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Sling it...beat it...eat it. (Read 11549 times)
LeonX22
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Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Aug 7th, 2003 at 4:31pm
 
Iíd like to see a discussion started concerning hunting via the sling.  From what Iíve read on the site thus far, it seems that most of the people here sling recreationally.  That is, slinging with bullets like a tennis ball just for the sake of watching the object fly toward a rooted target.  This of course is a great way to practice.  And I for one will probably stick to this type of slinging until I can get reasonably consistent hits. 

While one can obviously state that the purpose of slinging has changed in our modern era, it could be logically assumed that the purpose of slinging in the past took on more violent undertones.  Aside from building hand eye coordination, the singular purpose of the sling was to kill.  Whether the target was a small fuzzy rodent or a human opponent, the goal of the sling was the same.  Pop it on the head and watch it fall.  Consume the result or give it a funeral.  And what intrigues me is the measure of skill that it took to attain such a result (letís save the methodology of sling warfare for another postÖ).

So that brings us to hunting.  Have any of you had any experience slinging at a moving target, perhaps with beady little eyes and swiftly scurrying feet?  Personally, I dislike hunting with guns.  To me it seems a little bit like cheating, a little too easy.  Such a sentiment has left me with two options.  The bow (recurve preferably), and now the sling.

It will be awhile before I will be experienced enough with the sling to hunt.  Even so, Iím curious as to the tactics of the endeavor.  Does the prey typically see and hear the twirl of the sling and decide, before the rock flies mind you, to get the hell out of there?  Or if the technique is correct does the animal not have a chance? 

Anyway, the floor is open.  Stories of bravery, daring, or resounding defeat are most welcome.

Leon 
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archeorob
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #1 - Aug 7th, 2003 at 4:41pm
 
Ok, most of the scurrying feet I hear when slinging is due to my brother ducking for cover on a misfire.   Roll EyesBut I have also been curious as to whether anyone has tried hunting with a sling. 

Historically, it seems to me that I've heard of birds and small mammals being hunted.  Larger animals were normally just scared away from areas (such as lions from herds of sheep).  I would suspect that the whirling motion of a sling would scare game away before you could hit it...but I really have no experience.
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Archeorob rob+Fullmer  
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #2 - Aug 7th, 2003 at 6:08pm
 
I've never hunted with a sling, other than to chase of birds from my folks garden at times. (It was a good excuse at least.)  I have heard a few stories though.

Stealth is important, not only for the approach to the target but during the cast as well.  A stone that "whistles" through the air can cause an animal to start, jump or otherwise move.

Stones that are fairly smooth and round can be very quiet, but then you depend on the impact alone to do the job.

Stones that have an edge may have better penetration, but tend to be rather loud sailing through the air.

I have cast both types and know the sounds they make, which is fun in itself, but for hunting it takes on a new aspect.
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #3 - Aug 7th, 2003 at 7:47pm
 
I've personally never hunted with it seriously.  My accuracy is nowhere near good enough.

Slings first were developed for hunting purposes.  Itís certainly one of the most ancient projectile weapons, probably predating the bow.  I saw an image of a supposed Neanderthal cave art image from a site I have since forgotten (anyone know the address?)  That puts slings right back at the dawn of man, during the stone age some 7000 years ago (5000 BC).  I canít verify the accuracy of such a claim since itís from a single unconfirmed source, but I think itís very plausible (I have an anthropology background).  Jim Burdine's page mentions a prehistoric sling find in Lovelock Cave possibly dating back before 700 BC.

http://digilander.libero.it/tepec/prehistoric_warfare.htm
This site goes on to suggest the sling emerged as early as 12,000 BC! 

Slings are still used today to hunt small game, although mostly by children.  I have also read that slings were used to hunt large game in some cultures.  I would imagine that special projectiles (not stone unless they were shaped and very dense) would have had any deadly effect on animals bigger than a dog.  Slings were and still are used to scare animals to or from people.  For hunting purposes, you might sling a rock to overshoot the animal and push it closer towards yourself, or maybe scare smaller game out of distant brush to capture them, etc.  Shepherds carry slings to scare off wolves and other predators to protect their flocks.

