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I'm thinking about going after deer with my 12 gauge but should I use slugs or buck shot?
 

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That depends on a lot of things. Some things to consider are:

Terrain:
- How close will your shots be?

Your shotgun:
- Rifled barrel? Sabots?
- Smooth bore? Foster Slugs?

If your shots will be 40 yards and under buckshot will not let you down. I would tend to stay away from smaller buckshot like 4 buck. I personally had good success with OO 3" magnums. Also, stay away from "standard" buckshot. Use premium shells such as copper or nickel plated. I haven't tried it yet but they say that Heavy Shot buck shot is awesome.

If your shotgun is a smooth bore you will probably need to shoot foster type slugs. With these slugs I don't think you will have the same accuracy potential as with a rifled barrel.

With a rifled barrel and sabot type slugs you can increase your range a bit and have pretty good accuracy. You have to find the slugs that shoot the best in your gun. That means you have to put some range time in and invest a little $ on different brands of slugs. You may get lucky and find that perfect load right away or it may take a few different loads.

Just my $.02
 

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I know they call it Buckshot but here in KY we are not allowed to shoot a buck/deer with it. Slugs only. Don't know about your state.
 

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I would suggest slugs. I believe buckshot is usually recommended for hunters who will be hunting heavy cover with shots less than 25 to 30 yards. (I believe Remington's site has some info on this.) With rifled slugs in a smoothbore barrel, you can get out to 50 yards (min) and possibly out to 75 depending on how well your gun handles the slugs.
 

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We used to run deer with dogs on our 1500 acre hunting club in S. GA, and we would go to a certain stand and wait for the deer to come by.
I have killed deer with 12 gauges with a full choke and 00 buckshot, and with a 20 gauge and full choke with Federal 3" mag #2 buckshot. Both guns knocked them out at 50 yards and less.

The bad thing about buckshot is, at longer ranges, the pellets tend to spread more. When they spread outside the paper plate sized vital area, the pellets tend to hit the deer in the vitals and the guts. And no one likes to field dress a gut shot deer.
If your gun has a vent rib on it, I would suggest looking in a bass pro or Cabelas catalog and buy some $40 truglo sights for your gun. They attach to the rib of the gun and are adjustable for elevation and windage. Kind of like iron sights on a rifle. Shoot an IC choke and rifled slugs.

The sights are Tru Glo Magnum Gobble Dot Pro Seris.
 
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