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buckshot vs deer

Old 07-23-2009, 09:15 AM
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hi all. i was wondering how effective buckshots are against deer....can i hit a deer at 100 yards? can i even get within 100 yards of a deer? or would it just be better to use slugs? how far can i shoot a slug at a deer before i get less than a 50% kill chance due to velocity drop....ive never hunted with a shotgun and just wanted to know if its even viable for deer...

wats the normal range that you guys will shoot at a deer with buck shot and wats the normal range that a person can get to a deer without spooking it
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:40 AM
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Buckshot? Never used it....actually illegal here. I doubt that beyond 20 to 30 yds would be viable.

As far as a shotgun? Many rifled barrels today permit ranges well beyond 100 yds. yardages vary actually with the skill of the hunter. Some i have seen shouldnt shoot more than 10 yards LOL. Others can well beyond that range.

As far as your comment a 50% chance of success? Thats not even a shot to take.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:00 AM
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25-30 yards max. A rifled barrel and some practice should get you out to 125-150 yds with slugs. Smooth bore slugs, I dont know, maybe 50 yds? Depends on how far away you can put ALL your shots in a 5" circle. Thankfully they still let us use our rifles in NC. Lots of the boys in shotgun only states have switched to smokeless muzzleloaders like the savage. They can shoot up to 300 yds with practice, 200 yds out of the box, just point and shoot.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hossdaniels View Post
25-30 yards max. A rifled barrel and some practice should get you out to 125-150 yds with slugs. Smooth bore slugs, I dont know, maybe 50 yds? Depends on how far away you can put ALL your shots in a 5" circle. Thankfully they still let us use our rifles in NC. Lots of the boys in shotgun only states have switched to smokeless muzzleloaders like the savage. They can shoot up to 300 yds with practice, 200 yds out of the box, just point and shoot.
This is not true. Shooting the recommended max load of AA-5744 and a 300 grain Barnes Expander MZ I'm getting roughly 2200 fps (which is roughly the same performance possible from 3 pellet T7 loads). I have my Savage zeroed at 175 yards for a MPBR of 200. By 200 yards it's dropping so fast that I'd never even consider a 300 yard shot. I've seen sabot slug loads that exceed the performance I'm getting from my Savage, but the Savage does have the advantage in the accuracy department. My last time out I put 4 shots into a 3" circle at 175 in a 20mph gusty wind with a target that I could hardly see the bullseye on (just a 1/2" orange diamond, which is hard to aim at with a 9x scope at 175 yards).

Regarding the OP's questions. You sound like you're new to deer hunting, and if so, welcome to the sport! It's good to have new hunters keeping the great American hunting tradition alive.

I wouldn't use buckshot unless the law said I had to. You'll get better range and killing power from a slug any day. You will, however, need to practice to ensure you can at least hit an 8" paper plate every time from whatever range shooting from field positions. The bench is a place to sight in and fine tune loads, not a place to see if you are a proficient marksman. Once you reach a distance where you can't hit that paper plate every time, then you've found your max hunting range. Everybody's different. My dad was an instinctive shooter with slugs, and was able to hit running deer at 100 yards with 20 gauge rifled slugs with just a bead, and standing deer he could hit out to 125 no problem. I would never even attempt such a shot, but he made it look easy. That said, if I had a shot at a standing, calm deer at 200 yards with my ML on a calm day with a rest for my gun, I'd take the shot. It's all about the link between you, the marksman, and the gun. Know the gun, and know your limits and you'll do fine.

As for how close can you get from a deer. I've shot deer at 30 yards sitting on the ground with a ML. I shot two dear the one year I bowhunted, one at 12 yards, and the other at 15. I've been within 10 yards of wild deer on half a dozen occasions (some hunting, some not), and I once had a deer wake me up from a nap by stepping on a twig less than 10 feet from where I was sitting (one of the downsides to hunting early ML season when it gets warm by 10am! )

As for the whole 50% thing... it really doesn't break down like that. Rest assured, if you are close enough to put a slug through a deer's ribcage, it will die. The slug's not going to bounce off because it's going too slow. The issue is that as the velocity drops off, the trajectory gets steeper and the bullet falls farther related to the horizontal distance it travels. In other words, range estimation becomes critical as a slug past 100 yards can fall several inches in just 25 yards, enough to make you either miss or have a very marginal hit out of the kill zone. So it's not that the slug won't kill, it that is becomes very hard to hit the deer in the vitals. This is why practice and knowing your gun and load are so important.

Mike
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:23 AM
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Effective buckshot range max. 80 yds with 3.5" 00B, but I've seen them killed out to 100yds. Personally, I would use a muzzleloader or slugs before buckshot(with a rifled barrel) as mentioned above. Unless your running deer with dogs, i would stay away from the buckshot.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:04 PM
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I've cleanly killed deer with buckshot out to 50 yards...Your shotgun might be different, you have to buy several brands of buckshot and try with different chokes to see what your gun shoot best...Buckshot is lethal if the shooter knows what his gun will do and sticks within those limitations...

I've killed several deer with a smooth bored 12 gauge and Remington Sluggers out to 100 yards...Rifled shotguns with a scope do better, much like today's inline muzzle loaders...I still keep shots within 150-160 yards with my inline...