Buckshot (loading a handful of pebbles into the pouch instead of a single rock) would be effective against birds.  Itís basically an ancient shotgun.  Itís defiantly effective and has a good dispersal.

The sling is a deadly weapon; we know that from hundreds of accounts from the Assyrians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Aztecs, and scores of other cultures.

Chris
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #4 - Aug 8th, 2003 at 11:12am
 
Wow, neanderthals aye?  well, that would put it up around as late as 12.000 years ago, if not much earlier.  It's certainly well documented in parts of Europe (the Iberian Penninsula) as early as the neolithic (6000 BC- give or take a couple of thousand years  Smiley ).  I can't imagine it lasting too much longer as a projectile weapon once the bow and arrow is introduced.  The atlatl is also much more effective as a hunting device for large animals...unless you do get your hands on one of those 15' slings.... Grin
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Reply #5 - Aug 8th, 2003 at 5:48pm
 
People are always raving about the bow, but the early bows were terrible.  They required great skill to fabricate.  Good materials were not readily available in many regions.  Early strings were not strong enough for heavy draw weights.  Arrows were primitve, hard to make, and were far from accurate. 

A well trained slinger with fairly common rocks (perhaps just river or beach stones) could be deadly.  And a sling is easy to make and replace! 

Check out that site in my previous post.  I think it mentions a few things about the slings advantages over early bows.
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #6 - Aug 12th, 2003 at 1:45pm
 
Truthfully I don't practice enough to gain enough accuracy to hunt. I've managed to hit a coke can once in 10 throws one time during a practice. If I can't hit a coke can more often than that then I don't consider it a good option. Your calory used to calories gained makes that a poor option for a hunting weapon for survival. Using rocks you need a stone about golf ball to tennis ball in size to be effective, metal projectiles can be smaller. To reduce the chances of frightening the game off you want to do like folks using the atlatl and so a single stroke with the missle flying toward your target during the stroke. In other words your only stroke is your power stroke. I heard from one guy that hunts raccoons with his sling, it is a 22inch retention cord sling and he holds the loaded pouch in one hand and then uses the resistance of the off hand to allow the throwing hand to give the power to the throw.
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #7 - Aug 13th, 2003 at 2:38pm
 
It has been a long while, but I used to hunt four things with my sling on a regular basis: squirrel, rabbit, coyote, and birds.

Squirrels were easy enough, they would cuss you out instead of getting out of the way.

Rabbit was different, those you had to lead unless you were fortunate to spot it before it spotted you. Unfortunately, they don't sit still long anyway. However, anyone who's observed or hunted rabbit knows that they tend to run in a set, looping pattern. So, to hunt them, I'd use a dog, an untrained dog actually, that just loved chasing things. Take the dog out in the field, spook a rabbit, and off the dog goes. I'd wait where I was, sling slowly rotating overhead. As the rabbit came back around, I'd gauge the lead and fire. Usually the dog was making enough noise that the rabbit didn't hear the stone coming and made no attempt to avoid it. (Dog was small enough not to be able to actually catch the rabbit, or at least never did, but could give it a good run for it's money.)

Both of these could be taken with 1/4" to 1/2" bearings or similar ammo.

Coyote was different. You could take one with 1/2" bearings if and only if you hit it right. The problem is they're very clever and intelligent animals. In my case, hunting them was more to scare them away or just chase them. (I was a kid at the time.) I never did manage to hit one, which is why they were so much fun to "hunt".

Birds I usually hunted with the shotgun method: a handful of 1/8" bearings or shot near that size in a pouch. Effective enough, but you had to be quick sometimes. Some birds, like sage hens, will just sit there until you either get them or give up in frustration. Others take off, and you have a limited window in which to sling.

Sneakiness is a definite need so to get close enough, especially when hunting birds.

However, I've also been able to approach to within slinging distance with the sling rotating over my head. The key here is to move forward only when the game is not looking at you. Apparently, the rotating sling overhead doesn't spook them that much but the movement of the hunter will. Out of curiosity, I've approached deer this way with success, but for obvious reasons have never tried to take such a large animal with the sling. I have approached and fired at a tree or some such off in another direction just to see what would happen. The results were mixed as described below.

