Atlatl Season

A few years ago now at Thanksgiving one of my cousins was talking with an uncle of mine about deer hunting. They talked about what he might want to buy in order to start and then I completely derailed the conversation.

I’m not much into hunting, but I’m perfectly willing to inject random observations into people’s lives.

“You know,” I said, “it seems like hunting goes more primitive all the time. It’s kind of a throwback to begin with because it’s not like anyone really needs to shoot deer to put food on the table, but seems like people make it more primitive every time they turn around.”

“You’ve got regular deer season and then you’ve got muzzle loader season and then you’ve got bow season. You know what they ought to have? Atlatl season.”

My uncle (in the same tone that he used to use when I was five or so) said, “If you get deep enough into the woods, I’m sure you can use whatever you want.”

Recently, I was rather amused to learn that people really are working to make atlatl hunting legal in Pennsylvania. Atlatls are sticks that are used to add force and range to a thrown javelin. Its an ancient weapon that has been used all over the world. I first became aware of them when doing research for a paper on the Anasazi.

It’s still pretty bizarre that people are actually considering it though. If it does go through, what can people do to top that? Can you go even more primitive? If you want to, I’ve got a few suggestions.

1. Chase Down Deer with a Flint Knife Season
2. Scare Deer Herds into Running Off a Cliff Season, and finally
3. Teeth and Fingernails Season

Oh, and though this doesn’t fit with the “even more primitive than atlatls” theme, I’ve got just one more suggestion that pays tribute to Wiley Coyote…

4. Anvil Season: I just like to imagine all the hunters hanging around in deer blinds and dropping anvils on things.

3 thoughts on “Atlatl Season”

  1. Years ago when I lived in Florida I read a story about an accomplished local hunter who had done the muzzle and bow thing and was ready to try something more challenging. He scoped out a tree under which deer regularly traveled. With a rock the size of a baked potato in hand he dropped down onto the back of the deer (Florida state deer are smaller than their northern cousins) and beaned it in the noggin to dispatch it. The hunter was licensed for gun, and bow. Word got out to the authorities and he was fined.

  2. When my father-in-law still ran his hunting ranch he had all kinds of weapons come in. There was an atlatl guy, and a guy that took down a wild boar with a knife. Cross bows, hand made bows, etc. Good stuff.

    I have a friend who hunts with his atlatl every year.

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