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NEW BUFFALO BORE APPAREL
AMMO CHOICES FOR “DEER and HOGS”
I often get asked about what is the best ammo/load choice (in any given cartridge) for “Deer and Hogs”. In fact I get asked this so often, that I decided to write this short essay on the subject.
In most areas that have hunt-able populations of both deer and hogs, those deer are whitetails, which are generally thin bodied (usually 150 lbs.) when compared to some of our Idaho 300+ lb. mule deer, but hogs in those whitetail-inhabited areas can reach 600+ lbs.. So, not only is there a wide discrepancy in the potential size of “Deer and Hogs” in those areas that have both, but “Deer and Hogs”, especially if we are talking about large Hogs, are built very differently.
Older and bigger boars have gristle plate under their skin that protects their chest area from damage when fighting other big tusked boars—this armor plating also does a good job of limiting the penetration of soft expanding bullets, which are exactly the type of bullet that work so well on thin bodied whitetails. Never mind that the older and bigger a boar gets; his skin also gets thicker and tougher. Further, these big old boars get densely muscled and their bones get thick—with their thick build and low center of gravity, they are simply built very differently than taller thin bodied whitetail deer. Big boars need a deep penetrating bullet that will not mushroom too soon along its terminal path, thus limiting penetration needed to destroy organs that are hiding behind that gristle plate, thick skin, heavy muscle and big bones.
Whitetail deer are thin bodied and thin skinned and if you want to drop them quickly, a rapidly expanding bullet, that will not encounter huge bones or massive muscle is all you need, in fact such a bullet does more damage along its short terminal path than a tougher/less expanding bullet, but on a big, tough hog, such a fragile bullet may never penetrate deeply enough to kill.
The issue with using two different types of ammo when you are simultaneously hunting two species is that more-than-likely, the two very different loads will not shoot to the same point of impact in the same rifle. You will always be readjusting your sights and you may find yourself deer hunting when you see inadvertently hogzilla and have no time to re-sight your rifle.
My solution to this problem, has always been to sight in with the deep penetrating hog load and simply carry and use that one load exclusively as it will kill whitetails too, but if you line them up correctly, it may kill three of them with one shot, so be careful, as we’ve actually seen this happen. The deep penetrating hog load may not kill a whitetail as quickly as the fragile, violently mushrooming bullet, but within a few seconds more, the deep penetrating load will kill any whitetail just as dead and will hammer big hogs when you shoot one.
Hopefully this article is thought provoking and useful to our customers and friends.