Hunting with a Slingshot (With Video)

Hunters have become accustomed to stalking game with the latest equipment , but one of the funnest, cheapest and oldest forms of hunting is with a Slingshot in Europe they are known as a catapult.  Hunting is fun and challenging, and requires skill, practice and the ability to be fairly accurate.  Slingshots 003_3have less shooting range than a rifle or shotgun, but if you miss the game typically will hang around depending on what it is, and you can get followup shots.  I keep a variety of commercially and hand made slingshots and take them out with me regularly and practice while I am walking down a trail.  You do not need any special target just pick a rock stick or whatever stop and take aim, and see if you can hit the spot or item you selected. Soda cans hanging on string swinging in the wind work well. Just make sure you are not going to take out any windows or break anything where you intend to practice.

To ensure success in slingshot hunting make sure you can hit whatever you are aiming at at least 75 % of the time at distances from 10-40 feet.  Ammo can be free, here in the desert I use the abundance of smooth stones for my smaller slingshots, and taking small game.  For larger animals I uses heavier loads made from lead or steel and a slingshot designed for larger animals made by my dear friend Madison Parker at Primitive Supply.   They are the finest made in my opinion. You can use it for small game however when taking quail and the like I use a small $3.00 Store Bought model it is quick on target and it does not take much to kill them.  Madison’s shoot a bit different because they will shoot a fairly large projectile and although I have not done it guys have used them to take deer. Like any other skill the more you do it the better shot you become.

Birds, squirrels and rabbits are the most fun.  Although I like stones because they are everywhere Slingshot ammunition like, marbles, steel nuts,  steel or lead balls , will give you more consistent shots and will help a beginner become more accurate quickly.   When hunting get as close to your prey as is possible, just keep your eyes posted while walking the trail, you will be amazed at how close you can get and what will present itself as you walk.  For survival situations practice stalking your game.   Have fun with it and you will do very well. Get frustrated or take an attitudes and you will fail. I have been using them all of my life, and still jam one in my back pocket or have one in my pack on the trail they are better than a video game.  I do not believe that you will ever check my car or pack and not run across one.


Copyright © 2009 by Steven L. Doran

All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.



2 Comments on "Hunting with a Slingshot (With Video)"

  1. Ed Harris on Thu, 8th Oct 2009 6:37 AM 

    When I was a kid I was deadly with the home made “beanshooter” or “bean-flip”. Our slingshots were home made from the crotch of a dogwood tree, with natural gum latex ruibber bands or 3/8 sugical tubing bound to the upright forks with 15 pound braided nylon fishing line, then varnished, all in the style popularized by the famous “Bean Shooter Man” Rufus Hussey of Ashboro, NC.

    While dried peas and Great Northern beans were common training ammunition for boys below the age of 12, but as teenagers were were entrusted with No. 4 or larger lead buckshot as serious hunting ammunition. It was Dad’s rule that boys could not hunt with a gun unsupervised until old enough to have a “learner’s permit” to drive. Bean shooters were OK.

    A boyhood friend had an original Colt 1851 Navy cap & ball revolver which we learned to shoot under Dad’s supervision, but at other times the .375 round balls we cast in the barn over a Coleman stove became our preferred, hard hitting slingshot ammo for use against rabbits in Mom’s flower bed, racoons attacking our garbage cans behind the back porch at night or groundhogs whenever we could “Indian-up” on one along the fence or wood line.

    The Wham-O slingshot of my youth is no longer made and many urban areas restrict the sale of “wrist rocket sligshots because they are commonly used as “gang weapons.” If you are ever reduced to making your own, you can do much worse than follow the methods depicted in the 1960s Andy Griffith TV show by the famous Bean Shooter Man Rufus Hussey of Ashboro, NC, and reproduce his lowly “Bean Shooter.”

    This link has how-to information. This is EXACTLY what I used as a boy. I still have mine, which has taken alot of rabbits and game birds. In a pinch it still would be a quiet self defense weapon. To carry a loaded slingshot in your overalls back pocket so that it is available for a fast draw, (with practice you can draw and shoot a pop can at 20 feet in 2 seconds) a single, large projectile is centered in the leather pouch, which should be LIGHTLY greased with Crisco, and retained by a rubber band doubled and tucked snugly around the pouch. When the slingshot is drawn and released, the rubber band is discards, sending the marble on its merry way.

  2. John on Wed, 17th Feb 2010 2:48 PM 

    Another wilderness use for a slingshot is to launch a starter line for setting a bear bag. Which is almost a necessity if camping overnight in bear country or even in areas where raccoons can be a problem. All you need is a cheap fishing reel 25-100 pound test line a decently powered slingshot usually a wrist rocket because you can mount the reel to the arm brace and a heavy fishing sinker. Launch the sinker with the attached fishing line. And then pull up the heavier line, fun way to use slingshots is add some color to your nature area or reduce erosion by making wildflower seed bombs, only use native plants please, this works great on hillsides along a nature trail. All you need is tissue paper or paper towel. Put a little bit of seed inside a square of the paper making to a pocket and glue edges shut with flour paste. Fire up onto the, mountain or hillside and come back next year or in a couple months. one more use for a slingshot, using rubber superballs or gogo balls. It is a great way to deter dogs raccoons and other animals from going through your garbage. Please aim for large muscle areas and avoid. the head neck and ribs so as not to cause permanent injury. I have also used paintballs, to mark the offenders. Makes it easier to talk with your neighbors about controlling their animals when you can prove what is going on.

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