Dec 9, 2009 at 9:45 am #1252249
Michael SchwartzBPL Member
@greenwalkLocale: PA & Ireland
Recently, several people have posted comments about sling shots in a few different threads. I am starting this thread with the hope of getting people to focus on the target of sling shots in one place. I am interested in finding out if you use sling shots to get small game while backpacking or just for target practice? What problems do you encounter? What type of sling shot do you use and why? Just a few questions to get the discussion going. Fire away! MikeDec 9, 2009 at 9:59 am #1551948
@tedinskiLocale: Suburbs outside of the Sticks
It's been a while, but I used to hunt small game with a sling… not to be confused with the modern "slingshot", with its rubber bands & fancy-pants aluminum frame!
The sling is an ancient weapon — two cords, and a bit of fabric/leather that acts as a pouch for the "shot". It took a lot of practice to get reasonably accurate with it… for small game, I found it best to spin vertically, and release the shot very near the ground. I hit my ankle once, and was very glad to be wearing boots. ;)
When I say a lot of practice, I mean it! I managed to get a rabbit and a woodchuck, but those were two successes amongst many many misses.
One small caveat — I never was trained to use the sling, just made one & started shooting. Perhaps there are articles out there for the "proper" use of a sling, with tips & tricks for accuracy?Dec 9, 2009 at 10:10 am #1551952
Luke SchmidtBPL Member
@cameronLocale: Idaho Falls
A friend was telling me how boys in Afica would us slings to protect their goat herds. If a baboon came around he said they were good enough to decide if they wanted to kill it or just hurt it.Dec 9, 2009 at 10:30 am #1551963
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
Here is a youtube video on big game hunting with a sling
He also uses a whisker on his later sling-bows.Dec 9, 2009 at 10:41 am #1551969
Jay WilkersonBPL Member
@creachenLocale: East Bay
I have a folding sling shot that I got a local sporting good store- I do not know the make and model..I bring it when ever I go backpacking with my son to pass some time in camp. My boy really enjoys trying to hit targets around the campsite…We do not hunt with it-just target practice only. I have to admit it!!-They are fun to have around in the woods.Dec 9, 2009 at 10:48 am #1551972
I searched for a long time for an ultralight tool that would work for hunting small game in the backcountry. In the end I decided to go with a slingshot, as it is the lightest effective tool for hunting (next to slings). Slingshots are not for everyone, however, as they require the most amount of skill in order to be effective for hunting. It takes a lot of practice to master a slingshot, and you should only hunt with one if you are willing to put in the time to hone your skills. One thing to note is, slingshots require the highest level of stalking, as you have to get fairly close to prey in order to get a good shot. I would not take a shot at an animal that is more than 20-25 ft away with my slingshot, as there is a real risk of injuring, rather than killing, the animal at those distances. Hunting with a slingshot always runs the risk of injuring an animal. That risk is a lot higher if you are not skilled with the slingshot, so again I stress, develop your skills with target practice before attempting to hunt with a slingshot. When you do hunt with a slingshot, I recommend carrying a sharp knife at all times, so that you may quickly put the animal out of its misery if you happen to stun/injure it. Headshots are key to killing the animal instantly, and with small game, the head is not a very big target. With enough practice, however, one can consistently achieve headshots when hunting.
The slingshots that I found work best for hunting are the traditional slingshots, NOT the modern wrist braced slingshots. Traditional slingshots are more intuitive and allow for much faster shots, especially for moving targets. Personally, I use the traditional chinese style slingshots. These can be acquired from http://www.dankung.com. These type of slingshots requires you to flick your wrist toward your target at the moment of release. This type of shooting is very intuitive. These are very small slingshots and it is hard to master this style of shooting. However, if you take the time to develop your skills with this style slingshot, it is by far the most effective slingshot for hunting, IMO. They have a steel version that weighs around 4 oz and a Titanium version that weighs around 3 oz. Personally, I prefer the lighter Titanium version. For dankung slingshots, 8 strand bands work better than 4 strand bands for hunting purposes, as they provide more power. Also, you should use 3/8" steel balls for hunting. These can be acquired from Trumark at http://www.slingshots.com. Lead balls supposedly achieve a higher velocity than steel balls, but I have never used lead balls as they are hard to find.
Slings are even lighter, and with enough practice, are just as effective as slingshots. However, they are even harder to master than slingshots and it takes a LOT of practice to be accurate with them.
