How to Hunt with a Slingshot (Best Practices)
In this article, I will cover how to hunt with a slingshot in the best way possible.
The classic slingshot. There were several names it was called: “bean shooter,” “flip,” “Kattie,” “ging,” “wrist rocket,” and “hand-catapult,” to mention a couple. In recent times, the hand-held slingshot has been linked with mischief and youth vandalism.
Yet this sneaky projectile-flinger does have a wide range of useful survival applications. This weapon relies on durable elastic materials to be used, and so it was developed in the same period as vulcanized rubber – which places the sling in the slingshot.
That makes this device 172 years old, but the basic principles behind slingshot are really thousands of years old.
The “Sling” was among the most commonly used projectile tools used in hunting and war since the Stone Age.
Slings were mentioned by Homer in The Illiad and Troy, used by the Romans, and, of course, was the weapon used by David to kill Goliath in the Elah Valley.
Today, a slingshot is the ultimate DIY survival weapon, but there are still several sophisticated modern versions available for purchase today.
Slingshots are more stealthy than even the quietest shooting air rifle, which ensures that you can target an animal without scaring any other possible prey nearby.
A strong and sharp projectile flying at a speed of several hundred feet per second can be lethal to small animals. Now, in this article, I’m going to show you how to hunt with a slingshot in the most effective and safe way possible.
Let’s dig in.
Hunting with a Slingshot Safety and Legality
First and foremost, a slingshot is definitely not a kid’s toy. It is a real tactical weapon. So please treat it like that.
Without proper consideration for this weapon, anyone may be badly hurt. Try to Google slingshot accidents If you dare to…
Here are a few simple safety-of-thumb rules:
- When you fire slingshots, wear eye cover. They don’t have to be rubber science goggles or even expensive Markman specs – sunglasses are superior to none. Just take the time to cover your skin. They’re essential to life. Projectiles going at high speed appear to ricochet, and if your eyes are in the way, you might go blind.
- Don’t shoot a friend of yours. They’re friends of yours.
- Don’t kill your rivals until you have to. It is called an assault if it is not justified by self-defense.
- Do not fire the animals unless you are:
- Your 100 % perfectly confident someone isn’t going to miss an animal (i.e., someone’s pet). Don’t shoot people’s dogs.
- Make aware that it is not an endangered or otherwise unique species.
- You’re hungry enough to eat the kill (unless it’s a disease you’re looking for).
- You’re lucky enough to drop the kill with headshots. I’m going to explain why soon.
There are also certain state “legal standards” that you ought to be mindful of. Although there is no federal agreement on the legitimacy of these tools, you do need to look at what the deal is in your area.
Twenty-two states have no laws regulating slingshot shooting, although others have strict laws. Many states permit their use in the killing of small game and birds or non-game or unprotected animals only.
Florida, for example, allows the hunting of non-game animals and furbearers only. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Texas, to name a few, do not allow slingshot hunting at all.
Currently, 32 states allow slingshot shooting in some capacity. Tap here for a list of the legislation in all 50 states.
I still think it’s safer to be safe than ticketed or, worse, prosecuted for some sort of slingshot crime. The Natural Resources and Game Warden office of your state should be able to answer all your questions.
Main Uses for Hunting with Slingshots
Before we get into hunting with a slingshot, I would like to cover all the uses for slingshots. Slingshots can be used for a variety of purposes, including the following:
Hunting is the most common reason for which slingshots are used, and it’s clear to see why: slingshots are stealthy, light, simple to use, and effective for small animals.
Although slingshots lack the range of guns, bows, and other hunting arms, their compact size and quiet nature make them ideally suited for the hunting of rabbits, mice, and birds in close distance.
Although you obviously don’t want to wear a slingshot to a gunfight, in some situations, wrist rockets can act as fairly useful self-defense weapons. Again, their compact scale, portability, and silent qualities make them successful at preventing threats at close to intermediate ranges.
Note: Slingshots are capable of producing a fatal blow, so make sure that you are confident in using one before throwing a metal pellet through the air to another person.
You might need to hang a rope or a cord in a tree for a number of purposes. You may need to lift your food bag to keep it safe from bears and coyotes, or you may need to hide items up in the tree canopy.
You might also need to hang ropes from a tree to hold your shelter. Unfortunately, though, it is often impossible to put a rope into a tree successfully.
However, if you attach a piece of rope to a bullet, you can simply use your slingshot to hang a rope from a branch. Only use the arcing path and aim a few inches above the target branch.
