Your buckshot field experience
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Author:  iloveguns [ Thu May 19, 2016 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

It would be around 3-4 that hit it in the lungs area at minimum, but most of the time it could be 6 pellets to all the pellets. most of our shots are around 30 yards. Also, don't look at ballistics of buckshot, look at the number of deer it has killed.

Author:  tbeaux [ Thu May 19, 2016 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Another experience. We had depredation permits on my family farm from the mid to late nineties. A shotgun, buckshot, and redlense light was our weapon of choice. We found that 000 was more lethal with less cripples or follow up shots. That's deer and pigs. Although not particularly proud of what we did (or had to do). But it is what it is, and Buckshot out to 40 yards IS extremely effective. The state finally woke up and put a 2 doe a day limit on our 75 day gun season.
I don't do a whole lot of deer hunting, but I do everything I can to make it when I get invited on a drive.

Author:  iloveguns [ Thu May 19, 2016 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I know I said don't look at ballistics but i decided to compare something. an arrow from from a bow that shoots at 320fps will travel at 320fps with 95 foot pounds of energy at 0yards, a single 00B pellet from a 12 gauge 2 3/4" shell travels at 930fps with 105 foot pounds of energy at 60yards. A single pellet is better at 60 yards than an arrow at 0 yards so why do people hunt deer with bows. because it kills deer, same with buckshot.

Author:  Davems [ Thu May 19, 2016 5:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Well, I do a lot of dove hunting. Like some of the Southern deer hunts it is sort of a social thing. We keep score. Out of 30 guys I am never top gun but maybe 1 out of 4 times I'll come in second. I double on doves maybe once per shoot and drop a few at 50 yards. On quite a few a single #8 drops a dove and there never seems to be any meat damage. Seems odd that one pellet works but the doves are usually dead before they hit the ground.
On rabbits, squirrels, etc.- same thing. A 30-30 on a deer- you'll get surrounding area destroyed, whole top of the heart gone and burned away and the lungs pretty well gone as well.
What I am thinking is a single buckshot pellet may do its damage simply by penetration- like stabbing some one with a screw driver. If a buckshot pellet hits the heart, brain, spine etc.- that's it. If it hit the lungs you need a longer "bleed out" time.
On the video you posted to watch, it seems that the hunters all use shotguns- probably a club rule- I know it is a club rule with a lot of clubs, any the hunters (or shooters- if you prefer) keep shooting. Get as many pellets into the deer as possible. It seems most deer run and they appear to drop in roughly the same time as if shot with a 30-30 in the lungs.
Thanks on the preferred 6 pellets- that was what I was wondering. 6 pellets through the lungs will create a lot of damage. There were a couple of guys telling me only 1 or 2 will do it but off hand it seems a deer may run a lot way even if it does end up dying. If 1 or 2 was okay then you can go with a little more open pattern but if 6 really are needed in most situations then the tightest pattern you can get is probably what you want.
I should mention on that No.1 buck- I might have given the false impression that it might be very good because it stacked better inside a 12 gauge hull- 4 per layer vs. 3 but that depends on the wad and the BIG DEAL is the decision between No. 1 and 00 should be which puts the most pellets ON TARGET.
Some mention ought to be made of ethics. I'm a transplant "Yankee" so maybe I can see all sides. A rifle-tree stand hunter might have a bad view of dogs and buckshot. When I rifle hunt for deer I really like going into "back of beyond" into a wilderness type situation. And- I use a rifle. But there are a huge amount of hunters today (bean field types) with food plots, feeders, permanent blinds, trail cameras, etc. etc. etc. If all that was used back in the 1950's a lot of hunters would have thought unethical. The worse seems to be Texas with the high fence/low fence debate. Seems sort of ridiculous to rank on the dog guys.
In any event life is a learning experience. Anyone else with field stories (good or bad) please share. On another site I had some guys complaining about buckshot but when I asked what type of patterns they were working with, etc. it became pretty obviously they were just using off the shelf ammo and never test fired it.

Author:  iloveguns [ Thu May 19, 2016 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I didn't mean 6 pellets are needed, just that's how many we usually get into the lung area. We don't have rules such as shotguns only, there is one guy I hunt with who uses a remington 7400 semi 30-06 he shot a doe I think around 40 yards and it ran about 30 and a big chunk of its back was missing. I shot a doe at 15 yards with 12 00B pellets and there really wasn't much damage to the meat, that doe dropped in it's tracks. also, reloaded buckshot is not needed to kill a deer, all of us that use shotguns in our party use off the shelf buckshot and it works great on deer. I always used winchester 2 3/4" 9 pellet 00B I recently bought some federal 2 3/4" 00B magnum 12 pellet shells, not because the winchester isn't good it's because like I said before, the more pellets, the higher chance at killing it and those 12 pellets are going to do a lot less meat damage than any rifle would.

