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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Montgomery County, PA, USA
I grew up and still live in the special regulations area. My father hunted exclusively with buckshot around here, and that's what I learned to use.
It will kill a deer. It will maim just as many. In general, it does not pattern well, and does not penetrate far, especially when deer have their winter coats. I REALLY understood how bad it was when I had my processing business, and saw how deep it didn't penetrate muscle or bones.
I wouldn't shoot past 30 yards at anything with buckshot, and if I were to use it, I'd aim for the head or neck like you would a turkey. It generally doesn't leave a good blood trail to follow.
Your mileage may vary.
Catch & release is for guys who don't know how to cook