-SidDec 9, 2009 at 11:14 am #1551983
I also forgot to mention the gentlemen at Dankung (I forgot his name). He offers many styles of the chinese type slingshots and he is willing to custom make you pretty much any type of slingshot you want. He is very informative and will gladly answer any questions you have. He is very pleasant to do business with and I highly recommend his products. Shipping takes a little while though, since they are shipped from China.
In case you're wondering, I do NOT work for Dankung… I'm just a very satisfied customer :)
-SidDec 9, 2009 at 6:17 pm #1552127
@tedinskiLocale: Suburbs outside of the Sticks
Neat links, Sid!
If only I'd had access to steel shot in those quantities, and that cheap, when I were younger!
Probably best that I didn't… no telling what trouble I could've caused. ;)
For more primitive sling "info", I just found the following site:
There are a BUNCH of articles & links to anything sling-related… even local groups who like to shoot.Jan 29, 2010 at 6:37 pm #1567742
Greetings…my name is Jim, and I am the Kentucky State Rep for the National Slingshot Association. You have received some good information about slingshots here. It does take some skill to shoot a slingshot accurately, and consistent. Don't be discouraged by that though, as it's just like learning to tie your boots. Bulk ammo can be purchased from Royal Steel Ball for about $30.00 shipped, for 15lbs. I recommend 7/16" over 3/8". The reason is that 3/8" doesn't carry enough kenetic energy to humanely harvest small game when using most slingshots. You have to be around 6 ft lbs of impact force to harvest small game, and yes, you aim for a headshot.
My suggestion is to start out shooting at a tarp, doubled over a couple times to create a 4' square area. This will allow you retrieve most of your ammo. Once you begin to tear a hole in the tarp about the size of a plate, you can start shooting into a cardboard box, setup as an ammo catcher. You'll be surprised at how quickly you gain accuracy if you practice about 20-30 min a day for a month or two. I'm accurate at over 60', and that's about the range I practice at.
I also recommend starting out with a boardcut slingshot over the dankung. The dankung is a great slingshot and will be a nice addition for any camping/hiking trip, but I wouldn't recommend this to start shooting with, because of it's small size. I do not sell slingshots to make money, but I am willing to make anyone a slingshot for practical purposes. I would encourage anyone wanting to gain further knowledge about slingshots to visit http://talk.slingshots.com/forums/index.php
My screen name on that forum is kybowtye.
Happy Plinking – JimFeb 19, 2010 at 7:27 am #1575799
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VAFeb 19, 2010 at 8:51 am #1575843
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Seems to me that a lot of time would be spent trying to obtain food. Not a good idea if one must rely on game for meals. In a survial situation, perhaps a natural snare would be more appropriate. And I would think that sling shot ammo would be more accurate than stones. I don't think we need more spent ammo laying around our heavily impacted natural resources.
Of course learning how to use one would be a lot of fun.Feb 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm #1576722
I haven’t shot a slingshot since I was a kid and believe me that’s been a long time ago. As I remember, I was the best shot in the world. Well – that’s how I remember it. Having been out of slingshots for 45 years or so I decided to buy one. Found TRUMARK'S FS-1 and ordered one. It had several features that I liked including the folding wrist brace, ammo storage compartment in the handle and it’s made in the USA. It should be here in a couple of days and I’ll start playing with slingshots again.Feb 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm #1576746
Before you go out and start killing animals, it would be very wise to check your local hunting regulations. Using a slingshot to hunt could likely be illegal in many areas. If it's not, you'd probably need a valid hunting license.
I live in southern California- probably one of the more restrictive hunting areas in the country. In most areas I hike, shooting small game with a slingshot would be poaching. Squirrels are illegal to shoot in Los Angeles County. Rabbits are subject to species, season, and location. Birds are regulated as well.
Gone are the days (probably with good reason) that you walk into the woods and start shooting things without a license, limits, and adherence to zones and seasons.Feb 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm #1576872
Simon WeissBPL Member
@simongtrLocale: Bay Area
I've got this idea for designing a multi-multi-use trekking pole that doubles as a blow-gun for hunting small game, and a a basic attaching for some alpine pool fishing.
I've never used a blow-gun before, but I've seen them, and a friend of mine said he had to use pliers to pull the dart from a tree. Seems like it could kill small game.
