One of the writers of , I think it was Guns and Ammo did a write up on the repro of a 1860 Colt , a Navy Arms gun , and he did use it to hunt Deer , successfully
Besides whatever State Law might say about what you can hunt with or not , the .44 cap and ball has plenty of power to kill deer . If it can drop a 400 Lb. Burley Logger in his tracks , then deer are a non-issue here . The Walker or Dragoon is a better choice than the 1860 Model , and try to remember the Walker was the Hand Cannon of all times till the mighty .44 Magnum came along . It reigned supreme many years before that .44 Magnum though and can fire a 60 grain musket size charge in her . The Dragoon at 50 grain , these guns are no slouches . Even an 1858 Remington with near 40 grains will knock your pee pee in the dirt
Our Westcoast Black-Tail dont get that big , and its been done , along with more small game than I can count
While there may be better guns to hunt deer with , they are certainly capable as long as the hunter does his job right with range and shot placement . Lack of power is not the issue . A beaurocracy that makes game laws up as they see fit obviously have NEVER shot a Walker !
Nuff said ...