Friday, September 7, 2012
Personally I hunt with a slingshot simply because I was raised hunting with a slingshot. It is the first projectile weapon that was placed in my hands when I was only six and a half years old. I come from a family of slingshot hunters, my father and uncles hunted with a resortera as kids and so did their uncles and there the line continues.
When I was six years old my maternal grandfather took us fishing in Seal Beach under a bridge, I saw my father take a walk off to some grassy area with his homemade resortera powered by surgical tubing and some pebbles/rocks and come back 30 minutes later with a nice sized cottontail rabbit he hit in the eye. I was forever moved by this event and saw the slingshot as an awesome weapon( we ate good that evening). Later I learned he had acquired the surgical tubing from our Family Dr. that donated to him from the stethoscope for always mowing the lawn at the DR's office.
As a kid at six and a half my father took us to rural Mexico to visit my grandparents and while in the pueblo "small village" while gathering provisions to go to the ranch we encountered a "resortera puesto" simply put a slingshot stand. Well I looked with curiosity and saw a curious looking plastic framed slingshot with round solid rubber tied down on the forks and tied to the leather pouch. Well my father bought this "first resortera" for me and he retied it so it would work well for me.
All father showed me was a quick demo of how to shoot it and after that I went on to explore with my first hunting weapon in the 3 month visit in rural Mexico.
At first I did not shoot well but as I kept at it I soon killed my first few birds and small frogs and lizards. Soon I was scolded by grandmother to never kill unless I intended to eat something so they cooked the small birds for me to eat.
But they did not want to cook the lizard (they said that kind was poisonus to eat) yet I was wiling to eat it as I had learned a new rule. You killed it, you eat it.
It was for me a very exciting experience but then you learn that this comes with responsobility.
By eight years old I started to build my own slingshots from forks collected from the various trees my father cut in his tree service. The journey has never stopped and will continue.
I am not trying to delve into history too much I just wanted to give a bit of a background to my reason for why I hunt with a slingshot.
I am 37 at this writting and I have had 30 years experience with a slingshot and 28 years making my own for hunting purposes.
Slingshot style hunting is not for everyone and it demands discipline, patience, practice and responsobility.
Hunting with a slingshot: Can be very exciting especially for those who are new to it, however it should not viewed as a fad hunting sport.
Hunting with a slingshot will bring your awareness of your natural surroundings to a higher level and will hone your tracking, stalking, sensing abilities to an almost psychic level.
Ultimately you must ask yourself why you would want to hunt with a slingshot?
When I was a kid the main reason taught to me by my grandparents is this simple statement; to bring home some meat so we can have with our maize, beans and squash.
The slingshot is simply a low powered projectile weapon for filling the pot nothing more, nothing less. To make a slingshot out to be a canon or a gun is quite silly, but there's nothing wrong with exploring the full potential that can be harnessed from a rubber powered projectile.
It's even more silly to use this humble weapon to boost your ego by creating a silly ranking system of how much game you kill with it or what kind of animal you kill with it. I would say this is down right childish and irresponsible.
This then is the main reason I hunt with a slingshot right here: A fine meal of a young desert hare "jackrabbit & dumplings" enough for four to six people to eat more than they need, or one man to have various meals for a few days.
One young jackrabbit some, veggies and some bisquick and a good cook's touch. All provided by a simple slingshot braided from wire hangers and powered by chained office rubberbands and smooth oval river rocks for ammo.
I believe in only killing enough game to eat and not more but maybe an extra few to have in the freezer that's more than a man and his small family needs.
Nico's personal Guidelines for hunting with a Resortera
These are my own self guidelines to the way I treat hunting with a slingshot nor are they meant to be any official rules, but if you like what you read then maybe it can be of some help. Everyone is different in their views, but that's life.
1. Work on your accuracy, no matter your choice in slingshot whether it is self made or a wrist braced slingshot. Make sure you are proficiently accurate in order to hunt effectively with your slingshot. Make sure you use the same ammo for hunting in your practice sessions that you intend to use for your hunt.
2. Always target the vitals of your chosen game, usually with any slingshot this means whether you hunt, rabbits, or squirrel go for the head always; quail, or pigeons target the head and neck for a quick kill. In line with #1 accuracy plays a major role in this.
3. Respect your chosen prey, all creatures deserve the same respect we all do and that means you make sure you eat what you kill and not kill it just to "brag about what you killed" or show off your marksmanship. In rural Mexico and Central America this was so important that mothers would tell young boys to not kill birds to show off but only kill for food because El Duende (a nature spirit, goblin) would beat them for hurting these creatures.
4. Finish what you started, not all kills are clean this is a reality even with firearms so if this happens make sure you finish the game so it does not suffer further.
5. Pest control: it is ok to control pests with a slingshot, just make sure they really are pests and that you are not just using the "pest excuse" to kill something to show off to your buddies on a forum. A true friend would tell you this is the wrong thing to do.
6. Know your prey understand it's habits and habitat before you go out in search of this wild creature.
7. Practice your stalking skills and your tracking to ensure you can get close to the wild creature you decided to bring home for supper.
In the end you need to ask yourself if hunting with a slingshot is something you should or should not do. As I have said there are many reasons not to hunt with a slingshot as much as exist to want to hunt with a slingshot this more of a personal choice.
Finally you should know the limitations of your weapon, it is my personal view that largest animal a person should realistically hunt with a slingshot should be a Hare or Jackrabbit as they are called here in the states. In fact the largest animal I have ever taken with a slingshot is an 8 to 10 lb jackrabbit. There are others who have done more than this but these are rare occurences and I don't feel it's responsible to encourage budding new slingshot users to injure something larger than a rabbit before they know what they are doing.