Clay bullets or hardened clay balls as a small game hunting projectile for slingshots
History and background
Archaeological accounts show that, in ancient Europe and the Middle East and also in Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica ancient people made large clay bullets that they baked in an oven for their use with the ancient sling weapon. We know the sling differs from our rubber powered slingshot yes. They made large bullets of natural clay which were then baked in an earthen oven and this ammo was used in combat,
yes combat against other human beings. Clay sling bullets have been found in Hamoukar Syria as early as 35,000 B.C. that were used in warfare.
But I digress as we move along to the hunting oriented uses of the hardened clay projectile.
In Hunter and Gatherer societies there are known accounts of blowgun users that shot clay balls at birds to harvest as a food source, the Maya were notorious for their use of blowguns projecting clay balls.
The Eastern Pomo tribe of California hunted waterfowl with slings and clay balls that had straw within to help density and were baked in the sun.
Here is an authentic hunting set made by Pomo hunters. From the Phoebe A. Hurst Museum of Anthropology. Ducks and mud hens were taken in the Clear Lake Area with this hunting set.
Around the 16th Century we have accounts of a projectile weapon more related to and possibly the ancestor of our rubber powered slingshot. The stone bow or stone crossbow, of this stone shooting crossbow we have records of it's use for small game. The original projectile was a rounded baked clay ball.
This 16th Century wood cut depicts English Hunters shooting rooks in a tree at night with a pellet crossbow which used baked clay balls as ammo. This picture is from an article "Ballistics of the Bullet shooting crossbow"
Well there you are, clay balls can take even rabbits. If you practice and hone your accuracy you can with a simple home made slingshot powered by office rubber bands and simple hardened mud feed yourself and your family.
There is no need to look for fancy made slingshots or buy lead balls from some fancy vendor. As long as you have stones and or clay mud you will never be with out suitable hunting projectiles for your slingshot.