Saturday, April 27, 2013
Hello again fellow blog reader, since the humble wire coathanger slingshot's rise to popularity, there have been many ideas thrown around and also misconceptions with regard to my own use of this style of slingshot and what is and isn't what I have said.
I hope those of you who have enjoyed making this alternative weapon will bare with me this simple Q & A as I feel it is necesarry to keep the facts straight about this humble poor man's weapon.
So without further red tape let's get on to the meat of this quick post that will clarify some facts about this style of slingshot and my use of it.
Q: Is the Alambre Resortera the only slingshot you have ever made and used?
A: No, for the last three decades I mainly used slingshots made from natural tree forks as that is the base of my slingshot traditions. Because I worked in the family Tree service business in Southern California I had the opportunity to try all types of trees for slingshot use.
However, the Alambre slingshot is also part of those traditions and was introduced to me when I was in my pre teens, circa 11 or 12 years of age. During this time having been the naughty boy that I was my parents tried to curb my making slingshots by preventing me from harvesting forks from trees while working with father. During this time I knew some kids from Baja Mexico and when I told the kid about my dilema he told me the story of the slingshot forks made from braided wires. Added to this my grandfather told me his version and from there my personal exposure to such a slingshot in a slingshot stand in Yahualica Jalisco planted the seed of creativity. I am 38 years old right now and I started to explore the wire coathanger slingshots within 11 or 12 years of age but this style is not the only one I use.
Q: Is the Alambre Resortera the only slingshot you use to hunt smallgame?
A: No, like in the first question and answer for the majority I used natural tree forks and one board cut that my great uncle a guitar maker helped me make in Juarez Mexico. As a pree teen and a teenager when I did use the alambre resortera I killed the odd pigeon with marbles and took plenty of invasive sparrows and starlings.
It was in the last two years that I decided as a personal challenge to myself to test the limits and full potential that is possible with a properly made wirecoathanger slingshot. When I accepted the personal challenge my first major accomplishment was the harvesting of a cottontail rabbit. From here the use of the simplistic wire coathanger slingshot as a hunting tool became a growing fascination, since this time other rabbits and jackrabbits and wild fowl have been harvested with the use of the alambre resortera. In between I have still hunted with natural forked slingshots.
As a side note; the first slingshot I ever used to hunt was a classic plastic fork resortera from the Mexican mercado armed with round solid elastic I was 6 and a half to seven years old at that time.
Q: Do you claim that the wire clothes hangers were the only alternative, that kids have in the poorest barrios of Mexico?
A: No, I was told by a kid from Baja that this style was one used as an alternative never have I claimed that this was the only material available to poor slingshot makers. I believe this story was taken out of context when I gave one of my alambre resorteras to my amigo Gary Flatband Miller, he had said that where he grew up in the Metro area you could get in trouble for cutting trees and was why they also made wire wire hanger slingshots and he felt this was also the case with Mexican Alambre Slingshots.
I told Flatband on a note with my gift that is style was one used in the poorest barrios of Mexico and I hold true to this story, if you're that poor where will you get cutting tools or a hand saw to cut boards with? So yes the Alambre resortera is one of the many alternatives that existed and exists for any poor slingshot maker. I know many men decades older than me who made these slingshots as well.
The tradition is not limited to only using wire hangers there are wires all around you and I have used similar scrap wire to the wire hangers to make resorteras as well. I even have a friend who made an alambre style slingshot from scrap barbed wire.
Q: In recent times there has been some bad mouthing of this style of slingshot from people who imagine themselves to be "slingshot designers". What is your take on these negative commentaries?
A: Different strokes for different folks, no one says you have do what I do or even try to imitate the style/tradition. There are as many positive endoresments of one's way as there are the opposite. Then again some of these people do this not out of hatred for the style but as a personal stab at the one who popularizes such a thing.
Here's a link to some positive commentaries on the Alambre Resortera back in 2011 when I presented one of my creations at the Rebel Slingshot Forum; note nothing bad was ever said during this period.
That's all I can think of for now and if you have any questions feel free to email me.