Re: S&W model 29
Congratulations on your purchase. Since it is nickel, I can hazard a guess that it might be a pinned and recessed model of yore?
You can, and you should indeed, hunt with that gun! I've harvested deer with my 3 inch 696 DAO 44 special. Unfortunately, this last year season spent with my 29-3 was uneventful, so I'll try again next year. Fortunately, my 45-70 did bring home the bacon!
I've gone to using simple hard cast LSWCs loaded over various charges of either 2400 or H110, depending on if I'm loading for bear or just deer.
This year's loads for the 29-3 were:
Deer: 18.4 grains of 2400 over a 240 grain hardcast LSWC.
Bear: 24 grains of H110 over a 250 grain Kieth style LSWC from Leadhead bullets.
That deer load is not a barn burner as 44 mag loads go, but you don't need a barn burner to kill whitetails.
Big LSWC's rule