2003 Hunting Whitetail Deer with Winchester Model 9410 and 410 slugs
So here is how it happened. It was shortly after lunch opening day of deer season here in Ohio (12/01/03) my dad and brother drop me off on the backside of our farm. The farm is about 360 acres of rolling hills located in east central Ohio near the WV, PA, OH border. 86 acres are still actively being farmed the rest is farmland that has laid fallow for 60-100 years and is well wooded. After dropping me off they were going to go around to the front of the farm and then into their deer stands. After waiting 20 minutes I was to start stalking their way. To bide my time I stalked a quick circle on a small lot on the other side of the road to eat up the time and then crossed onto the main part of the farm.

It all started when I was about 150 yards off the dirt road inside the edge of a crab-apple thicket on the side of a gently rising hill. I had been moving, and then pausing to look around and listen. At one of these pauses I heard some noise in front and to my left about a hundred yards away. I looked in that direction and caught sight of some motion and then a set of antlers moving though some thick brambles and green briar at the bottom of the gently sloping hill. I took a couple quick steps to my right up the hill to get a clear shot through and opening in the crab apples and cocked and shoulder my 9410. I waited for only about 15 seconds when a large doe stepped out of the briar patch right into that lane I was looking down. I was really tempted to shoot her since the freezer was getting pretty empty on venison having not taken a deer the previous year but I waited to see if the antlers showed up.

I held perfectly still as she looked me over. I am pretty sure she saw me but since I was holding still and the wind was in my favor she did not bolt but I do think my presents spooked her a little. She picked up her pace a little and continued crossing in front of me from left to right heading up the hill. Almost right on her heals came the antlers I saw. A nice approximately three-year-old buck followed her, he never saw me, his attention was focused on the doe. I took aim and fired at him while he was on the move, both deer started up the hill with a jump at the report of my gun. In full buck fever frenzy I snap two more shots quickly at him empting my plugged Win. 9410. He did not bolt outright though and continued moving briskly across my position up the hill. I grab a round off my stock cartridge holder dropped it directly in the chamber, slapped the action shut and fired again but this shot clearly missed as I saw it hit a crab apple tree before getting to him. At this fourth shot he stopped and looked around, the doe was well out of sight up the hill by this point. The buck fever was quickly turning to panic and anger as I though this buck might get away. I loaded another round in the chamber and one in the magazine as I tried to calmed myself down. I carefully and slowly knelt down on my right knee, took careful deliberate aim and squeezed the trigger. Wham! The gun cracked and the deer fell over legs out straight and then kicked a few times. He did momentarily lift his head briefly but then his head went down again, I cycled the action and reloaded two more rounds into the magazine. I then waited about 3-4 minute incase he got back up, than slowly approached. I got to the deer and saw him take a final few breaths and then he was still.

It turned out that two of the five shots hit him. I am confident it was the first and the fifth shot. The first hit him a bit back and a little high. The slug hit the back edge of the ribs and did a lot of damage to the liver but did not exit. That would have killed him due to the massive blood loose of a liver hit but being hit high and no exit wound would have made tracking him very difficult. The last shot what just behind the shoulder a little higher than I wanted but it nicely punched through the ribs and punched a nice finger size hole through the center of both lungs, just above the heart. It also did not exit.

He weight out after field dressing at about 125 lbs. He was a nice symmetric eight point. For fun I took the measurements for the online Boone and Crocket scoring worksheet and he scored a green 89. Far from a record but still a decent buck. The world record typical whitetail is 213 and an award level deer is 160.

So after all that excitement what do I think of the Winchester 9410 with slugs as a deer gun? My first reaction is oh yah! but I do have to temper that with the fact that I got lucky that he didn't bolt after I initially emptied my gun. I might never have found him even though he would have died from that first shot. When I did put the fifth slug in the boiler room where it counts it was just the right amount of gun. I used my GPS to measure the range and the final shot was taken at about 65 yards (give or take about 6 yards due to error in GPS position). At that range I did not deliver much energy to the target (about 270 ft-lbs). I estimate that the first three shots were taken at about 50 yards. In heavy cover it is deceptive how far thing are even at close range. I would have guessed the final shot was only about 45-50 yard but later when measure it was quite a bit farther.

So I guess I will leave it up to you guys. I will definitely hunt next year with my 9410. I will be more careful in placing a good first shot but I feel confident in my gun and ammo. Would I recommend others do the same? Hmm... I think if they ask I would just tell them this story and let them decide for themselves. Thanks for reading all my ramblings. Any comment or questions are always good. I have attached a picture of me with the gun and the deer.
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