I've had deer walk under my stand and could have spit on them...The closest I have ever killed a deer was 2 steps from the tree when I was in it...On the ground, I once killed a 9 point buck that was 5 steps away...

How close you can get just depends on how good of a hunter you are...
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by driftrider View Post
This is not true. Shooting the recommended max load of AA-5744 and a 300 grain Barnes Expander MZ I'm getting roughly 2200 fps (which is roughly the same performance possible from 3 pellet T7 loads). I have my Savage zeroed at 175 yards for a MPBR of 200. By 200 yards it's dropping so fast that I'd never even consider a 300 yard shot. e.


Mike
Sidetracking, but 5744 is the slowest powder of the recommended powders, 4759 and n110 both shoot at higher velocity. And a 200 yd mpbr is the(atleast mine) definition of point and shoot to 200 yds. Besides, I have never seen a ML group with a 3 pellets of 777. I will grant you that for 300 yds you had better put in your range time, and in all likelyhood moved beyond book loads(but I have a stock 4759 load that will do 300). All you need is practice and a rangefinder. The gun will do it, unlike any slug gun I've seen.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:47 PM
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I've not had great luck with N110 when the weather gets real cold. I use 5744 because it lights up easy in cold weather and gives consistent results.

Hey, I've got an idea! Why not just ditch the whole shotgun nonsense and get yourself a good ML. That's what I did. In fact, I never really messed with shotgun hunting for deer because of muzzleloaders (I've done it once). Not only are ML's fun, but they'll make you a better hunter when you have to get it right the first shot 'cause there really are no follow-up shots.

Mike
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:02 PM
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Buckshot, my favorite subject. I started hunting when I was ten years old in New Jersey, back when it was a buckshot only state. I have been involved in the taking of many deer with both buckshot and slugs. Some people say that I'm very opinionated on the subject, I would like to think that I'm just passionate. I also have no patience with hunters who don't put safety first. My best friend was shot and almost killed in a hunting "accident", I don't believe in the word accident when safety precautions aren't adhered to.
You stated that you want a 50% chance of killing the deer when you shoot, I believe that you owe it to that animal to be as humane as posible. You will always hear arguements that certain loads have advantages over others, but you can't prepare for every situation so you have to play the odds. If your state allows hunting with a rifle, use one and never worry about using a shotgun. Especially since my buddy was shot, I don't think that anyone should shoot unless they have a clear shot. Therefore a loads ability to shoot through brush is a non-issue with me.
Tons of deer are killed with buckshot every year. When used properly it works, but there is a very large grey area where performance is marginal. A round ball doesn't kill like a rifle bullet, it just makes a hole. A single hole isn't effective enough to consistently kill deer, therefor you need to hit it with several pellets in order to be lethal enough to humanely kill. A single 00 buckshot pellet at 40 yards has the same energy as a .22 long rifle at the muzzle; a .22lr is illegal to use for deer hunting because it's not considered powerful enough. Forty yards is what I consider to be the absolute maximum distance, providing your gun patterns it well. Yes, deer have been taken at longer ranges, but for every deer taken cleanly at 75 yards many more are wounded and considered a miss, only to die later. Think about it, your not likely to miss a deer at that range with buckshot, you'd have to be off by ten feet to not hit him with any pellets, and if your that bad of a shot you shouldn't be in the woods. Over the years I've tagged probably a dozen deer that were shot by someone else with buckshot.
If you hunt in an area where you must use a shotgun slugs are the way to go. A smoothbore shotgun with adequate sights will kill any deer that you hit with it. I have a scope on my shotgun and I can shoot out to 100 yards effectively with rifled slugs. They'll kill beyond that but it becomes difficult to hit due to bullet drop. If you have a shotgun with a rifled barrel and you take the time to find a sabot slug load that shoots well, shots between 125 and 150 yards are possible with practice.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:42 PM
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A 300gr SW at 2200FPS is 3.5" high at 100yd, when zeroed at 180 and still 18" low at 300, according to a ballistic cal. not a 300 yd gun IMO.

The savage load I use is 42gr 4759 (goes bang like a 06 in any weather) and a 250 SW getting 2200+ and 1moa. 1.5" high at 100 will put me dead on at 140, -6" at 200 and -14" at 250 although I would never shoot past 200 w/ that thing, since It can only be shot 6Xs an hour & ya just cant practice enough unless you want to spend all day at the range.

Driftrider ,not to be a deek, but can you please tell of a factory sabot slug that will even come close to a savageML? The fastest slug Ive heard of, are SSTs, and they didnt get anywhere near the 2000fps, they claim, when I croined them. As far as I know no sluggun can dream of doing what the 10ML does, and neither can a conventional "dirtburner" ML no matter how much powder you drop down the barrel, cause only about 120 grain is gonna burn anyway in most 24"-28"barrels.

burninggredphonex , A copper, buffered load of OO buck in a 3" shell, out of a full choke, should give enough pellets in a 8" vital area of a deer , out to about 30 yds. Id find a thick patch of brush and sit down and wait , good luck.
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