How many people here deer hunt with buckshot?


Arkansas Paul
November 18, 2010, 07:52 PM
Hey guys. I've got a stand behind my house thats in some pretty thick woods. There's no chance of a shot beyond about 50 yards, and that will even be pushing it. I've never been a fan of buckshot, but this particular stand would seem to be tailor made for it.

Which got me to wondering. How many people use buckshot as opposed to rifles? I know that some places have regulations restricting the use of rifles, but how many use buckshot when you could be using a rifle?

Basically just asking out of curiosity.

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November 18, 2010, 08:26 PM
I would prefer slug by far. Might be a good idea and check the pattern and see. My shotgun is open bore, so it would spread waaay too far out for clean kills.

Blue Brick
November 18, 2010, 08:44 PM
Wish I could.......

November 19, 2010, 12:15 AM
I use it in conditions just like you're describing. In fact, I should be asleep right now because I'm using it in the morning once we turn the dogs loose :-D.

Get a good choke tube and pattern your gun. My Beretta like the Buck Kicker light-full choke with 3" 000 Buck. Their ads dont lie when they say 20-25" @ 40 yards. I shot a running deer that had just run behind a holly bush the other day. At about 25 yards the holly bush was gone, the deer had been hit and somersaulted, dead where he landed and all 10 pellets were in the boiler room. I'll probably never make another shot that cool again...

Thats no to say that you can't use it stillhunting, because you can do it then too. Just like any other weapon know it's limits and stay within them. I think once you pop a deer with a good buckshot load though, you'll be impressed. It's pretty devastating.

Can you use a muzzleloader there?


Arkansas Paul
November 19, 2010, 12:27 AM
Yes we can use a muzzleloader. We can use a rifle too, but I just thought with the thick brush, buckshot might be the ticket. I know that you still can't try to mow down a bush and hit a deer on the other side, that's not what I'm saying. Plus, I've never killed a deer with a shotty. I just bought a Remington 11-87 and it's dying to shoot something besides skeet.

November 19, 2010, 07:05 AM
I have never hunted with buckshot so I have no personl experiance. A good friend has in the past we were talking about it one day and he told me NEVER AGAIN of corse when he was hunting with it your talking about 30 years ago or more but with todays new choke's and shells things have changed. I know it would not be my first choice I would opt for a ML,Bow,Rifle or a Pistol.

November 19, 2010, 08:03 AM
I killed my first deer with it 12 years ago. 3" 15 pellet 00 buck from 25 yards away at a broadside 4 point. He dropped right there. Postmortem showed 8 lung hits, a pellet ripped open the top of the heart, and a couple in the shoulder. All pellets stopped under the skin on the far side.

Since then I have killed deer with 45-70, 30-06. 7.62x39, and a .50 cal muzzleloader and none of them dropped the deer like that barring a neck shot.

November 19, 2010, 09:31 AM
If you have a full chock long barrel and are willing to buy several brands ,lenghts and different size buck shot they can be impressive at much longer yardage than most would beleive. I used buckshot for my first 12 to 14 years of hunting mainly in south florida swamps. If you find the load for your barrel 80 yards in a full chock with typicaly a 1 buck will kill very quickly but your shoulder will be done for several days. I have hunted with a rifle, BP or slugs for the last 28 years. I would still use buckshot if look'n for someones wounded deer if legal. The right combo will works great at 80+ yards ,the wrong combo and a deer might not get hit by a single pellet at 40 yards. The 0, 00 or 000 loads like much more open chocks and 1 and 4 buck shot better in full chocks.

November 19, 2010, 10:58 AM
I killed my first deer with W-W 00 buckshot in 1975 when an 8th-grader (the club I was in utilized drives, with dogs, posting hunters every 100-200 yards). The gun was a Mossberg 500 w/28-inch modified choked barrel. The distance was 45-'paces' (I had yet to learn the effective distance for buckshot). (1) shot dropped the 7-point buck, with (1) lowly pellet breaking the deer's neck. A follow-up shot to the back of the head dispactched the deer. I killed (1) each year thereafter with the same gun/loads until I began college, when I began hunting with a rifle.

