2011-03-17

Slinging

So, recently I learned how to throw atlatl. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlatl.

This is a great primitive piece of weaponry, but after messing with it for a while I was unsatisfied in one very significant way.... How would I carry around the dart?

I was thinking about it at home, and I suddenly remembered the idea of a sling http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sling_(weapon). I've considered trying slinging before, but I was nervous that I might kill a bystander (possibly behind me) if I tried it. I decided to give it a more serious search and found:


slinging.org in general is a pretty amazing resource, but this particular link fascinated us. It included how to make an apache sling, as well as how to throw it in an actual hunting situation! So, I immediately set out making a trivial sling, so I could give this a try (not the sling listed above).


After making this I realized, sadly, that it's illegal to throw a sling on public property in San Francisco... NOOOO!! oh well, I'd have to wait until we went out to Mendocino.

So, the next time we went, Jess brought stuff to make herself the Apache style sling, and I brought my already constructed sling. And we threw as much as our shoulders could handle that weekend.

We have a LOT to learn, but at this point I always throw forwards, and 1 in 3 throws are within maybe 5 ft of a target ~25 ft away. Yes... that's terrible. But... one in 20 throws or so is within maybe 6 inches, so there's hope. The great thing is, I can carry it my pocket all of the time. Any time I'm standing around while out on a hike or something I can get a few throws in. In contrast practicing archery is an "event".

Making one of these is super trivial, even in the wilderness. And if I can get good, it's great for hunting small game and opportunistic hunting. "Grandfather" from the above link claimed he could hunt dear with it - and I believe him! but... I don't think I'll be ready to hunt dear with it any time soon, I think I'll stick to improving my archery for that purpose for now.

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