The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 13, 2013, 12:23 PM   #1
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
buckshot for deer, ethics.

Started this elsewhere, moved it here as a better place for this discussion:

It would seem that there are many people who consider using buckshot on deer as being an unethical practice. In that light, if you be so inclined, would you mind explaining the difference between shooting a pheasant (or a duck) with #6 - #4 bird shot and shooting a deer with #4 buck shot - 00 buck shot when buckshot is nothing more than bird shot scaled-up for the size of the game? What makes one practice ethical and the other, unethical ("...should be outlawed...")?
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 02:29 PM   #2
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,962
I wouldn't call buckshot unethical, just the last resort if nothing else is available. In relation to body size #6 shot on a 1 lb duck is much larger than 00 buck on a 150 lb deer. Especially when 10-15 pellets are striking the duck vs 2-3 buckshot pellets on a deer. And I'd be using something quite a bit larger than #6 on duck especially with steel shot. I typically use #2 shot.

Used within its limitations buckshot can be effective. It also has a higher percentage of wounded animals than rifle or slug loads.
jmr40 is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 03:31 PM   #3
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,082
Quote:
Originally posted by jmr40:

Used within its limitations buckshot can be effective. It also has a higher percentage of wounded animals than rifle or slug load
^^^This. IMHO, buckshot is a method who's day is past. There are just too many better options out there nowdays for virtually every scenario. Buckshot works well for SD/HD because of it's limited range and penetration. This is what limits it when it comes to deer hunting. Still, I have no problem with folks that use it humanely and ethically, where it is legal. Since many times buckshot is used when hunting deer with dogs, wounded animals are generally not the same issue as when hunting without.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 03:38 PM   #4
tahunua001
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6,147
even though I do not think buck shot is unethical, I will take this.
birds a very frail creatures. they have very light bone and muscular structures to allow for flight, even birds like turkeys with limited flight capability. all it really takes is one or two pellets to hit a bird to kill it and if the pellet doesn't the hard fall will.

deer are a different story. a pellet in the rear, another in the leg and one through a lung won't necessarily kill it, even over a prolonged period of time. it will weaken the animal and force it to live with a handicap for the rest of it's life or it could just force the animal to die a slow death. this is why I do not hunt with buckshot. not because I think it's unethical but because I don't like the idea of having to track a wounded deer for miles because none of the shot hit a vital organ.
__________________
ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
tahunua001 is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 03:52 PM   #5
Pahoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2006
Location: IOWA
Posts: 5,603
As long as it's legal, it's acceptable.

In part, you are asking for us to pass judgment on someone else's "ethical" hunting methods. I have done so in the past and now, follow the rules and laws of the state as they are in a better position to do so. ....

My last example was when I started hunting deer, in Alabama. I became aware that it was legal to use dogs to hunt deer. Being from the Midwest, I measured this as being unethical. That is until I sat in a deer stand down there. Did a complete 180 and had a better understanding and appreciation...

There are thing that I would not do even if it's legal but really can't measure or fault others, for doing so. ...
Now then, before most of our Iowa Pheasants moved to South Dakota, I would never consider using #4's but ethics had nothing to do it. Just not practical ...

Be Safe !!!
__________________
'Fundamental truths' are easy to recognize because they are verified daily through simple observation and thus, require no testing.
Pahoo is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:10 PM   #6
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I wouldn't call buckshot unethical, just the last resort if nothing else is available. In relation to body size #6 shot on a 1 lb duck is much larger than 00 buck on a 150 lb deer. Especially when 10-15 pellets are striking the duck vs 2-3 buckshot pellets on a deer.
There are 41 #4 buckshot in a 3 inch 12 gauge, 27 in a 2-3/4 12 gauge....What happens if only 2-3 pellets are striking the duck and 10-15 buckshot are striking the deer?

