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Old June 16, 2014, 09:34 PM   #1
SleazyRider
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Buckshot for whitetail?

Are there any circumstances when buckshot has an advantage over rifled slugs or centerfire rifle cartridges for hunting whitetail deer? Assume for the purposes of this discussion that state and local game laws permit the use of any of these rounds.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:00 PM   #2
R.W.Dale
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Buckshot for whitetail?

In my experience NO

Buckshot for me has been a mediocre failure. If you can hit it with buckshot you can drill it to the ground with a foster slug just as well only farther and with much more favorable terminal results.


This and also the fact that almost uncannily to the incident every hunting fatality I can remember around here seems to ALWAYS involve buckshot which seems to be the " sound hunters" load of choice
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:02 PM   #3
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I used buckshot when hunting with dogs near Beaufort SC. My dad was a pilot in the Marines and they used to allow dog hunting with shotguns on the airstation. Basically it was a dozen or so guys, most would sit in lawn chairs around the perimeter of a 10ac(?) patch of woods. The dogs go in, the deer run out, guys in lawnchairs shoot at deer as they run out. As the deer are running, the pattern of the buckshot has the advantage of not requiring a single projectile to the vitals, you have more chances. Benefit #2 is the buckshot does not travel as far or carry as much energy as a single projectile.

Just about any other circumstance, Id rather have a bow/rifle/slug but for this type of hunting buckshot was mandated.

EDIT: I talked about the logic behind the buckshot, but not the performance. The 2 deer I shot with buckshot went down in a hurry, also witnessed a handful of other deer taken (I only hunted maybe 4 or 5 times this way). The key I think is limiting range.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:18 PM   #4
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Hunting with dogs is about the only place I'd consider it. It can work at close range, but I much prefer a rifle.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:19 PM   #5
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I'd take a few slugs in the tube any day for hunting.
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Old June 16, 2014, 10:24 PM   #6
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I too have used buckshot on deer driven by dogs. Years ago we had a "shotgun only " area near home. The two bucks that I took fell instantly. One was 40 yards standing broadside. The other was running through timber like a bat out of Hades about 45-50 yards. I wouldn't have had a chance with rifle.

Back in the good old days hunting with dogs was a way of life in the south and southeast. Shotguns were the norm.
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Old June 16, 2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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The only one I shot with buckshot was running right at me, and at 10 feet it shut it down right now. Another I saw shot at 40yds, didn't die right away.
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Old June 17, 2014, 12:08 AM   #8
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Yes, unless you don't have any better choice.

Rifled Slugs are far superior to buck-shot outside 15-25 yards.
Rifles are far superior to rifled slugs outside 50 yards.

Unless you are restricted to being handicapped using buckshot by local laws?

Use anything besides buckshot for deer hunting!

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Old June 17, 2014, 12:26 AM   #9
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It could increase your margin of error but, then again, could decrease it also.
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Old June 17, 2014, 06:14 AM   #10
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Personally, I'd rather not hunt than depend on buckshot to reliably anchor deer-sized game.
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Old June 17, 2014, 06:33 AM   #11
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I appreciate your thoughts on this. As a former New Jersey hunter (yes, I know), I was once restricted to buckshot and have a few boxes left over from back in the day. For the time being, in New York (yes, I know) we can shoot centerfire or slug, so I'm thinking my my OO buck cartridges are pretty much relegated to a home defense shotgun.

Again, thank you for your responses!
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Old June 17, 2014, 06:50 AM   #12
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In Louisiana thickets where long shots over 50 yds, buckshot is useful however my thought is what if there is a sneaker buck that is standing there at 60 yds and all you have is this dam buckshot in your weapon. you have 2 choices either you don't shoot and hope he gets closer or you shoot and wound a beautiful animal that runs off in the swamp and you never see it again.

a properly sighted in slug is a better choice, lethal to 100yds +

I opt for a rifle now, i have hunted with buckshot in my younger days following dogs and was lucky most of my shots were inside 35 yds and were lethal. shots with buckshot passed 35yds are very iffy!!especially at running deer in thickets.

the new slugs by federal i think the "truball" are quite impressive in videos by brobee??

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Old June 17, 2014, 07:08 AM   #13
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Keep it 50 yds or less , ues the bigger buckshot , 1,0,00,000. And pattern your gun !

Last edited by cowpoke; June 17, 2014 at 07:45 AM.
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Old June 17, 2014, 07:38 AM   #14
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Check your DNR site first to see if it`s legal. Some states, not.
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Old June 17, 2014, 07:58 AM   #15
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I have no intention of using it. I was just curious as to the circumstances that warrant its use. Aside from hunting with dogs or perhaps very close ranges, it doesn't sound like there are any.
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Old June 17, 2014, 08:37 AM   #16
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Sleazy,

NY does NOT allow buckshot for deer.

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Old June 17, 2014, 09:48 AM   #17
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I've tried it on hogs and found it to be almost useless. The only way it would work on a big hog was at extremely close range.
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Old June 17, 2014, 01:00 PM   #18
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We use slugs only in my parts(no rifles allowed either) and we do good with either rifled slugs or rifled barrels. My dad's last deer was taken at 157 yards by the laser rangefinder with his old 870 with a slug barrel and brenneke KO Slugs.
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Old June 17, 2014, 02:03 PM   #19
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I've killed over 25 deer with 00 buckshot. Most were taken on "charity hunts" for churches in Alabama. Stands were assigned, the beaters were men from the church, and dogs, horses, and 4-wheelers were used by the drivers. Only buckshot was allowed and it was quite effective in that type of driven hunt.

It is also useful when still hunting through thick brush and swamp where deer are jumped in front of you.

Most of these shots are under 40 yards. Use a full choke 12 gauge.
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Old June 17, 2014, 02:09 PM   #20
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If the deer is close and running then buckshot would probably be a better choice, but otherwise you're probably better off with a slug or center fire.
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Old June 17, 2014, 02:20 PM   #21
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I've seen a buckshot specific choke built by Hans Vang I think, that delivers about the tightest patterns you can imagine. I'm guessing that they would be a bit better on large game within their respective range limits.
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Bell who?? He did what with a .275 Rigby?;)

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Old June 17, 2014, 02:50 PM   #22
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I call it "luckshot" and for good reason.
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Old June 17, 2014, 03:19 PM   #23
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Hunting with buckshot is illegal in CT too.
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Old June 17, 2014, 03:25 PM   #24
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Lost a nice buck using buckshot at only 20 yards in Mass. years ago.Never used it again.
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Old June 17, 2014, 03:48 PM   #25
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I was told by a prof. hunter that many professional hunters in Africa usually carry a SxS shotgun with buckshot when following up wounded leopards.

Leopards are much more dangerous than deer.
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