Primitive Hunting in Missouri

By Chris Berens, D&DH Intern

  As Deer & Deer Hunting showed on The Rub Line blog back in February 2011, this video of a young boy killing a deer with an atlatl shows the effectiveness of the archaic weapon.

  Now Missouri is one of only a few states that allow deer hunting with the atlatl, the ancient weapon that predates the bow and arrow. The 2010 deer hunting season was the first in the state’s history, but the weapon may only be used to take deer during the regular firearms season in Missouri.  Several other states allow them to be used for hunting small game and non-regulated species.

  Atlatls have a small but devoted following with groups like the World Atlatl Association, Inc. that sponsor events, forums and promote the weapon’s history and use.

  An atlatl consists of a short stick, or handle, with a notch for the dart to rest against. The dart, which can be several feet long, is launched from the handle with a throwing motion. The dart can be thrown up to 100 yards or more, but has a lethal accuracy range of 20- to 30- yards, similar to primitive archery equipment. This makes a combination of effective camouflage and scent-free clothing a great advantage for getting inside that tight kill zone. Use of the over 30,000-year-old weapon will offer hunters another challenging option for pursuing game. 

  What do other deer hunters think about the use of this uncommon primitive hunting weapon?