Sunday, November 13, 2005

Talk about "fair chase" hunting...

The Pennsylvania state Game Commission is thinking about adding the atlatl to the list of legal hunting weapons:
To use an atlatl, throwers hook arrowlike hunting darts into the end of the atlatl, which is generally a wooden piece about 2 feet long. The leverage of the atlatl allows them to throw the 5- to 8-foot darts much farther than they could throw a spear.

At BPS Engineering in Manhattan, Mont., a leading manufacturer of atlatls, sales have averaged about 450 in recent years, said owner Bob Perkins. Customers pay $140 for his company's 2-foot maple production-line model, the Warrior, along with a set of five 5 1/2-foot aluminum darts.

Perkins has killed two deer with atlatls and, a couple weeks ago, got his first buffalo.

'Atlatls were the first true weapon system developed by the human race,' he said. 'They were used longer than any other weapon. Comparatively speaking, the bow and arrow was a recent development in projectile technology.'

There is evidence that the weapons were used more than 8,000 years ago in Pennsylvania, said Kurt Carr, an archaeologist with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Prehistoric atlatls have a distinctive counterweight feature called a winged banner stone that has helped confirm their existence at digs in Huntingdon and Bucks counties, among other places, said Carr. Atlatl use goes back far as 12,000 years elsewhere in North America and far longer in Europe.
And I'm sure that the atlatl has just moved into 728th place on the list of items that certain groups will want to ban.

A quick Google shows their website to be at Atlatl Bob - Precision Atlatl & Dart Systems. As mentioned in the article, a hunting atlatl with 5 darts can be yours (or mine) for $140.

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