Author:  Davems [ Sat May 21, 2016 9:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Thanks for all the feedback. I think one problem with buck shot is that it is often used in the wrong situations and then gets a bad reputation. A lot of the well known outdoor writers shoot their deer at 200 plus yards and wandering around in swamps and taking 25 yard shots just doesn't appeal to them. I think buckshot has a very limited application. In Florida I've jumped a lot of deer going into and out of a tree stand. I never took a shot at any of them because the chance of hitting them with a rifle in a snap shooting situation seems so low that it would be unethical, and yet I shoot birds and rabbits all the time at similar ranges and speeds and a bird or rabbit is about the same size as a deer's lungs- so....that is why I have started to consider buckshot. I am almost certain that in jumping a deer in such situations that buckshot would be the ticket.

Author:  RandyWakeman [ Sat May 21, 2016 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

There are a lot of well-known problems with buckshot. Kinetic energy has little to do with wounding ballistics, yet people refer to it constantly, just regurgitating the same old ad-copy they have read.

This isn't hard to figure out: you and you alone are responsible for what comes out of your muzzle: every shot and every pellet.

The more pellets in a lot, the more opportunity there is for crippling and wounding losses on big game, the more opportunity there is for gut-shot animals. That is common-sense and does not require any fun math exercises.

The kill zone of a small to medium deer is 8 inches. Hunting accuracy is never, ever as good as bench accuracy. No one would bother with an 8 MOA rifle, or even a 4 MOA rifle.

When you have an 8 inch kill zone, your effective range is determined by the range at which you an place all of your shot or shots inside a 4 inch circle, half of the kill zone. For an angling or raking shot, that 8 inch kill zone just got a whole lot smaller, so the half of the kill zone accuracy standard shrinks commensurately.

The buckshot pellets that are not accounted for wound deer, kill dogs, and send other hunters to the ER. That is why buckshot is frowned upon on or banned in the majority of the States. It is not a vast right wing conspiracy.

Author:  DallasCMT [ Sat May 21, 2016 10:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I have little (1) experience with deer hunting, but I would not use buckshot on a deer unless I had a full choke, the thing was standing 50' or less in front of me, I had a very clean shot, and I had no other choice.

A red dot optical sight or scope and a slug would be more effective.

Author:  Davems [ Sun May 22, 2016 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Randy, Dalles, et al- on your bad estimation on buckshot, please share the particulars of your bad experience- such as "hit a deer twice at 25 yards with 00 and it just ran off, etc."
On looking at some of the YouTube videos, it seems off hand that all the shooters are firing multiple times at the deer until the deer drops. The close up views of the harvested deer- as already stated- most look like they have 6 or more hits on them- not all in the lungs.
I think that maybe what is at issue is the whole thing surrounding a lot of buckshot hunting- there are often groups of hunters with dogs chasing deer, often during "doe day" so any deer can be shot, and then hunters "blazing away" until the deer drops. Let's face it, if you use a rifle and sit in a tree stand and take deer with one well placed shot then the way buckshot is used probably impresses you that it is a lousy why to harvest a deer. BUT...that is a different issue than whether buckshot is or isn't effective. As I said, if I switch to using buckshot and shoot only two deer a year then it might take me years to really firm up in my mind how well buckshot works.
SIDEBAR- as an example I've used a 30-30 Marlin 336 and a 30-06 Rem 700. No doubt the Rem700 and 30-06 drop a deer faster but the 30-30 is in a lever action and the shorter barrel, etc. makes it a good wood gun and I tend to use it more. It kills "about as good"- i.e. maybe a little more tracking such as 30-50 yards more.
One BIG PROBLEM I have right now is the Florida terrain is varied, you can be walking into a tree stand in very thick cover and jump a deer- right then and there a load of buckshot is probably ideal but then there are some open areas, trails, cart tracks, etc.- what if you see a really good buck but it is 100 yards off? Easy rifle shot but too far for buckshot, you can't ethically take the shot. Of course I could say the same thing about archery season. There are no perfect solutions.
For some reason a lot of the magazine articles, etc. are always speaking about 40 yards as the maximum range on buckshot but there are new shot cups, etc. now that supposedly keep the pellets tight at longer ranges. If you have fiber optic sights and can reliably place a longer shot then I suppose 60 yards might be doable under such an unusual situation however going in the opposite direction if 25 yards is as far as your shotgun can keep all the pellets in a 24" circle, then 25 yards ought to be your maximum range.
If everyone bought a rifle, never sighted it in and then complained about the results- it isn't really the rifle's fault. I have spent a few days trying various brands and types of shells- all No.00 so far. Still looking for a good load. Some were absolutely terrible. At 25 yards only 2-3 three reliably hitting a 24" circle. I think one big problem is hunters using loads they never tested on a patterning board- just crippling a lot of game.
If I can't find a shell brand that groups tight, say consistently 5-6 pellets in a pie plate at 25 yards or more- then I just won't use buckshot.

