Whitetail bullet evaluation on 100kg wild boar
The NORMA Whitetail bullet was extracted from a 100Kg wild boar that stayed on the spot of impact. A perfect shot from a high seat at 60 m distance resulting in a way-above-the-average size wild hog humanely hunted. A great result from the hunter’s perspective: no need for blood tracking, great shot placement for utilizing majority of the quality venison, “clean work”. But is it? Let’s take a closer look.
Despite everything being perfect at the first sight, let's view the situation from a slightly different angle – although over 3000 J was delivered to the chest cavity and the hog remained on spot, neither heart nor major artery had been hit. Only by a happy coincidence and help of a quality bullet, ensured that the animal did not get up and run away. High lung shots usually result in more time for animals to black-out due to the heart’s continuous pumping of oxygenated blood throughout the body. It usually takes up to a few minutes before the brain runs “out of fuel”. Try to imagine a distance that a 100kg wild boar may cover during this time, moreover difficulties tracking it down in a grown vegetation.
I checked the extracted bullet and analyzed the angle and a position of impact. Upon examining the chest and organs, the only visible damage was detected solely on the lungs. What could have occurred? The bullet effectively expanded to its maximum diameter, most probably inducing a hydrostatic shock through the whole chest and created an effective temporary cavity, that besides direct damage affected the vital organs and the spine with the critical nerves. All these effects together caused a temporary loss of consciousness and multiple microscopic soft tissues injury. Severe lung damage with a huge blood loss “got the job done” before the animal could recover from a temporary incapacitation.
What is the conclusion? I identify three key factors: Firstly, I have reminded myself that the .308 Win. is an excellent working caliber, however, on rare occasions, there may be circumstances where a few additional joules would be beneficial. Although, while the shot did the job and transferred over 3000 joules of energy, it failed to create an exit wound. The absence of an exit wound means difficulties in tracking down the blood trail and usually a specialized blood tracking dogs are required. When using .308 Win. targeted to a larger game, it is advisable to choose more penetrating bullets such as NORMA Oryx or NORMA Ecostrike.
Secondly, precise shot placement is crucial, particularly in such situations. It is essential to deliver the energy towards specific spots where it can either induce the instantaneous death or immediate incapacitation with a substantial blood loss. Examples of effective target areas include high shoulder hits, leg/heart shots and, of course, a brain shot – supposing you are a master marksman and proper conditions are met.
Thirdly, for responsible hunting it is fundamental to have reliable ammunition that you may trust to perform even in extreme situations. During our trip, we hunted with NORMA Whitetail which is an excellent versatile bullet suitable for various game throughout the year. However, its design and terminal ballistics in .308 Win. are primarily recommended for game up to a medium size. Nonetheless, it executed its task flawlessly – great mushrooming, perfect energy transfer, high residual weight, the jacket and core stayed locked. Still, if we were anticipating a 100kg wild boar, I would select a more penetrating bullet. I’m pleased it performed great, meeting the highest standards.
Each extracted bullet tells a story, each hunt is unique. Practice responsible conduct, make thoughtful choices regarding your equipment, and adhere to ethical guidelines in order to responsibly manage the wildlife.
NORMA Ambassador Czech Republic