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Slings n rabbit sticks
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Graybeard
posted
Wondering if anybody has ever played around with making n useing a rabbit stick or David n Golaiath type sling? I know in the southwest n West they both were used by Natives to add small game to the cook pot. Been seriously considering building n learning to use them. With all the crap about guns going on having an alternate choice besides a pellet rifle might come in handy someday
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southeast Pa. | Registered: 03 February 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
Picture of Pare-
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My Dad and uncles and other Seminole men were probably the last generation I know of to hunt small game with throwing sticks (rabbit sticks). I have a couple that are hickory that both of my sons used. We always had better results throwing them side-arm.

Pare-
 
Posts: 100 | Location: Little River, I.T. | Registered: 06 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
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Pare ,what type of wood was used for the sticks in the Seminole areas? Thanks
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southeast Pa. | Registered: 03 February 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
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Found some oak boards about 1" thick n 4" wide 24" long, laying in a parking lot today. Looks as if it may have come from an oak dresser or piece of furniture that somebody broke down to trash. Looks about right to make some rabbit sticks from that would be useable by me. I'm small statured at 5'3" n the finished stick should still be heavy enough to be effective yet small n light enough for me to control n get some omph behind. Crazy how little fe works out sometimes n ya find materials to use in the strangest places. Pays to keep yer eyes n brain open to ideas when out n about :-)
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southeast Pa. | Registered: 03 February 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I know what a sling is,but I've never seen a rabbit stick.....any pics?....How do you use one?


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1488 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
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Boar picture a boomarang shaped stick a little heavier on one end, usually thrown side arm to I guess widen the hit capabilities. If ya punch in "rabbit sticks" on Google ya should find a bunch of examples. I'm a techno neanderthal so posting pics n such is out of my league hahaha can live in the woods for a month no problem but techie stuff is pretty much beyond me ;-)
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southeast Pa. | Registered: 03 February 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Thanks,I did that....Shoulda' fingered it out for myself,it makes sense that Aussies wouldn't be the only people to figure out how to hunt with a bent stick.... Wink


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1488 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
Picture of Pare-
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Birdman, they were hickory, but probably any hardwood was used in historic times.

Pare-
 
Posts: 100 | Location: Little River, I.T. | Registered: 06 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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This is an interesting thread.

I think throwing sticks in one form or another were pretty common in many areas of North America, among the indigenous people.

If you can get hold of the book, American Indian Survival Skills, by W. Ben Hunt, you'll find a schematic drawing for a Hopi throwing stick (AKA rabbit stick) on page 181. This may even be reproduced on the internet, somewhere, but I have not found it.

I would also recommend Survival Skills of Native California, by Paul D. Campbell. There is quite a lengthy discussion of throwing sticks in this book, including a photo essay documenting the manufacture of one of these in the traditional way. There is also a good chapter on slings, incidentally.

Both the Pueblo-style and the California rabbit sticks were more or less boomerang shaped. The Hopi stick described by Ben Hunt had a flattened diamond-shape cross section and was made from a bent branch, while the Northern California rabbit stick discussed by Mr. Campbell had a "gable roof" top side and a "flat bottom," and was made from a straight limb that was heated and bent before carving. Either way, the grain will follow the curve of the stick and will make a much more durable weapon than one cut from a plank. I know when I was about twelve years old, I labored long and hard on a boomerang cut from a plank. It actually worked pretty well for my first couple of throws, but then my older brother tried it and one of the arms split off when it hit the ground, on his first throw.

You can see a number of original native rabbit sticks in the Online Collections Database of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Try this link:AMNH Collections. On the left side of the page, in the box labeled "Sort" (near the bottom) select "Object Name." Up at the top, again on the left side of the page, you should see a box labeled "Search." I would recommend using the search term throwing stick. Then click on the little blue "Search" box near the bottom. You can try it again using rabbit stick as the search term, and you'll get a few more. They show a number of throwing sticks from all over.

The AMNH Database search also brings up a couple of Choctaw throwing sticks. The eastern (or at least the southeastern) throwing sticks were more like clubs, quite different from the "boomerang" style of the western people. The book, Oklahoma Seminoles: Medicines, Magic, and Religion, by James H. Howard and Willie Lena, has a good section on southeastern throwing sticks and clubs. The Creek (and evidently Choctaw) style clubs were simply a straight section of tree branch or trunk left full diameter at the head, and cut down to a convenient and smaller diameter at the handle, like an elongated hand maul or old-fashioned potato masher. The Seminole throwing clubs Howard and Lena describe were different, cut from a tree trunk with a section of trunk as the head, and a branch off the side as a handle. The result looked more like a hammer or mallet, except the branch/handle section was not quite at right angles to the head. Maybe harder to describe than to make... In any event, I was very interested in brother Pare's comments about Seminole throwing sticks (above). I am curious as to whether the sticks he has are mallet, maul, or boomerang type.

