Hunting Deer with a 20 Gauge Shotgun: Pros and Cons

The Debate on Deer Hunting with a 20 Gauge Shotgun

Deer hunting is one of the most popular types of hunting in North America. It requires specific gear, skills, and knowledge to achieve success. One critical aspect that many hunters consider when choosing their equipment is the type of shotgun they will use.

What are the Benefits and Limitations of using a 20 Gauge Shotgun?

A 20 gauge shotgun offers some benefits compared to other types like a 12 gauge, such as being lighter and easier to carry. This feature can be very advantageous for older or younger hunters who may struggle with handling heavier firearms. However, there are also limitations that come with using this type of gun since it produces less recoil and power than larger shotguns.

Is it Ethical to Hunt Deer Using a 20 Gauge Shotgun?

There is no definitive answer regarding whether or not hunting deer with a 20 gauge shotgun is ethical. Some people argue that smaller caliber firearms do not deliver enough force for quick kills while others claim that it’s perfectly acceptable under certain circumstances such as close-range shots.

However, ethical considerations should always include factors like accuracy, distance from your target animal, ammunition requirements (e.g., lead-free), expected pain or trauma inflicted on the deer during the hunt process – all these aspects determine if you’re making an informed decision about ethics.


In conclusion, whether you choose to hunt deer using a 20-gauge shotgun depends on your individual preferences and goals as well as how comfortable you feel handling this firearm effectively in different situations. Remember always safety first when operating any firearm towards animals or humans alike!