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Old January 24, 2013, 12:31 AM   #1
Austinite
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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.
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File Type: jpg Picture 083.jpg (36.8 KB, 205 views)
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:38 AM   #2
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Adrenelin and instinct is what gives them the "flight response". Looks like the pellets penetrated right through the ribs and busted the lungs. Good clean kill and bet its going to taste great. Any sausages coming out of that critter? Yuummmmmmm
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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In my experience, buckshot's a "wounder".

I stopped using buckshot over 25 years ago, when I spent a few half-days tracking different deer hit solidly (chest or neck) with it, an average of 25-40 yards away, by myself & others during early AM stand hunts.

After all those hours of drop-by-drop (blood) tracking (there were hoofprints/tracks everywhere), with the deer finally retreating into deepwater swamps where tracking was imposible (in Northern Maine) - We had to sorrowfully give them up as a lost cause, not to mention the wasted time during a long-awaited week's hunting vacation trip.


My own state has finally seen the light, too (only a few years ago) - and has banned buckshot for deer hunting.


.
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Old January 24, 2013, 01:20 PM   #4
hogdogs
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The results in the OP are very acceptable and expect-able...

The only thing better would be a DRT drop...

Brent
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Old January 24, 2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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Deer are much tougher than the average human (although certain PCP-fueled psychos have been known to have incredible ability to function despite lethal wounds!). Buckshot in anything less than 12 GA especially is a compromised solution for deer. I stopped using it many years ago (right around the time I got my first 30-30).
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Old January 26, 2013, 09:20 PM   #6
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If I am reading right, the deer went 60 yds and piled up.
Thats about typical if there wasnt a CNS hit. Ive blood trailed more than a few hit with buckshot and the trials are usually not as heavy as you get with a centerfire. I always figured that was due to round pellets that dont expand and arent moving very fast , compared to a rifle cartridge. IF the shooter did their part, there was usually a dead deer at the end of those blood trails. When their wasn't, shooter error was most often the culprit.
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Old January 30, 2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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Sounds like you had great results. I do not like buckshot though, in my experience, unless it is a very close shot, it doesn't penetrate very well.
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Old January 30, 2013, 08:48 PM   #8
Virginian-in-LA
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I stopped using buckshot many years ago after tracking a buck hit 6 times at about 20 yards - my buddy was right beside me and we both unloaded on him as he ran out of the brush - for a mile and a half following a trail that looked like someone pouring blood out of a bucket. Every 25 yards there was a lot of pink foam where he coughed it up. His entire ribcage was shredded. If people were like deer, we would have gone up in caliber from the 30-06, not down.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:06 PM   #9
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He did everything right!

Austinite did everything right:

He picked a top of the line buckshot load with a reputation for tight consistent patterns, then pattern tested the load from his shotgun/choke combination. He placed the pattern in the vitals well within the effective range of his chosen shotgun/choke/load combination. The 9 pellet 00B Federal FliteControl buckshot load hit in a tight 6"-7" pattern, gave complete penetration, left a blood trail, and the deer went down within 180 feet of the impact point.

Excellent results.

Last edited by RMcL; January 31, 2013 at 12:58 AM.
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:38 PM   #10
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The one time I put a deer down with buckshot was much the same. I found him about 40-50 yards away. Most deer I have shot with a rifle are DRT.
YMMV
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
I stopped using buckshot many years ago after tracking a buck hit 6 times at about 20 yards - my buddy was right beside me and we both unloaded on him as he ran out of the brush - for a mile and a half following a trail that looked like someone pouring blood out of a bucket. Every 25 yards there was a lot of pink foam where he coughed it up. His entire ribcage was shredded.
If you tracked a wounded deer that far,then that tells me you were pushing him WAY too soon. Shoot then sit for an hour then track. Even if the wound is not instantly fatal he won't go far. He'll go just far enough to feel safe and lay down to bleed out. If you push him then he'll keep running until every drop of blood is gone.
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Old February 1, 2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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"The one time I put a deer down with buckshot was much the same. I found him about 40-50 yards away. Most deer I have shot with a rifle are DRT."

That is the direct opposite of my experience. Most deer I have shot with a buckshot loaded smoothbore have been DRT.
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Old February 2, 2013, 02:45 AM   #13
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interesting pic

That is one interesting picture.

