00 Buck on Deer - nothing is fool proof
I've never taken a deer with buckshot. On the last weekend of spike/doe season, I went to one of my archery stands to see if I could get one with the scattergun.
A 1.5 year old very short spike (~.5" antlers) walked out at 22 yards. I busted it with the Federal 00 Magnum load with the flite control wad (PFC15400). The total spread in my 870 with a modified choke was around 6-7" at this distance.
Initially, this small buck ran off as if it wasn't hit. While in the stand, I hear some brush crashing at about a 90 degree angle from where the deer ran. After finding blood at the point of impact and for the nest 30 yards, it dried up for around 20 yards. I picked it up again and followed it about 10 yards to find him in a dense brush motte.
The load entered behind the shoulder. None of the pellets hit the spine or shoulder bones. The lungs were absolutely shredded. Penetration from all 9 pellets was complete.
All in all, I'm happy the deer died quickly and that all the pellets found their mark. I would have thought buckshot would have had more "stopping power" for lack of a better word, but I suppose this deer didn't realize what he was shot with. Again, none of the pellets hit the CNS and energy alone doesn't knock deer down.
A pic of the damage is attached. Entrance is on the right.