I'm a north Ga. hunter so I don't hunt with dogs but it seems more information is out there on this page about buckshot. I've got a Mossberg 835 that absolutely patterns the heck out of winchester 3 1/2" #4 buckshot with 54 pellets. At 30 yds I'm putting 37-42 pellets in a 9" paper plate with all of the remaining 9-14 or so scattered within 6 or so inches around the plate. Percentage wise I can also do about as well with the 3" Remington load(41 pellets) putting 34-36 on the plate and the rest scattered around it. I'm looking at using it in a swampy area where I've got a stand set up and the range shouldn't exceed 35 yards. Haven't got a deer with it yet though. Can I get some real world experiences on the #4 buckshot on deer? How is #4 on penetration? I see on the 3.5" the listed muzzle velocity is a little slower, 1050 fps. How about meat damage with that many (41 or 54) pellets? Is the 54 pellet 3.5" load really needed or is it overkill? Will the 41 pellet 3" or even the 27 pellet 2 3/4" do just as well or even better with their higher velocities?