Hunting with a Spear (With Video)
A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft with a sharpened head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself which can be hardened in a fire if necessary. Or it may be of another material fastened to the shaft, like we have done using the Cold Steel Bushman.
Spears were one of the most common personal weapons until the advent of firearms, even after they were used up until the first world war by cavalry soldiers called lancers. They are known by many names and were made in different configurations like the lance, the , the assegai, harpoon, bayonet; gaff, leister, and the pike to name a few.
The spear is most certainly one of the earliest weapons made by man to be used for hunting and fishing, and it is still being used today around the world. When hunting spears can be used to thrust into an animal or as a ballistic weapon and thrown at an animal. For many reasons thrusting from a hide or a tree stand is the safest when hunting dangerous or larger game. When hunting this way you are more likely to hit the animal in a vital area causing a quick clean kill. Verses throwing the spear it may wound or just aggravate the animal if your spear does not hit its intended mark.
Typically when persons throw a spear they are elevated in some type of a tree stand when alone or are chasing down some type of small game. When chasing larger more dangerous game, typically multiple hunters are involved. The hunters will attempt to cut their prey animal out of the heard or in the case of something like a bear attack it from many different directions keeping it turning and off balance until they can make the kill. This may take repeated attempts and is very dangerous when you are alone.
Some tribesmen use what is known as the atlatl or womera to get more distance and power with the spear. Like anything else a spear can be an effective tool for hunting or self defense. But it is not something that you can typically just pick up and go to work. It takes practice. You may also find that you need change the length or weight of the spear to suite your personal size and strength.
There are plenty of spears available on the market today by cold steel and others. However we would recommend that you try making your own and experimenting in the field before going to that expense. The Cold Steel Bushman is a good inexpensive choice to get started, since it is a multi-tasker.
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.