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Author Topic: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths  (Read 1540 times)

Offline ellwoodjake

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New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« on: November 13, 2005, 12:52:21 PM »
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An ancient weapon that struck fear in the hearts of Spanish conquistadors, and that some think was used to slay wooly mammoths in Florida, may soon be added to the arsenal of Pennsylvania's hunters.


 
The state Game Commission is currently drafting proposed regulations to allow hunters to use the atlatl, a small wooden device used to propel a six-foot dart as fast as 80 mph. The commission could vote to legalize its use as early as January.

It's unclear which animals atlatlists may be allowed to hunt, but the proposal is being pushed by people who want to kill deer with a handmade weapon of Stone Age design. The name, usually pronounced AT-lad-ul, is derived from an Aztec word for "throwing board."

"For me, it would be a thrill to have a deer get up close enough and to throw my dart and hit the deer, bag it like my ancestors did," said Jack Rowe, 45, a veteran hunter and atlatl enthusiast from Sayre.

In Alabama, one of a handful of states that currently allow the use of atlatls for hunting or fishing, few hunters use them during deer season, said Allan Andress, the chief fish and game enforcement officer for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Even spear hunters Alabama game law also allows spears outnumber those using atlatls.

"As you might imagine, it's not something that most people have the skill or the patience for," Andress said.

Pennsylvania Atlatl Association president Gary L. Fogelman, who got the atlatl bug about 20 years ago, said he doubts that large numbers of deer will ever be killed with the weapon.

"You've got to know what you're doing, you've got to be good with all the outdoor skills in order to be able to score with this thing," said Fogelman, of Turbotville, publisher of Indian Artifact Magazine.

To use an atlatl, throwers hook arrowlike hunting darts into the end of the atlatl, which is generally a wooden piece about 2 feet long. The leverage of the atlatl allows them to throw the 5- to 8-foot darts much farther than they could throw a spear.

At BPS Engineering in Manhattan, Mont., a leading manufacturer of atlatls, sales have averaged about 450 in recent years, said owner Bob Perkins. Customers pay $140 for his company's 2-foot maple production-line model, the Warrior, along with a set of five 5 1/2-foot aluminum darts.

Perkins has killed two deer with atlatls and, a couple weeks ago, got his first buffalo.

"Atlatls were the first true weapon system developed by the human race," he said. "They were used longer than any other weapon. Comparatively speaking, the bow and arrow was a recent development in projectile technology."

There is evidence that the weapons were used more than 8,000 years ago in Pennsylvania, said Kurt Carr, an archaeologist with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Prehistoric atlatls have a distinctive counterweight feature called a winged banner stone that has helped confirm their existence at digs in Huntingdon and Bucks counties, among other places, said Carr. Atlatl use goes back far as 12,000 years elsewhere in North America and far longer in Europe.

"It takes some practice, but it's like the bow and arrow. I can't shoot a bow and arrow for beans, but I can use an atlatl more effectively," he said.

The World Atlatl Association, which has 380 members, has held an annual accuracy contest since the mid-1990s, and this year more than 2,000 people participated.

"People that are interested in archaeology and ancient history are the ones that seem to be drawn to it," said association president Richard B. Lyons, a retired firefighter from Jeffersonville, Ind.

Game Commissioner Roxane Palone, who generally supports legalization of atlatl hunting, said there are other game commissioners who probably will join her to vote for it.

"It's a good way to expand hunting opportunities," she said. "I don't think it's any more unusual than people who use long bows to hunt."

If the commission gives preliminary approval in January, a final vote in April could clear the way for atlatl hunting in Pennsylvania late next year, Palone said.

___

On the Net:

World Atlatl Association: http://www.worldatlatl.org

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Offline Morax

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2005, 01:16:24 PM »
all i gotta say is wait lemme reload my throwing rock here...... :-\
when in doubt shoot twice

Offline John Andrews

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2005, 10:19:31 PM »
Hunting with one of those would be tough, but fun.
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Offline Mad River

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2005, 11:53:37 AM »
Looks like something else to learn how to do. O0

I wonder if the price of the license will go up? :'(

I wonder if you'll have to buy another stamp? :'(
I have long know that it is part of God's plan for me to spend a little time with each of the most stupid people on earth.

I see you're playing stupid again...  looks like you're winning too.

Offline ellwoodjake

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2005, 12:34:00 PM »
Looks like something else to learn how to do. O0

I wonder if the price of the license will go up? :'(

I wonder if you'll have to buy another stamp? :'(

 ^-^........................only after you take a state sponsored stoneage safety course. Women are welcome to attend also , but must be dragged in by the hair, after a thorough clubbing. O0

Make sure you apply plenty of DEET, Mosquitos can be brutal when wearing a loincloth.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2005, 01:20:22 PM by ellwoodjake »
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Offline DIXIEBANJO

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2005, 02:02:14 PM »
Interesting.I made one of those once,and it was pretty fun to play with...but took some getting used to.You can really hurl those darts/spears hard.Its kinda weird though...when you fling the spear off,it bucks up dramaticaly,and then stabalizes.You have to practice a lot to use it accurately.It would make for a challenging hunt for sure.
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Offline John Andrews

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2005, 09:26:44 PM »
We got a game when I was a kid that were curved plastic hand scoopes with handles and with plastic balls that were about the size of baseballs. Of course, my brother Charlie and I substituted rocks and went hunting for rabbits. With the extra leverage, we could really sling the rocks with a lot of power and some accuracy.  :twisted: :) :) :)
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Offline Big58cal

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2005, 08:15:16 AM »
I've used one several years ago.  They're pretty cool to mess with.  We had a guy come in to one of our Hunter Education Workshops several years ago that had quite a collection of them.  This guy had been fighting to get the weapon legalized for hunting in several states.  He had just gotten back from some place in TN were he had taken a big wild boar with one.  He said it was really something to see, the pig running off with about 6' of dart sticking out of each side! :shock: O0
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Offline Morax

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Re: New hazard for Pennslyvania mammoths
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2005, 07:07:55 PM »
We got a game when I was a kid that were curved plastic hand scoopes with handles and with plastic balls that were about the size of baseballs. Of course, my brother Charlie and I substituted rocks and went hunting for rabbits. With the extra leverage, we could really sling the rocks with a lot of power and some accuracy. :twisted: :) :) :)

they have that as a sport, called jai lia or some spelling like that pronounced HI lie.. big down in south florida..
when in doubt shoot twice

 


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