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Slingshot Hunting Slingshot Hunting Myths

Discussion in 'Articles' started by August West, Apr 28, 2016.

By August West on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:43 PM
  1. August West

    August West Veteran Member

    May 17, 2014
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    Slingshot Hunting Myths

    If you peruse the internet you will find a lot of people with ideas about hunting, unfortunately a good many of the people that spout these ideas have very little practical experience and are simply regurgitating information from others and the media. Hunters in general have taken a bad rap, in some cases deservedly and in other cases not at all. Let’s be blunt here, the definition of hunting is to find, kill, process and ultimately eat animals. There is no way to G rate it or make it something other than what it is, the end result of the process is that something dies. This is a natural and everyday occurrence on this planet and up until just a few short years ago it was an everyday, hopefully, occurrence in human’s lives. In modern times we have given up our hunter gatherer lifestyles and have moved into huge communities and completely distanced ourselves from this natural process of killing our meat, instead we pay others to do it out of sight and out of mind from our daily lives, however, if you eat meat you are a hunter just like any other, you just pay someone to do the dirty work for you.

    One of the issues I would like to address here is the myth of the “clean kill”. Anytime hunting comes up, with a slingshot, rifle, shotgun or any other method, someone will invariably come up with the statement “I am not opposed to hunting as long as it is a clean kill”. Well aren’t they just the tolerant ones? Well guess what, that is what every conscientious hunter is trying to achieve, no one, except maybe psychopaths, want the game they are hunting to run off and suffer a lingering death. This blog is dedicated to slingshot hunting but really this applies to every method of hunting including the slaughter house. Doing the best that you possibly can, every kill is not going to be instantaneous, that is impossible and is not going to happen. If you decide to go into the woods and hunt with any weapon you had best steel yourself to that fact and prepare yourself to dispatch wounded game as quickly and humanely as possible. With that said, you should always use a weapon with enough power to cleanly harvest the game animal a majority of the time, but also realize nothing is perfect and you WILL sometimes have to take a second shot or dispatch the animal another way. We owe it to the game we hunt and no one wants to see anything suffer but the ugly truth is that nature is brutal and this concept of “clean kills” is strictly a human invention, this is how it happens in the natural world.

    The next thing I would like to talk about is the ran into the ground statement that you should “only take headshots”. Anytime any group of slingshot enthusiasts get together and start talking about hunting someone will immediately chime in with a statement that goes something like, “slingshots are OK for hunting but only with a headshot”. Yeah? Really? Well I will tell you from practical, real world experience that belief is a huge, steaming crock of…..well yall get the picture. Sure headshots are great and without a doubt will secure the animal on the spot however it is most certainly not required. Slingshot sized game, rabbits and squirrels, can be anchored very effectively with a properly set up slingshot with shots to the vitals, no question about it. A lead or steel ball moving at 225 fps or so that weighs over 100 grains will do a lot of damage and will result in a clean kill and game in the bag. I am not trying to get too graphic, however this is a hunting site and we are talking about killing animals. If these pics gross you out then you may want to think about another hobby.

    This is a typical body shot squirrel, it was shot by myself from about 10 to 15 yards. As you can see from the first pic there is no visible damage to the squirrel.


    This next pic shows the point of impact when I was cleaning the squirrel. The ball did not penetrate the hide but the damage was massive.


    This next pic is the inside of the body cavity showing caved in ribs and broken spine, this squirrel was very cleanly harvested.


    This is not an isolated incident but is very typical of what a slingshot set up with hunting bands and the proper ammo will do. This squirrel was shot with the scout slingshot in the first pic with tapered theraband gold bands, the taper was 30mm to 20mm cut 8.5″ and drawn to 38″. The ammo was .43 caliber lead. Headshots are definitely preferred but rest assured a body shot will put them in the bag as well!

    The last myth I would like to address is “it is not about the power but pinpoint accuracy”. Again this is purely a myth, based on a little bit of fact, but none the less still a myth. The people that spout this myth will constantly bring up cases of animals being killed from a precise shot from a low powered slingshot. The perfect example is using 3/8s steel balls as hunting ammo. It is very true that with very precise headshots you can take game with light ammo and light bands but you will wound much more that you take and really there is no point in attempting it. This is exactly like grouse hunting with a .410 shotgun, sure you can take birds but you are likely to wound many more than you would with a 20 or 12 gauge. You owe it to the game you hunt to use a set up with enough power to adequately harvest game with less than a perfect hit. Animals move, it is easy to clip a limb or jerk your release and not hit exactly where you want to, hunting is not target shooting and hunting weight set ups should be used…..PERIOD!

    Hunting, and slingshot hunting in particular, can be very rewarding and provide clean, chemical free food. However it is not something to be taken lightly and every care should be taken to ensure as clean a kill as is possible. That means using a setup with enough power and practicing with that slingshot to the point you can reliably make shots in any hunting situation. It also means excepting the fact that you are not always going to make that absolutely perfect shot and preparing yourself to make a quick second shot or dispatch wounded game as quickly and humanely as possible. There are for sure no absolutes when it comes to hunting but we can stack the odds in our favor by proper preparation.

    Thanks for reading, Chris
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I am 49 years old and have been shooting slingshots for most of my life. Started out as a youngster with a natural tree fork made by my grandfather then moved up to commercial large tube slingshots, I preferred the ones without the wrist brace. I shot a commercial marksman for the better part of 20 years with a variety of different tubes but trumark tapered tubes were my all time favorite. Then a random internet search showed me the world of modern slingshots and the rest is history. Currently I either shoot a Simple Shot Scout or a homemade slingshot made by myself or Toddy. I am a dedicated flat band shooter with .030 latex being my favorite band material.


Discussion in 'Articles' started by August West, Apr 28, 2016.

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