Deer Hunting With an Atlatl?


Deer Hunting With an Atlatl?

Hunting with an atlatl. Impressive when successful? Of course. Smart? Not so much.

The atlatl is a hand-held spear thrower, launching long flexible darts from its spur. It’s deceptively complex, and in trained hands can be a most lethal weapon.

So says the narrator of the Weapon Masters video below, in which the physics of the atlatl is explored and described. It also shows the making of an atlatl and a dart. It’s almost unbelievable that he was able to take such a crooked little sapling and straighten it into an effective atlatl dart.

This all caught my attention when I recently learned that it’s reportedly legal to use this primitive stick-slinging contraption for deer hunting in two states in the USA: Missouri and Alabama.

And when I saw the above photo of a hunter who used an atlatl to slay this large 15-point whitetail buck, it really got my attention.

It’s also reported that the first atlatl-killed Missouri deer in recent history (as opposed to caveman days) was a 4-point buck taken in 2011.

I personally can’t support this kind of hunting for the simple reason that it is far more likely to produce wounded deer that cannot be recovered.

What do you think?

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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