With a little preparation and persistence, you’re going to be able to send the projectile – and the attached string – up and down the branch. Arborists and tree pruners have been using this trick for a long time.
Slingshots can help send messages over uncrossable barriers, such as rivers or canyons. Simply append a small note to the projectile and send it along a high arcing path to the landing zone.
Just be sure to use caution so that you don’t hurt the people you’re trying to interact with, and also be sure they’re expecting a projectile to go there.
With a little forethought and a few well-placed projectiles, it is always probable to frighten small animals, forcing them to run towards you or into a waiting pit.
For instance, you might send a projectile over the head of a squirrel to smash into the bushes behind it. Typically, this will send him racing in your path, where you’re preparing to take the benefit of an excellent target.
How to Hunt With a Slingshot
A well-placed shot from a slingshot will hurt or even kill a human. Don’t use a slingshot on a human, please. To repeat, when using the slingshot, wear eye protection. There are several types of sunglasses that can offer any form of impact protection.
Know that a slingshot propels projectiles at great speeds, and they can and will ricochet if they strike the ground or other objects.
For this purpose, you should also avoid shooting a target at a point-blank range, particularly when using ammunition that could splinter on contact, such as rocks.
However, when it comes to shooting, bear in mind that you are shooting a comparatively slow projectile (compared to, say, a gun) using a hand-held weapon.
It takes a lot of ability to produce enough energy to kill on contact, which is what you should be looking for. Rabbits and pheasants may be the best targets, but both appear to freeze when they realize the predator is near, allowing you a better chance.
Pigeons and squirrels are both good animals to hunt as well. Slingshots are best for a small game in close distances. Accuracy is more important with a slingshot than with a rifle or a shotgun, so it is highly important to get close to your animal.
Somewhat bigger prey, including ducks and geese, can also be taken with a slingshot. While it is important for any prey to reach a headshot, it is much more important for these larger species.
An incorrect shot of a squirrel will wound it, enabling you to close the gap and kill it with, say, a knife. An incorrect shot of a goose can at best result in a wild bird running, and worst, well, angry geese wings snapping your arms.
Either way, prepare and practice until you know for sure that you’re going to strike the head on the first strike.
Don’t hunt unless you know you’re precise enough to strike a one-inch target within ten yards on any of your targets. And if you have more effective weapons along with the abilities and skills you need, you shouldn’t depend on them.
It’s practical to know how to craft, restore, and use as many survival hunting weapons as possible, such as the slingshot, as an example.
Start making a slingshot and spend as many hours as you can playing with it; get used to the weight, the pull of the bands, the trajectory of the throw, and the use of various ammunitions such as steel nuts, ball bearings, and stones.
Slingshot Hunting Tips
You’re going to have to learn the art of stalking to effectively target and kill small game. Here is that and a few extra tips:
- Make sure you empty your pockets with all that jangles—keys, loose change, and your projectile pick. Hold the ammunition in a separate muffled pouch to prevent it from making noise.
- Cover up in comfy clothes. Unlike weapons, slingshots can enable you to hold a loaded shot trained for a long period of time, which can easily trigger exhaustion. Light and comfortable clothing means that your weapons are not quickly worn so that you can hunt for a longer period of time.
- Don’t wear heavy scents like colognes and deodorant, which alert the prey to your location.
- If there is a crosswind (wind passing perpendicular to your aim), be mindful that it will impact your attempt. Projectiles that are sufficiently wide and not aerodynamic are more vulnerable to crosswinds, so turn ammunition if required.
- Familiarize yourself with the design and appearance of the footprints of your prey. Check for fresh footprints, walk slowly, and stop to search the area for signs of the existence of the animal.
Remember the species you’re looking for. If you know the food they want and the plants, they’re familiar with. You can use this information to find out where the prey will be without ever seeing it. Know what to do with the animal you’re looking for. Have a clear understanding of how to skin the bunny or pluck the duck. We don’t want to kill an animal and make it go to waste.
- Do not walk on any debris. Snapping twigs and rustling leaves the prey alert and frightens them.
- Be ready at any moment as the chance to take a shot will move easily.
- When you see prey, keep cool and silent. Try to hit the impact scale, at least 8-10 feet, to ensure full effect.
- Before you fire, make sure you’ve got a clear, clean shot. There’s nothing but your slingshot and your prey. Still shooting for the head in order to kill one-shot. Shoot deliberately and be careful not to let the animal suffer needlessly. If you don’t completely commit, you might lose your chance and skip a value meal. A wounded animal could die needlessly later in its burrow when you still have an empty stomach.
