hunter, 100-150 grains of Pyrodex or Triple 7 (powder or pellets) behind a 300-grain Barnes X, Nosler Partition or Swift A-Frame in 50 caliber is hard to beat. You can shoot more powder, but it is generally not needed.
Round balls work, but do not have the knockdown power of a Sabot or conical bullet. Sight the gun dead on somewhere between 100 and 150 yards. Most people use a scope, but a good set of open sights can be very accurate.
If you want to shoot over 200 yards, you might as well use a rifle. They are much easier to clean and provide a quicker follow-up shot. Also, bring the right equipment to take your gun apart for cleaning or for extracting a bullet from the barrel.