I could envision a new rendezvous event or side match with throwing sticks. Set up a stuffed bunny a little way out and see who can knock it over. Move it out a little farther for every relay, until all of the contestants but one are eliminated. It could be fun.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Notchy Bob,


"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
 
Posts: 313 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Hivernant
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The one's I have are shaped like the Creek ones shown in Howard and Lena's book. Most of the ones I've seen at so & so's house were the same.

I'm related to the Lena's, who have Spanish ancestry, like myself. I worked with Amos (Willie's son) and he said "Dad liked to mess with Howard and didn't always tell the truth..." That may be the case with the throwing sticks. I was really curious about it and got a copy of it from the library when it first came out and showed the pictures to my grandpa, who was the same age as Willie. He said it was different than what was normally made. Either way, it would still be effective.

Pare-

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Pare-,
 
Posts: 100 | Location: Little River, I.T. | Registered: 06 February 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Graybeard
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Thanks Pare, figured if anybody would know it would be right up your alley. Notchy you might be onto something there, include throwing into a woods walk, kids games or lady's competitions. Lots of possibilities it could be included into. Either as a separate competition or included in a more complex event. Hahaha could even be used as a tie breaker. I've seen some lady's really toss a cast iron pan so I'd bet they could make a stick sizzle throwing g it
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Southeast Pa. | Registered: 03 February 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Thanks, Pare, for your response. It's always good to hear from the folks who have first hand knowledge on these topics under discussion.

I have a couple of wooden hand mauls I made for driving my froe, but I've never tried throwing them. I'll give it a try.

Notchy Bob


"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
 
Posts: 313 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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Yeah one of the best scenes in Jeremiah Johnson, if you find an uncut version, is when his wife , Swan stops him from trying to shoot a bird or two with his rifle, and she takes them out (iirc) with a throwing stick...which is what Indian kids and women would do to gather food and save ammo.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3664 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Hmmm,never saw that scene.Good excuse to watch it again Wink


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1488 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Factor
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It's cut from some versions. ALSO check out when Johnson meets the chief Paints His Shirt Red for the fist time....Johnson is trying to fish in creek by hand.... a closeup of the man shows the muzzle of his gun, and it's a double barrel, shotgun/rifle.

LD


It's not what you know, it's what you can prove
 
Posts: 3664 | Location: People's Republic of Maryland | Registered: 10 November 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I remember that rifle that Paints His Shirt Red carried... was nice. I thought Swan was throwing rocks at the birds. I plan on digging out the DVD and watching it again. Was a good movie!


Sua Sponte
 
Posts: 460 | Location: SW Virginia (New River Valley) | Registered: 13 August 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Free Trapper
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Not to mention a rival publication...but "Backwoodsman" a couple months ago published an article on making throwing sticks. I have made a set as described and think they would work fine in close quarters for rabbits, squirrels, and even grouse....would really cause you to prefect your stalking skills....have practiced with mine and will try out on one of my winter trips into the "weeds"....Gary


" You do with your scalp as you wish and don't be telling us what to with ours."
 
Posts: 158 | Location: lake champlain, vt | Registered: 03 January 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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Cool,let us know how it works...


Beer is proof that God loves us,and wants us to be happy-B. Franklin
 
Posts: 1488 | Location: Oreegun Territory | Registered: 24 March 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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My Dad (long gone now) used to tell the story about how as a 16 year old with a broken leg, he hobbled out into a field and whacked a sitting rabbit in the head with his crutch.


Know what you believe in. Fight for your beliefs. Never compromise away your rights.
 
Posts: 898 | Location: Cherokee Land, Tenasi | Registered: 06 January 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Booshway
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I hunted elk in Colorado back in the 80s. There were birds that I was told were "Blue Grouse". They were maybe slightly larger than eastern ruffed grouse, but tamer than barnyard chickens. You could get very close to them before they flew, and then, they only flew up into a nearby tree. I can easily see how all you would need was a stick to kill them.

But all the cottontail rabbits I ever encountered spooked and ran out 15 yards or farther before stopping. You would have to be pretty good to consistently hit them with a stick...


John
Vive le Roy!
 
Posts: 510 | Location: Colony of Maryland | Registered: 04 November 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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