Quote:
Used within its limitations buckshot can be effective. It also has a higher percentage of wounded animals than rifle or slug loads.
And, your data on more woundings for buckshot comes from where?
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:13 PM   #7
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
In part, you are asking for us to pass judgment on someone else's "ethical" hunting methods.
Read my post carefully...in no part, did I ask anyone to pass judgment on using buckshot, only to explain how one thing (shotgun/birds) is considered (by some/many), as ethical, and another thing (deer/buckshot), is considered unethical. Explanation yes, judgement no.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:18 PM   #8
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
...In relation to body size #6 shot on a 1 lb duck is much larger than 00 buck on a 150 lb deer...
Nevertheless, number 4 shot will sometimes pass through a duck, sometimes I have found it still in the duck (inside balled-up feathers). Likewise, I have found #4 buckshot (which I have used on several/many), sometimes passes through the deer, sometimes is found under the off-side hide. So, what is the difference, both have the size and mass to produce relatively the same results.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:22 PM   #9
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
deer are a different story. a pellet in the rear, another in the leg and one through a lung won't necessarily kill it, even over a prolonged period of time. it will weaken the animal and force it to live with a handicap for the rest of it's life or it could just force the animal to die a slow death. this is why I do not hunt with buckshot. not because I think it's unethical but because I don't like the idea of having to track a wounded deer for miles because none of the shot hit a vital organ.
Are ducks different? Does a pellet in a leg, other non-vital area where the duck flies off or ends up swimming away any different than with deer? Are there not many ducks and pheasants that suffer such wounds and are not recovered? What is the difference?
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:29 PM   #10
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
...birds a very frail creatures. they have very light bone and muscular structures to allow for flight, even birds like turkeys with limited flight capability. all it really takes is one or two pellets to hit a bird to kill it and if the pellet doesn't the hard fall will.
Deer are not heavily built creatures. I have seen a deer with broken large bone (Humerus) in the front left leg and died in less than 40 yards from a charge of #4 shot (not buckshot, some went between the ribs into the heart lungs). "Frail" is a relative term. Especially when trying to kill a wounded teal on the water before it dives. I have seen several pheasants drop out of the sky with a broken wing, only to escape in the tall grass...none were killed by the fall. Many game birds are wounded and lost each season.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?

Last edited by dahermit; October 13, 2013 at 04:41 PM.
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 04:37 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
buckshot for deer, ethics.

Wound statistics on game animals come from the persons opinion on the implement. I have never seen any sort of official statistic on caliber effectiveness and I would fully expect and such number to be flawed beyond usefulness.

You don't have to hang around the forums long before you'll figure out that if every restrictive opinion were actually enforced virtually all hunting would be illegal.

Somebody here thinks just about every possible weapon, cartridge, distance, method and style of hunting is unfair, cheating, unethical, unskilled, too easy, cruel, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

A rifle too weak (under a certain arbitrary number created to exclude said cartridge) is unethical, one too strong (see 50BMG discussion) is stupid, unethical, etc, pick your word. Stand hunting is for sissies. Long range shots are for people who can't hunt.

I was just having a discussion today about why, for example, wounding a deer and having it take 5 or 10 minutes to die is unethical but poisoning a mouse and letting it suffer for hours is perfectly fine.

It all reminds me if the old saying, Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 05:15 PM   #12
MJN77
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2009
Location: on a hill in West Virginia
Posts: 688
Just like everything else, if used correctly within it's effective range buckshot will kill a deer just as dead as a .50 BMG.
MJN77 is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 05:34 PM   #13
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,484
I've taken just one deer with buckshot which certainly does not qualify me as an expert. But I'll share my experience. My folks lived near Calcutta, Ohio at the time and Dad knew a guy who let us hunt the edges of his apple orchard. The deer followed a heavily used trail to travel from a woodlot into the orchard. I hunted from a tree about 50 feet inside of the woodlot with an old single shot 16 gauge loaded with #1 buckshot. About half hour before dark, a line of deer came down the trail headed toward the orchard. I waited until a nice 6 point buck was practically beneath me. I aimed for the neck/back and cut loose with the 16. The animal fell right over and it was dead.

During skinning I was not impressed with penetration of those lead balls. The buckshot was stopped by the neckbone/backbone. Yes, the bones were broken apart but none passed through into the body cavity.

Jack
__________________
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.

Last edited by Jack O'Conner; October 13, 2013 at 05:56 PM.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 05:45 PM   #14
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 524
its as "ethical" as a bow and arrow.... short range the buckshot will generally be more effective.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 05:53 PM   #15
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,082
Quote:
Originally posted by dahermit:

