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Old April 12, 2011, 10:35 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,028

There are still counties here in AL where dogging deer is legal, and the use of buckshot on those hunts is not uncommon. The stores always have a bunch of the stuff on the shelves for sale.

I have seen exactly one deer killed with #4B, hit on the run through the chest/ lungs with what seemed to be the entire 27 pellet load at about 15-20 yds. Many passed through and it was a very dead deer.

But, nearly all the buckshot I see in the field w/ dog hunters is OOB. A #4B pellet is relatively small and runs out of energy and penetration power very quickly. There was a move towards #4B for LE in the 1980's, but penetration was not good as I understand it, especially when heavy clothing was involved, and my agency and the academy went back to 00B pretty quickly.

Even in a gun that handles it well, buckshot is a CLOSE range proposition. Say 40-50 yds max and 35 would be better. Where guys get in trouble is the very scenario you describe, they empty the gun on a deer crossing at 60 yds, put a pellet or two on the animal who knows where, and then you have a cripple. Without dogs most of these deer would not be recovered. And some are not even w/ hounds.

I use #4B on called coyotes along with some hevi T-shot.
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