Author:  iloveguns [ Mon May 23, 2016 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Davems, what kind of shotgun are you using? You could put a scope on your shotgun and use see through mounts so you can still use the bead for quick shots, and keep buckshot in the gun when walking to your stand and switch to rifled slugs once in your stand.

Author:  Davems [ Tue May 24, 2016 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I have a Mossberg 500 pump and also the rifled barrel with scope that shoots sabots that group about 1 1/2" at 100 yards so... yeah. I can walk in with the regular barrel and the rifled in a pack and switch at the tree.
BUT. I've hunted deer for years and got burned out. I switched to shooting squirrels with a 22 rimfire and also doves with the Moss500. A lot more action and hunting became fun again. What I really want to do is link up with a dog group. Now, the whole deal is the dogs, you have to get enjoyment being around them and hearing them work. Te other thing with group hunting there are always a few deer coming in and lots going on. I guess I'm burned out sitting in trees.
Was just at the sporting goods store- Rem now has No.0 loads and the same count as the No.1- which they must do by staggering the 4 pellet layers in 2x2, the N and S a little higher than the E and W. Out to the patterning board to see how those group.
I've spoke about hand sized patterns but if the pellets are all that close you might as well just use a slug. On the other hand a thin pattern is going to just cripple the animal. Some pellet spread is therefore okay. The whole load in an 18" (25 yard) to 24"(30 yard) circle- maybe that is about the ideal.
Not to change the subject but on the rifled barrel- I was surprised to read that a rifled Choke actually shoots a sabot almost as good as the whole rifled barrel. Easier to just haul around the choke than a second barrel.

Author:  iloveguns [ Tue May 24, 2016 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

that would be a good idea to get the rifled choke and switch shells when going to your stand but I hope you find a dog group to hunt with. I've never hunted with dogs (because of laws in my area) but I think it would be similar to the way I hunt now, it is very enjoyable. A lot more exciting than hunting from a stand or blind, I get really bored in the bow season but in the firearm season my heart is almost always pounding when you stand there and you hear the howling in the distance, slowly getting louder and shots going off all around you and then a deer comes running out in front of you and you put the bead on it and hopefully drop it. Also, make sure you switch chokes you don't want the rifled choke in when you use buckshot.

Author:  Davems [ Wed May 25, 2016 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Right now in Florida there is an om going trend to abolish dog hunting for deer. As a pilgrim I thought it was common manners to abide by the ways of my new state, I never could figure out people that move some place and then expect all the folks in the area to change. Any way I would be out stand hunting but on occasion bump into the dog hunters. One time I was in my tree and a doe came out into a clearing and kept looking behind itself, I figured a dog must be off after it. This doe walked around a stump, hopped over a log, ran right under my stand and was off. Ten minutes later a dog appears. I thought the dogs ran in the general direction of the deer but this dog walks around the stump, hops over the log, etc. exactly the same tracks. I then had dogs trying to get into my vehicle, dogs that were chasing does and when they saw me- giving me a dirty look that I hadn't shot the deer, etc. etc. In any event as time passed I got to sort of like the dogs and then I got talking to some of the dog hunters. It is a completely different thing. When I hunt doves I call it dove "shooting" because you are on a planted field. There isn't any "hunting" about it, but I still enjoy a good dove shoot. All the guys keep scores, etc. Lots of shooting, plenty of action, never bored. The deer and dogs is somewhat similar, I hope the tradition continues, It would be a shame to outlaw it completely.

Author:  iloveguns [ Wed May 25, 2016 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I agree, it would be a shame. I never got to hunt deer with dogs because it is illegal but before it was, that was the only way my family hunted deer. It became illegal though, because other land owners did not like the dogs going on their property. You would think they would be happy when it happens because the dog could push the deer to the land owner. It would be nice if it became legal again but I don't think that will ever happen. Just wondering, how many deer can you shoot? and is there a limit on the amount of shells you can have in the gun?