November 20, 2010, 02:42 AM
Buckshot, of any size, is unreliable past 30 yards or so.

November 20, 2010, 06:35 AM
I once let a decent size buck have a full load of No4 at a range of about 10'

Knocked the deer flat like he'd been hit with a Buick! Problem is he promptly jumped right back up and ran off into the deepest thickest hollar around leaving me the most minute blood trail I had to follow by crawling on the ground.

Post mortem showed he had been hit with every pellet in the load with the a pattern in the chest and a pattern in the guts. Remember 10'!!?! Well after scanning the scene there was a small (less than a quarter inch) sapling/weed that I didn't see between me and him that I had shot in two

I personally think buckshot is worthless and will not use the crap on deer. Besides if you can hit it with buckshot surely you can hit it with a slug.

November 20, 2010, 06:50 AM
I'd use it only if I had no other options.

November 20, 2010, 09:29 AM
sunray , I have to remember to tell the ,oh 50 or 60 deer i killed with buckshot during my youth with some deer well past 80 yards that buckshot does not work. You most also not turkey hunt either, If you did you would know that with pratice the right choke and shot you can shoot a 8 to 10" group at 40+ yards with a turkey load. Now what makes you think you can't do the same thing with the right shot ,choke and barrel combo for deer. Just means your one more thats never tried to pattern a shotgun. Your not going to do it with 00 buckshot at 40 yards with a 20" cyclinder bore but you might get lucky, it can be done reliably with time practice a 26" or longer barrel, a full choke and several different shot sizes length and brands along with a strong shoulders. Also when you find that right mix you darn well better aim or at 40 yards you can miss a deer because of the tight pattern. Even on duck you need to find the right combo for your shotgun to hit those high fly'n geese.

November 20, 2010, 10:00 AM
and a pattern in the guts

yuck. Make sure to avoid the guts with shot. With anything, but especially with shot.

November 20, 2010, 10:33 AM
I personally think buckshot is worthless and will not use the crap on deer. Besides if you can hit it with buckshot surely you can hit it with a slug.

If you can consistently shoot a deer at 40 yards that is full out running in thick brush with a slug that you have an entire 2 seconds to view before its come and gone, you might want to consider this:

Not saying its not possible or that you personally can't do it, just saying that -I- could not CONSISTENTLY make that shot.

Also, many places do not allow slugs and they really aren't safe for dog/man drive hunts in my opinion.

Personally, I've never been fond of the smaller buckshot loads. People in the club use them occasionally, and I never really see good results with them. 00 or 000 at 10' with a bush in between you and the deer wouldn't have moved again. I do agree on the thin blood trails though. A bonus for us is that when running dogs, the dogs do most of the tracking for us and they don't need a blood trail. :-)

Don't get me wrong, I use a muzzleloader more than anything else, and once I get one of those nifty bolt action Savage 20 gauge slug guns I'll use that a lot too. But for truly thick cover on moving deer, buckshot is a perfectly reliable tool. Like I said before, you just have to spend the time and money to pattern the gun and stay well within it's and your capabilities. Just like I wouldn't take a 45 yard shot with a bow, I won't take a 45 yard shot on a deer with a gun that doesn't pattern reliably at 45 yards.

Buckshot, of any size, is unreliable past 30 yards or so.
Simply not a true statement. My huntclub killed over 100 deer last season running dogs, all taken with buckshot from ranges that varied from 10'-80+ yards. Brand of buckshot in each gun makes a huge difference as well. Check out the new Federal buckshot with the flight control wad. Extremely tight patterns out of a modified choke. I believe the Box Of Truth did a review of the stuff.


November 21, 2010, 09:42 AM
bdubz0r Good to see atleast one other person that knows what can be done with buckshot even if it does take some amount of stupid to put the test time in to find what your gun likes best. I kept a rifle on the buggy decades ago when hunting s. fl. swamps but seems like it was allways the shotgun when running beagles that i went to. Always try'n to get inside the circle to get a shot at a running deer. Some so close it would knock a running deer flat. Some that pretty much destroyed the shoulder and fronr chest at a longer distance. Hit one at much closer to 80 yards that only gave a rear quatering shot and i miss judged and killed the rear hams. Pulled 16 shot of 3" fed 1 buckout of them with 3 more in the chest. I came out of reoil and no deer? It was on the ground where it hit it at. That was the first time i found out how well a pattern could hit at a long distance after all the practice. Man thats about 38years ago with a cheap old stevens/springfield arms 12ga pump.