As to noise produced by the missle, I can't address that as I'm completely deaf. But I have noticed that with bearings the animals wouldn't spook when the missle was loosed. The same was true of the smoother stones. Instead of spooking, they'd actually look towards the sound in curiosity. Rougher stones, though, did seem to sometimes spook them, more often than not if I recall correctly, but here again it could go either way.

That was then, this is now. Animals change, too, as man encroaches into their territory, so I don't know if hunting with a sling near human habitation might not be easier now than before or the opposite is true. Up in the wild, I think animals are still very wary, but not as unused to man as before. I believe that they have a sense of hunting seasons now, so the time of the year could also be a factor.

Bill B.
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LeonX22
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Whack!  Eat stone grasshopper!!!

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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #8 - Aug 14th, 2003 at 8:26pm
 
Thanks Bill.  My real interest in slinging is founded on the idea of hunting.  I'm just plain curious as to how difficult it would actually be.  Truthfully, I dislike guns and compound bows for hunting.  Perhaps I'm just a sucker for self punishement.  Perhaps I just enjoy a good challenge.  Either way, I'll take your advice and give it a go.   Wink

Leon
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Brent
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #9 - Aug 27th, 2003 at 8:10pm
 
HELLO EVERYBODY IM A NEW MEMBER AND INTERESTED IN SLINGING.IT IS VERY INTERESTING LISTENING TO YALL
TALK ABOUT HUNTING WITH A SLING BECAUSE HUNTING IS THE REASON I GOT INTERESTED IN SLINGING.i HAVE TRIED HITTING SQUIRRELS WITH MY SLING WITH '"BUCKSHOT"  AND I CAME REALLY CLOSE TO HITTING IT. i THINK THAT USING A CUPPED SLING WITH "BUCKSHOT" MIGHT BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN WITH AN OVAL OR LOVELOCK POCKET. BRENT
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #10 - Aug 27th, 2003 at 9:08pm
 
Welcome Brent.

Jeb's article on cupped slinging is a good place to start, as you mentioned in another thread.  I have used a regular "flat" pouch for buckshot, and it was pretty effective. 

Does anyone know if buckshot would actually disable or kill a bird or small animal?  I've been hit with buckshot from a sling, and it's not even comparable to a bee sting.
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LeonX22
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Whack!  Eat stone grasshopper!!!

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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #11 - Aug 28th, 2003 at 9:21am
 
Yes, I think your right Brent.  I've tried loading buckshot into my leather pouch with no success.  My pouch is not cupped and the buckshot will fall over the edges before I really get a chance to swing.  I was thinking of sowing leather at 90 degree angles on the edges of the pouch to create a kind of edge so the buckshot won't slip out.  I'm guessing, however, that these edges will grap on larger bullets and lead to less accurate throws. 

Maybe I'll make a sling especially for buckshot.


Leon
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LeonX22
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Whack!  Eat stone grasshopper!!!

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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #12 - Aug 28th, 2003 at 9:26am
 
hmmmm.......yeah, but just imagine if that bee was the size of your head.  That sting might feel a little more considerable.   Shocked Shocked

Leon
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Re: Sling it...beat it...eat it.
Reply #13 - Aug 28th, 2003 at 1:22pm
 
if you guy's made a wad like a shotgun it will propably work. I have made them for my slingshot but not my sling. What i did was take the shot and wrap it in toilet then ty it. Most of the time when it was released the toilet paper would tear and the shot scatter. Almost just like a shotgun. If you had proplems maybey a different type of paper could be used.
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Reply #14 - Aug 28th, 2003 at 8:54pm
 
Well, I've been hit by a shower of buckshot on a number of occasions. †It fans out pretty quick after release; By 150 feet, its about a 3' radius. †I had a helmet on to protect my head.

I've also been hit with rocks up to an inch in diameter going at about 70 mph, and they hurt for a bit. †The force is probably comparable to a twice the force of a paintball. †

Ammunition has to be really dense in order to inflict serious damage. †This is why the romans used lead shot. †The smaller ceramic and stone projectiles found at many archeological sites wouldn't have been a major source of casualties. †

Gun, I think your idea about prefabricating buck shot "packs" would work well.  Just drop it in the pouch and go.
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