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Slinging in the Woods (Read 1224 times)
kentuckythrower
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Kentucky, U.S.A.
Slinging in the Woods
Aug 22nd, 2015 at 3:08am
 
Here's some food for thought. Most folks are accustomed to using slings in wide open spaces. While I was working a prehistoric site in Southern Ohio a couple of years ago, one of the archeologists on my crew unearthed a cache of pebbles that were just the right size to be used as sling stones. For those of you not familiar with this area, for thousands of years it has been heavily wooded and at first glance not at all an environment you'd even consider using a sling in. Nevertheless, something inside me clicked "on" and I decided to do a bit of experimenting. I collected a bag of stones off a gravel bar and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could hit targets (tree trunks) out to the end of my line of sight. Granted, the longest throw was only about 15 or 20 yards away, but found there was plenty enough clearance above waist high to take shots in all directions. The predominant groundcover consisted of a mix of stinging nettles, blackberry bushes, and sparse honeysuckles. Up until I saw that cache of stones, I would have never even floated the thought of using a sling in such thick vegetation, but proved to myself it's possible. As an aside, the streambeds provided a good deal more space to throw, but with the overhanging canopy of vegetation it still drastically reduced my range, as I was forced to throw beneath the branches and wild grape vines. All in all, it was a good learning experience. Time for the disclaimer. I do not mean to infer that the natives in the Central Ohio Valley were using slings around 2,500 years ago, and nobody today can say for certain why those pebbles had been stockpiled. Until someone finds a sling (we do have evidence of textiles already), it's anyone's guess as to what their use was.
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The_Peltast
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Re: Slinging in the Woods
Reply #1 - Sep 1st, 2015 at 10:51am
 
Your post brings to my mind an interesting thing to consider. You mention plenty of clearance above "waist high"; I'm curious what style of throw you used in the woods? It also begs an experiment to try myself; using a figure-8 throw while keeping the pouch above my waist for the chance of being in brush or perhaps a swampy bog and performing a throw. I'd imagine it could be done but I'd have to experiment.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Slinging in the Woods
Reply #2 - Sep 10th, 2015 at 11:57pm
 
It's actually easier than you may think. The slings I use are normally about the length of my arm and easily clear the underbrush. Granted, I don't let the affair hang down to the ground as most folks do prior to the swing up as this will cause snag. As far fetched as this seems, I hold the pouch out in front of me towards my target somewhat horizontally and let fly...no figure eight or any fancy stuff. I swing around and cut loose in one single smooth motion. I was absolutely amazed this worked, but it did. Granted, in really dense thickets a sling is all but worthless, but from what I can tell, it's entirely plausible these things can be used to effect in a forest with the typical underbrush and somewhat limited visibility.
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