Saturday, 29 June 2013

Primitive Hunting weapons and Practice

Managed to get a few more things finished up recently, and set out to the woods for a practice session.

So far I have made:-

Atlatl using just a greenwood branch with a side branch for the hook to connect with the two darts made. I used the flint points and fletched using feathers from crow and pigeon. Tied with artificial sinew.
Bushbow An Ash self bow, with two homemade arrows. Hazel shafts, Glass knapped points with notches, pigeon flechings. I brought along some modern bought wooden arrows for comparison and to get some extra practice in.
Sling made using one piece of sisal cordage, and ammo is small egg sized roundish pebbles gathered from watercourses and by the local tracks.
Target A cardboard box full of clothes :)

Making these things is fun, but without trying them out I feel its a little pointless, as I wont be able to see if I'm doing it right. I'm doing this from books and the internet, both of which have their limitations, in construction detail and methods of use I am finding.

The clear glass is a scraper for the arrow shafts.

I love these beer bottle glass points.

Flethings. Two arrows, and two darts.

Pointy ends fixed with pine pitch and artificial sinew (till I get some leg tendons)

Cordage sling. 
Thought this would be a simple and useful project using nettles when relying on natural resources.


So it was off to the woods, and very jungle like they are getting this summer. The bracken was above my head in some places and the midges were out in force, seeking out the stinky primitive hunter of cardboard :)
I brought the Air Rifle along to try and set the sights and play with some new domed pellets.

The range...

set at 15M due to the novice operator

Some missed of course, but I like this picture. Both modern and primitive arrows busting straight through half rotten wrist thick wood after travelling 15 metres, the modern one carrying on through a second seasoned small diameter section. I'm pleased with the power of my Bow. I pulled it with a luggage weighing device and it came out at 32lb.

A better grouping, fingers and wrist sore though. Need to get the leather working gear out I reckon. 

Atlatl time, and a few came close, but I need to adjust the spine on the darts as they arn't flexible enough and are happier down a much longer range. Spine weight effects both power and accuracy, and I need both for short ranges. 

Considering the amount of chucks on the arrows and darts the points and fletchings held up well, apart from the one un-notched point, which after being buried in the ground and bouncing off branches and boxes, finally came loose.

I tried the sling out, and was just getting the hang of it as I ran out of rocks. I quite like the simple over the head one throw action for novice accuracy and is a realistic one as swinging it round loads, could scare off prey. I'm looking forward to playing with this more though as its quite good fun, but I'm rigging a blanket next time to catch the hard found perfect pebbles.

All in all good fun, lessons learnt,  lots more practice needed, and a few tweaks to the kit.
Looking forward to improving, and putting into practice more things I've read about and seen. 

If you are reading this and have experiences using this type of kit, feel free to comment.

Cheers, Paul.