November 21, 2010, 09:53 AM
in NJ we use buckshot and is solid upto sixty yards, often extending the better part of 100 yards

November 21, 2010, 07:25 PM
in NJ we use buckshot and is solid upto sixty yards, often extending the better part of 100 yards
And walk a few steps across a political line in the sand into the Great State of New York and one cannot use buckshot, only single projectile (rifled slug, for example).

November 23, 2010, 02:36 PM
My last Remington 870, with its barrel cut to 19-inches and a Super FULL choke tube installed, would put all (9) 00 on a small paper plate @ 25 yards.

November 23, 2010, 02:37 PM
No can do in MO

monk d
November 23, 2010, 07:37 PM
I prefer the rifle, but in many counties it is shotguns only. Since I tend to try and sight the shotgun like a rifle I use a higher aiming point like the head on standing or walking deer and results are consistent hits in the neck with anywhere from 3 pellets and up with 00 Buck shot, 2 3/4 inch non-magnum, full choke. On running game I lead at the tip of the nose, but that is usually in a somewhat clear area. I would prefer a rifle in the brush if able to use a rifle, because I have missed clean in the brush on a runner, I believe because of deflected pellets (that's my story and I'm stickin to it). Just .02 YMMV

November 23, 2010, 11:23 PM
In Virginia there are a bunch of counties that do not allow hunting with either a rifle or slugs. So they are buckshot or bow and arrow only. I've killed 2/3 of my deer with 3 Inch magnum #1 12 Gauge buckshot. Both of them were at least 50 yards away. Neither made it more than 10 steps before they fell dead.

I much prefer hunting with a rifle, but in the near future I may completely lose out on any land on which I can hunt with a rifle larger than .224 caliber...and .23 caliber is the minimum for deer hunting in Virginia.

November 23, 2010, 11:50 PM
Michigan has a no rifle rule in the southern half of the lower peninsula (where I live). So when I'm up north I use my lee-enfield sporter, but locally I use my shotgun with buckshot. My 870 with a 26" barrel and a modified choke patterns about the size of a basketball at 45 yards. Almost all of the deer I have shot with it are DRT. I do usually limit my shots to 50-60 yards or less, I have witnessed people on drives kill deer at ranges approaching 80-90 yards :eek:

Arkansas Paul
November 23, 2010, 11:55 PM
^ I definately won't be trying any 80-90 yd shots.

November 23, 2010, 11:58 PM
I definately won't be trying any 80-90 yd shots.

Hey, me neither! :uhoh:

But I most certainly have seen the shots and paced them off, more to prove to myself what I had seen.

November 26, 2010, 12:11 AM
I am suprised that more buckshot hunters have not discovered Dixie Tri-Ball Buckshot from Dixie Slugs ammo co. A 00B pellet is roughly .33" and weighs about 54 grains or 1/8th ounce. Contrast that with .60" buckshot pellets that weigh 325 grain or 3/4th ounce each. Full choke 40 yard patterns run <5 inches.

Yes it is BUCKSHOT!

Here is a picture showing Tri-Ball with an equivalent weight of 00B.

November 26, 2010, 12:44 AM
If I'm going to use a shotgun for deer, which I did for a long time and killed a lot of deer with it, I won't use anything but buckshot. If you're in a state that allows a rifle, there is no reason known to man to use a slug.... If you have a dedicated slug gun, I guess I could see that being an alright deer gun.

Buckshot does just fine. The 3 inch stuffs great, 3.5 is killer recoil, but it hit's about like a howitzer on the business end.

I had a 10ga Browning BPS for a while, I shot 3 or 4 deer with it, the farthest I think was out around 75 yards. Less than 40 yards and the deer didnt stand a chance of even thinking about running after being hit.

Anyone that's anti-buckshot obviously hasnt used the stuff much.

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