Are ducks different? Does a pellet in a leg, other non-vital area where the duck flies off or ends up swimming away any different than with deer? Are there not many ducks and pheasants that suffer such wounds and are not recovered? What is the difference?
One big difference comes down to the fact that while shooting at a deer standing or running on level ground with woods or other terrain behind it to stop the bullet, makes for a safe shot, while shooting at a bird in the air with a center-fire or even a rimfire rifle is not. Not only is it not safe to shoot at flying birds with a solid projectile, it is also illegal in most areas. So...safety and legality makes for a easy decision to use shot on birds. Nuttin' to do with ethics. Grouse, woodcock, dove and ducks are small targets to hit with a single projectile when the are flying. Deer with their large bodies and kill zone, even when running are much easier to hit with a single projectile. Wounded deer can cover long distances when wounded and can be hard to follow for the average hunter without a heavy blood trail. Wounded game birds(other than turkeys) tend to squat down and stay put once they find cover. Most folks hunting them are using a dog, which makes retrieval of the wounded bird easier. Game birds are thin skinned and their bodies are easily penetrated by pellets to the vital organs. Deer have tougher skin and their boiler room is covered by sternum/shoulder bones from most angles makin penetration by shot pellets difficult. Most of us, as responsible hunters strive to make clean, quick kills and tend to use what works best for us for this purpose. To me, yhat means shot pellets for game birds and solid projectiles for deer. Other folks may think differently and that's perfectly fine with me as long as they abide by the laws of their state.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 05:55 PM   #16
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I waited until a nice 6 point buck was practically beneath me. I aimed for the neck/back and cut loose with the 16. The animal fell right over and it was dead.

During skinning I was not impressed with penetration of those 30 caliber balls. The buckshot was stopped by the neckbone/backbone. Yes, the bones were broken apart but none passed through into the body cavity.
Your anecdote does not address the OP question. However, it does beg the question: Why would you shoot the deer there and expect a good result? Lets see if I have the logic correct: Bad aiming point, not ideal results. Good aiming point (behind the shoulder), good results? Where was the "failure"...in the buckshot, or the aiming point?
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 06:03 PM   #17
Gunplummer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2010
Location: South East Pa.
Posts: 1,455
I go with Jack on this one. Years back I was up at my Brother-in-laws place and the neighbor stopped and said they wanted to drive the swamp as it was the last day of doe. I had a 12 Gauge in the truck and some odd shells. I grabbed some slugs and OO Buckshot. It was thick where I was standing so I loaded up with OO. A big doe came sneaking through at about 20 yards and I shot. She did not even jump. She turned her head and saw me and jumped right into the brush. The next year my Brother-in-law killed a doe there with a bow. The front half of the deer had spread out pellets in it. (Keep in mind this was in the mountains where nobody uses a shotgun). When they skinned the deer, they did not even know what the pellets were. The pellets went through the hide and stuck in the meat. The hide grew back over the pellets. Do what you want if it is legal, just be aware of the capabilities of what you are using.
Gunplummer is offline  
Old October 13, 2013, 06:15 PM   #18
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I go with Jack on this one. Years back I was up at my Brother-in-laws place and the neighbor stopped and said they wanted to drive the swamp as it was the last day of doe. I had a 12 Gauge in the truck and some odd shells. I grabbed some slugs and OO Buckshot. It was thick where I was standing so I loaded up with OO. A big doe came sneaking through at about 20 yards and I shot. She did not even jump. She turned her head and saw me and jumped right into the brush. The next year my Brother-in-law killed a doe there with a bow. The front half of the deer had spread out pellets in it. (Keep in mind this was in the mountains where nobody uses a shotgun). When they skinned the deer, they did not even know what the pellets were. The pellets went through the hide and stuck in the meat. The hide grew back over the pellets. Do what you want if it is legal, just be aware of the capabilities of what you are using.
If you had shot the deer behind the shoulder, would the pellets have penetrated to the vitals? Also, there seems to be several considerations/choices that could have been better. For instance, you said, "...years back...". Was that before 3 inch magnums were available (2-3/4, 00 buck, nine pellets)? Would your results have been better with a 3 inch magnum with 12 pellets and shooting behind the shoulder resulted in a down deer? Seems like you are blaming buckshot for your poor choices of ammo and aim.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 02:34 AM   #19
CAOxInfinity
Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2011
Posts: 36
Re: buckshot for deer, ethics.

I dont consider it unethical in itself. However, one must take the situation into account.

I have taken two deer with buckshot. Both were close range, inside 30 yards. I was a last minute addition to the hunt and had only a shotgun available.

I was shooting speer lawman 8 pellet OO buck. I was very familiar with this load in the shotgun I was using. I knew I could keep all 8 pellets in a 4" circle at 25 yards based on my experience. Both deer were DRT.