The trekking pole would have to be straight (I think) with no taper. I don't see why carbon fiber wouldn't work, though I'm pretty sure it would have to be 1 piece, and the tip would have to be easily removable. Darts with brightly colored 'feathers' might be easy enough to retrieve so you can leave-no-trace with your ammo.
Anyone used a blow gun before? For hunting, particularly…Feb 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm #1576884
"CA PENAL CODE
12580. "Blowgun," as used in this article, means a hollow tube
designed and intended to be used as a tube through which a dart is
propelled by the force of the breath of the user.
12581. "Blowgun ammunition," as used in this article, means a dart
designed and intended for use in a blowgun.
12582. Any person who knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for
sale, possesses, or uses a blowgun or blowgun ammunition in this
state is guilty of a misdemeanor.
12583. Nothing in this article shall prohibit the sale to, purchase
by, possession of, or use of blowguns or blowgun ammunition by
zookeepers, animal control officers, Department of Fish and Game
personnel, humane officers whose names are maintained in the county
record of humane officers pursuant to Section 14502 of the
Corporations Code, or veterinarians in the course and scope of their
business in order to administer medicine to animals."
Oh, and from the CA Department of Fish and Game:
"METHODS OF TAKE – Furbearing mammals may be taken only with a firearm, bow and arrow, or with the use of dogs, or traps in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 of the DFG regulations. "
I don't know about the DFGs position on birds, but I'd bet $100 it's illegal to take them with a slingshot in CA as well.
My ramen is WAY better than jackrabbit anyhow.Feb 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm #1576891
Here's some more info for CA concerning bird hunting with slingshots:
"§ 475. Methods of Take for Nongame Birds and Nongame Mammals.
Nongame birds and nongame mammals may be taken in any manner except as follows:
(a) Poison may not be used.
(b) Recorded or electrically amplified bird or mammal calls or sounds or recorded or electrically amplified imitations of bird or mammal calls or sounds may not be used to take any nongame bird or nongame mammal except coyotes, bobcats, American crows and starlings.
(c) Fallow deer, sambar deer, axis deer, sika deer, aoudad, mouflon, tahr and feral goats may be taken only with the equipment and ammunition specified in Section 353 of these regulations.
(d) Traps may be used to take nongame birds and nongame mammal only in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 of these regulations and sections 3003.1 and 4004 of the Fish and Game Code.
(e) No feed, bait or other material capable of attracting a nongame mammal may be placed or used in conjunction with dogs for the purpose of taking any nongame mammals. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an individual operating in accordance with the provisions of Section 465.5 from using a dog to follow a trap drag and taking the nongame mammal caught in that trap.
(f) Methods of take within the California condor range. Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to use or possess projectiles containing more than one percent lead by weight while taking or attempting to take any nongame birds or nongame mammals in those areas described in Section 3004.5, Fish and Game Code.
(1) For purposes of Section 475, a "projectile" is defined as any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot, shot, pellet or other device which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force.
(2) Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to possess any projectile containing lead in excess of the amount permitted in subsection 475(f) and a firearm capable of firing the projectile while taking or attempting to take any nongame bird or nongame mammal within the area described in subsection 475(f). The possession of a projectile containing lead in excess of the amount allowed in subsection 475(f) without possessing a firearm capable of firing the projectile is not a violation of this section."
So I guess it's OK if you have a hankering for pigeon.
I believe squirrel is also considered "non-game" but I do know squirrel is illegal to hunt in Los Angeles County (there have been plenty of rabies and plague outbreaks within the squirrel population of Southern CA- have fun eating those!).
So it basically sounds to me like slingshots are pretty much illegal for hunting anything you'd actually WANT to eat…Feb 27, 2010 at 1:17 pm #1579443
This is my titanium Dankung slingshot with a tapered band set up. I used 4 bands for the first and second ring sets and 5 bands for the third and fourth ring sets. The ammo next to it is a 50 caliber lead ball, the most powerful ammo I have ever used. However, lead ammo is just too heavy for backpacking.
-SidFeb 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm #1579485
Brett RasmussenBPL Member
@ascientistLocale: Grants Pass, Oregon
I use the folding Trumark FS-1.
It's made of aluminum, which keeps the weight lower than some. I just weighed mine and it's 4.6 oz. I'm not good enough to feel confident hunting with it, but it can still be fun. The steel balls are certainly faster and more accurate than rocks, but if weight is an issue can be left at home, although the same could be said for the slingshot. Just thought some might find it useful to know the weight.
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