Author:  Davems [ Thu May 26, 2016 11:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

In Florida it is a deer a day in most areas. The season is Mid-Nov to Early Jan so about 50 days. Some guys shoot a lot of deer. The only shell/magazine limit I think is 5 on a semi-auto rifle.
I also shoot sporting clays. When I started I was always hitting the "rabbits" and then found out a lot of folks had trouble with them. One reason I'm thinking the buckshot on deer might work.
As I said, the big negative is that certain areas of Florida might have a "prairie" or open area and there is that one in a million chance of seeing a great buck off at 150 yards. Folks say that will never happen but a few days after one year's season I was just hiking, no gun in hand, and I saw a good buck (By FL standards) right in an open area feeding- couldn't believe it.
So all is a trade off. I'll probably try a little of both ways. Right now I have a lot of buckshot loads to test fire. I have been picking up scrap cardboard boxes and have flattened them and glued two together to make a target. I can take the first shot and draw a line through the holes so each cardboard might be good for 2, maybe 3 test shots.
You read about that one in a million shotgun that puts all the buckshot in a hand sized group at 40 yards. I thought that would be ideal but now I'm thinking that at 40 yards such a small group could completely miss a running deer if your aim was a little off. Obviously you don't want a bad pattern with a 6' pellet spread but a small amount might be okay. I think my goal might be 4-5 consistently hitting a pie plate and the rest of the load within a 30" circle. If I can get that at 40 yards I'd be very happy.
So, I have No.1, No.0, No,00. No.000 in Remington, Winchester, Federal and then IC., M, and F on the chokes- I'll be a busy boy for sure testing it all. I hope it proves worthwhile.
BTW- I did all this a few years back for Quail. Assuming my shooting skills stayed the same by doing all the work and finding better patterns I began downing a lot more birds (skeet 1 choke and #8 shot) and the only thing that changed was the ammunition.

Author:  iloveguns [ Thu May 26, 2016 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Wow, someone could shoot a lot of deer if they wanted. I hunt in Northern Ontario, Canada. The season in my area starts the first of october til mid november for bow, the one week of firearms and then one week after that a week for muzzle loader. We can only get ONE tag, either antlered or antlerless. With the antlered tag you can only shoot a buck with antlers longer than 3" I think, and the antlerless tag you can shoot a buck, doe, or fawn.

Author:  Davems [ Sat May 28, 2016 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

I used to live up north, actually went on a spring bear hunt in Southern Ontario a million years ago. Canoe trips up to James Bay (before cell phones and GPS). Some of these guys in the deep south that hunt in groups, each may kill 6-10 deer a year and they look at each other's deer and how they were taken so after a few years they have seen 100 plus buckshot deer.
Some of these guys seem rather unethical in the respect a deer that runs off isn't cried over much. A northern deer is appreciated like it is an elk in the respect it is a valuable trophy whereas in some southern areas deer seem little more appreciated than over sized rabbits.
I promised I'd share the good and bad. One guy this morning said he killed a deer at 20 yards with #4 buckshot, hit it 5 times. 5 x 41 pellets per shell=205 hits. I wonder if there was much left to eat. He also said he shot a deer at 35 yards that ran off into the swamps and he never found it. He wasn't that positive on buckshot but I don't think he spent too much time patterning the loads. I may be wrong on that. I am thinking that buckshot used in conjunction with dogs means the dogs can track down a deer that runs far. Maybe the deal is if you use buckshot, combine it with dogs.

Author:  Davems [ Sat May 28, 2016 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

By the way, I noticed that dogs seem legal in Ontario. Before I moved south I had this idea in my head that hound hunting big game was more of a southern thing. I was surprised once here that the woods are sometimes too thick and in some areas the whole place is flooded swamp and there are humps of dry land about 10' across scattered in this area where the deer bed down. It is actually sort of refreshing to just slosh around as it keeps you cool (I wear sneakers) but using a dog in water is pretty worthless. The best terrain is dry forest lands. There is also a lot of that habitat around but to be honest there were plenty of areas in the north that seem ideal as far as running dogs and 30 yards shots.

Author:  iloveguns [ Sat May 28, 2016 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Yeah, dogs are legal in most areas of ontario but where I hunt dogs were used by a lot of people and the land owners that didn't have dogs didn't like them going on their land and so it became illegal there. You don't need dogs when using buckshot, but it wouldn't hurt. I think the respect is because people in your area can shoot deer like rabbits, and we can only shoot deer like elk and the season is very short, so chances of getting a deer are lower than yours.

Author:  Davems [ Sun May 29, 2016 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Your buckshot field experience

Well, if it any consolation Florida is rapidly changing. Lots of anti-hunting types moving in. Who knows the future. Enjoy things while you can. Maybe I'll end up in Alaska.
I'm going to spend some time patterning different loads and maybe try hand loading. I have only read a little on the hand loading and it is more complicated than with bird shot.
I shot a good buck (by FL standards-8 pt.) with a 30-30 at 37 yards. It was crossing a grown over logging road. On that type situation I've seen deer at 70 yards crossing such areas but they are invariably does, it seems a buck will simply not cross an area that open. In any event my goal is to figure a 30 yard shot where all the pellets are evenly distributed in about a 24" circle. A lot of local hunters use No.1 buckshot because the 3" 12 gauge shell will hold 24 pellets and they claim on 130 lb deer it kills as good as No.00.

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