Always practice! The most effective advice for slingshot hunting is to be very well experienced. Slingshots need more preparation than most types of shooting, so practice. Think you’re pretty well-practiced? Practice more.
Best Hunting Slingshot
The shortest explanation is that the best slingshot hunting is the one you’ve brought with you. If you don’t have a slingshot and need one for an emergency situation, it’s easy to make yourself.
In fact, we already have a section right below this on making a DIY hunting slingshot! The other solution would send you down the road of commercialism.
The best slingshot you will buy will have top-quality elastic straps, wrist protection to secure the slingshot to your forearm, which will have an extension, so the forks are going forward.
You will find a generic slingshot online for around ten dollars, while a fancy one would cost you forty dollars or more. However, these improvements will cost you a fortune.
The corollary to the issue is that the slingshot you’re most familiar with would be the right slingshot for you.
Tournaments were won with plain, homemade wooden slingshots. They were also won by the fanciest of sophisticated slingshots.
Hunt with the slingshot you have the most experience with.
Best Slingshot Ammo
Part of the appeal of a slingshot is that you can use something lightweight, strong, and heavy as a projectile. PGN Bearings (Amazon Link) is the gold standard, but a number of other items can be used, including:
- Small stones or pebbles
- Tree nuts (i.e., acorns)
- Shaped pellets of clay
- Large shells
- Shotgun shells
- Big balls of rubber
Obviously, neither of these projectiles will do as well as the steel fired, and they will all show different flight characteristics.
However, you should learn to take these variations into account with the practice, so make sure to take your slingshot and a number of different projectiles into the backyard for a little practice, so you’re able to use whatever is convenient.
DIY Slingshot for Hunting
It’s useful to know how to make a hunting slingshot in case you find yourself in a tough situation and in need of a shield or a hunting tool, but it’s also fun to make a slingshot using your own hands.
Though the method is fairly quick and straightforward, the whole project can take you at least an hour – if you want it to be well-constructed.
Next, gather all the stuff you’re going to use to make the slingshot. This contains the following:
- Y-shaped thick stick
- Surgical tubes
- Leather bit
- Strong strings (dental floss works well)
- Locate a Y-shaped object if you don’t have one by you. It should be around 1-foot-long (you’ll cut it down afterward), and the forked ends should be at least 30 degrees (one-third of the right angle) apart. Be sure to pick a very durable stick – maple, dogwood, hickory, and ironwood are among the finest woods you can choose from.
- Trim the stick with your saw as necessary, and then dry it out. The moisture present in the wood makes the slingshot flexible, which compromises its strength and stability. Just let the stick sit in a warm, dry space for a year or two to operate, but you can also put it in a fire for an hour and put it in a microwave for around 30 seconds at a time before it stops hissing (wrap it in a towel first to help prevent fires and wick out the moisture).
- Break the link at the end of each arm of the slingshot frame. This will give you a safe spot to attach the surgical hose. Don’t make the notch too deep, as the attachment point can be compromised. Just make a little nick in the wood to hold the tubing in place.
- Break the tube into two different bits. Most people would find 12-inch-long lengths to be about perfect, but you can tailor the length to fit the length of your limb. Only note that the shorter the bands, the quicker a bullet is fired. You’re going to want to cut the tubing wider than you should, so you’ve got enough material to tie the tubing to the frame and the leather pouch, so don’t cut it too short—you can always grab more material later.
- Wrap the tube across each arm of the frame. Tie the bands in place with the dental floss.
- Break a hole in both sides of the leather. Thread each tube length into the hole on either side of the pouch. Double the tubing back against itself and tie it in line with the dental floss.
- Gently inspect the slingshot a couple of times to make sure it is solid enough. If you are sure that all frames and bands are safely connected, you can start playing on your new slingshot.
- In this video, you can see a slingshot being made.
If you can see, a slingshot is a very effective weapon to help you survive tough conditions. Since they’re quiet, easy, and lightweight, they make a perfect addition to any bug out of the bag.
And because they’re going to fire anything from steel shots to tiny rocks, you’re hardly going to have to think about running out of ammunition.
You’re usually better suited by buying a commercially made slingshot, but you can still make your own in a pinch (just remember to put a bit of surgical tubing in your bag).
Make sure to practice your slingshot enough to be able to use it, and you’ll be more trained to feed and protect yourself in a survival situation.
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I am a survival practitioner, and I have been doing everything possible to prepare for when SHTF since 2009. I am an outdoor enthusiast, and I am a preparedness expert. Learn more