A full load of heavy buckshot, through and through, and the deer did not crumple. Nine, what.... .33 calliber holes on a yearlng deer that weighed maybe 75 lbs, live?

I think the blast of a firearm, in addition to what ever else they might feel, startles deer so completely that they flee madly if they can. DRT is not a common experience with my hunting and gun kills on deer, , unless the shoulders, or as you say, CNS gets clipped.

Conversely, I've watched deer, double lunged by an arrow, flinch and resume feeding, or "sunfish"/ bouce, look around and drop. Not always, but often enough its no longer a surprise if they do not react.

Well done , BTW to pattern your gun, shoot within its range and follow up.
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Old February 4, 2013, 12:30 AM   #14
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Take a look at this video for a look at how buckshot is now being used in the Coastal South, and how this is contributing to DRT results due to better pattern placement. Skip to 3.25 on the video to see the shot taken with a 20 gauge and Federal #2B.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvDMN4PlcZA
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:04 AM   #15
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Nice. Dropped it like a hot rock.
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Old February 4, 2013, 08:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
If you tracked a wounded deer that far,then that tells me you were pushing him WAY too soon. Shoot then sit for an hour then track. Even if the wound is not instantly fatal he won't go far. He'll go just far enough to feel safe and lay down to bleed out. If you push him then he'll keep running until every drop of blood is gone.
We waited 45 minutes. My buddy's dad was the one who has pushed the buck out of a stand of trees in the middle of a field with the bird dogs - we were mainly quail hunting. He said we should wait an hour, but we were young and way past impatient. The buck never laid down once until he dropped, right in some heavy honeysuckle right at the edge of the swamp.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:41 PM   #17
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I have had great luck with the Dixie Tri-ball

http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html

3 60 caliber lead balls are pretty effective. They are the only buck shot that I would hunt with.
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:46 AM   #18
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Deja vu,

Please tell us more about your experiences with Dixie Tri-Ball buckshot.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:11 AM   #19
mes228
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Shotgun

I live in Virginia and have not deer hunted with a shotgun. I know several that do though. None use 00 buck, I believe they use #4 Buck. I have seen two deer shot at about 15 yards or so with that load. Both were killed in the air, absolutely dead right there. Just a few leg quivers when they hit the ground as they tried to leap a logging road. Perhaps a second or so apart running at full speed. My friend was using a standard Browning A-5, I have no idea what choke it was. I was hunting with a rifle and witnessed this. I Know without a doubt that I would have been unable to hit those deer leaping the road. Perhaps it was a fluke but it sure looked effective. I suspect he's killed 50 or more deer with a shotgun and #4 Buck. I believe #4 has twenty one 25 caliber pellets. Lightning would not have killed those deer quicker. It's like shooting a deer with 21 rounds out of a .22 rifle instantaneous. Remington 3" magnum has 41 pellets at 1225 FPS.

Last edited by mes228; February 5, 2013 at 08:23 AM.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:33 PM   #20
Austinite
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Thanks for all the replies. My experiences with 00 buck described in the OP are a bit small (n=1) so I won't make too many judgements from it. Before the shot, if someone had told me that runt deer would travel more than 10 yards with that hit, I'd have called them crazy. It's just a load of energy and a LOT of holes in a deer for it to make it that far. That said, deer sometimes seem like they are quite easy to drop and other times make it a long way with good hits.

Still sticking with the buckshot for HD.
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:07 PM   #21
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A wheelchair bound buddy of mine decided a long time ago that a wasted front shoulder was better than a swamp drowned wounded deer he was unable to pursue...

He uses a .308 and his deer usually only end up about 30 yards from where they stood but they may run several hundred feet in a big ol' circle before expiring...

No round is a sure kill and it only takes a minor miss of a vital organ to give a wounded deer the marathon complex...

Brent
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:56 AM   #22
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I've seen that

I new some dog deer guys in AR and they used #4 also. Their target was the head and neck, and ranges were typically short as the deer bounced across pine plantation roads. They had a lot of hunters and stood off a lot of territory and long established crossings.

Dogging deer is still legal here in my home county in AL. The dog hunters typically use semi rifles. Buckshot is not that common anymore, but dog hunting is on its way out also. Not so in the southern half of the state as I understand it.

The big thing is range. Buckshot of any size is a pretty short range proposition. When a shooter bounds by outside of 50 yds, most folks just can't resist. Thus, rifles.
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