Atlatls for Deer Hunting
Atlatls for deer hunting are a wooden or bone stick designed for spear throwing. It has its origin in native America used by the hunters in the ancient days in the forests. Each Atlatl is made with a hook fixed on one whose role is to push the spear with high velocity. This spear thrower provides more leverage to make the spear move farther than it would when thrown with bear hands. A well functioning atlatl has the ability to throw a spear more than 100 yards away. The thrower is best for hunting huge animals such as the deer, mammoths and buffalos. Use of the thrower is important as it keeps the hunter a safe distance away from the targeted animal that may be dangerous while providing the required impact to hit and kill the target. The stronger the thrower the better, as it will never disappoint in throwing the spear.
Features of the Atlatls
The deer hunting atlatls are designed with distinct features important for throwing the spear with the desired velocity. Its features include;
- Loops– The loops are made of leather material for fitting in the fingers.
- Shaft– An atlatl has a long shaft with a spur fixed at the end. The cup-like spur supports and propels the butt of the spear.
- Stone weigh– This is a balance mass added at the shaft of the atlatl to provide resistance to the acceleration once the spear is launched. The stone weigh leads to high force and accuracy hence hitting the target.
- Spear- A light weighed spear makes the atlatl complete. The spear should be 1.2-2.7 meters long and 9-16mm wide.
How to use Atlatls for deer hunting
Proper use of Atlatls for deer hunting makes the mission successful. There are some technical skills of handling the atlatl especially in gripping the thrower, aiming at the target and cocking the arm that you need to know to eliminate missed targets. The following steps make use of atlatl successful in hunting of big animals;
- Gripping the atlatl
When using the atlatl, gripping technique is very important in aiming for the target and acquiring the required force to throw the spear far. Though the spear thrower comes in varying sizes and shapes, the gripping technique with the palm of the hand being on the side away from the atlatl’s peg is highly recommended. Use of knuckle grip enhances the grip by stabilizing the fingers for massive spear pushing. In this case, the index and middle fingers should be fixed through the loop with the little finger and the neighboring ring finger wrapped around the handle.
- Aiming at the target
In order to effectively aim at the target, it is vital to assume a comfortable and balanced stance. To achieve this, put the left leg forward towards the target and position the right one at a right angle. If you are left-handed, you should do the opposite. Then, position your head to look at the target and cock your arm to point the dart on the atlatl towards the target.
- Releasing the spear or dart
Once you have achieved a balanced stance and sure that the dart is pointing directly to the target, snap the wrist to release the spear. Atlatls for deer hunting push the spear with force to hit the targeted animal.