Review of wound ballistic research and its applicability to wildlife management


  • Associate Editor: Nielsen


Wound ballistics is a science that has been gaining attention in wildlife management because of the movement toward non-lead bullets for hunting and wildlife management projects. Wildlife biologists and managers are interested in evaluating new bullet technologies and using traditional bullets outside of their initial design parameters; however, much of the background and science that is involved in a wound ballistic study is outside of a typical wildlife biologist's training. I present a review of major wound ballistic history and background, including theories of how bullets wound and kill, and I review the primary techniques used for wound ballistic research. I found that most of the wound ballistic literature is found in a wide range of publications in both gray and primary literature; however, little work has been published that uses these techniques to investigate wound ballistics for wildlife management. Many of the techniques described for assessing the terminal ballistic for medical, military, and law enforcement purposes can be applied in the wildlife management field. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.