Now, had the situation been different. Had I not been familiar with the gun, the load, and at a greater distance...now way I would have taken a shot. Too many variables to be certain of a clean, humane kill.

I don't think there's anything wrong with it, just gotta be smart about it.
CAOxInfinity is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 07:35 AM   #20
TimSr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 447
Like anything else, use it at ranges where it is likely to make a clean kill. It is illegal to use for deer in Ohio, and has been at least since the early 70's. In 1990 it was REQUIRED in a few populous areas of eastern PA. I think its more popularly used in some southern states where deer are hunted like rabbits, shot at short range, and the deer are German shepherd sized.
TimSr is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 08:42 AM   #21
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
Like anything else, use it at ranges where it is likely to make a clean kill. It is illegal to use for deer in Ohio, and has been at least since the early 70's. In 1990 it was REQUIRED in a few populous areas of eastern PA. I think its more popularly used in some southern states where deer are hunted like rabbits, shot at short range, and the deer are German shepherd sized.
Here in the Southern-half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, it is a shotgun-only area. You may use either buckshot or slugs. This area is known for its large (grain-fed),bucks, not the German Shepherd sized deer of which you speak. I can personally attest that buckshot works on large deer also. I suspect that Ohio's anti-buckshot law may be typical of the laws involved with hunting/firearms, based on erroneous personal perception, not logic and fact. For instance in the Southern, shot-gun only zone, is frequently defended as for the safety of the people living in the built-up areas where a "stray bullet" may travel long distances during deer season, does not address the logic of allowing varmint hunters to use rifles in the pursuit of their sport in the very same shotgun-only zone.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 08:46 AM   #22
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I don't think there's anything wrong with it, just gotta be smart about it.
I agree...just like using a rifle, wait for a broadside, behind the should shot at a close enough distance to be sure of a clean kill...buckshot does not/will not make up for stupid.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 08:47 AM   #23
TimSr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Rittman, Ohio
Posts: 447
Quote:
For instance in the Southern, shot-gun only zone, is frequently defended as for the safety of the people living in the built-up areas where a "stray bullet" may travel long distances during deer season, does not address the logic of allowing varmint hunters to use rifles in the pursuit of their sport in the very same shotgun-only zone.


I don't know how long your deer seaon is but I would venture to guess that the number of varmint hunters in the field at any given time never comes close to the number of deer hunters out there at once, and that is the logic.
TimSr is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 09:01 AM   #24
CharlieDeltaJuliet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 25, 2012
Posts: 750
I used buckshot when I was young and hunting(12-13). I took my first buck with it. I decided that it really did a lot more damage to the meat than I wanted. If someone is comfortable with it, great. Before I quit hunting I used a .270. Not only was I not as limited to shorter distance shots, it honestly helped me more(under pressure of adrenaline) become a much better shot. It has been more than 18 years since I stepped into the woods, but I say to each their own. I know a disabled vet that is wheelchair bound, he uses a shotgun with buckshot every season. He has permanent nerve damage and it is harder for him to make accurate shots without a rest. I say it is still useful. I know guys that will only hunt with bows, or long barrel pistols. I still think there is a place for it. 00 buck is now used in my HD shotgun.
__________________
" The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect
themselves against tyranny in Government.
..." - Thomas Jefferson
CharlieDeltaJuliet is offline  
Old October 14, 2013, 09:06 AM   #25
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near Ohio, Indiana.
Posts: 3,505
Quote:
I don't know how long your deer seaon is but I would venture to guess that the number of varmint hunters in the field at any given time never comes close to the number of deer hunters out there at once, and that is the logic.
Your post implies that you are suggesting that varmint hunters shooting rifles are not as much of a concern as rifle hunters because statistically it is less likely for a stray varmint hunter's bullet to kill someone as it is for a stray deer hunter's bullet to kill someone.

If you wish to use numbers to imply logic in that situation, also consider that almost all the Michigan deer hunting season shooting deaths have not come from "stray" bullets, but "mistaking" a person for a deer.

In short, because the numbers indicating that a "stray bullet" is a very rare cause of death, the wisdom of the law restricting Southern Lower Peninsula seems to be based on perception vs. reality. The reality is, during deer season in rifle areas, if you are killed, it will be in a car accident not by a stray bullet. But you will find that no one seems to make much over that, but will lobby their legislators to make hunting season safer by getting rid of those dangerous "stray bullet" things.
__________________
Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
dahermit is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14919 seconds with 7 queries