Slingshots can be used for outdoor games, sports, target practice and even hunting. Some people may see slingshots as fun toys, but they can also be used for serious shooting and hunting animals. You’ll find many modern slingshots that have been redesigned to be used as serious hunting weapons. Slingshot hunting has gained popularity because slingshots are lightweight, easy to carry around, and can be used with a wide array of ammunition. This article will give an overview of the pros and cons of hunting with a slingshot, how to hunt with a slingshot, and factors to consider when investing in hunting slingshots.
Pros and Cons of Hunting with a Slingshot
- Slingshots are smaller than other hunting weapons, such as bows and guns, which make them easier to maneuver through thick bush.
- They are silent weapons which reduces the likelihood that your location will be revealed.
- Within a 30-meter range, slingshots can easily kill small game such as birds, rabbits and squirrels.
- Some slingshots can be modified for arrow shooting to kill larger game.
- Ammunition for slingshots is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. If you find yourself out of steel balls or marbles, you can easily use rocks or large nuts for ammunition.
- Shorter shooting range, although in general, the range is adequate enough to hunt small game.
- Takes a lot of time and practice to aim and hit targets accurately.
- Not suitable for hunting larger game, unless you spend time and money modifying your slingshot.
How to Hunt with a Slingshot
To become a successful slingshot hunter, aim and strategy will be your biggest assets. When hunting with a slingshot, it’s important to shoot game in the head to kill them instantly. It can be risky to shoot small game on the body because their meat can get ruined from internal bleeding. Game such as rabbits or squirrels are still able to run away after being shot in the body. Instant kills are the most humane way to hunt with a slingshot.
To ensure a kill, shoot targets when they are at rest. If your prey is on the move, it will be close to impossible to land a headshot. Stalk prey near their homes or feeding grounds. Look for their underground burrows or nests and wait patiently for them to stop and rest. You can also listen closely for bird calls to pinpoint their exact location. As a hunter, you need to be silent and move swiftly to ensure that game do not get scared and run or fly away.
Factors to Consider
1. Frame Material
The three most common slingshot frame materials are: metal, plastic and wood.
Out of the three, metal will be the most lightweight and sturdy option. Durable metal frames will be more expensive than wooden or plastic frames, but sometimes you can find cost effective aluminum or steel slingshots with plastic or ergonomic foam handles. If you’re looking for the most economical option, a plastic frame will be your best bet. The quality of plastic frames depends on the type of plastic used. One of the most durable types of plastic you’ll find for slingshots is glass-filled nylon. When it comes to investing in a hunting slingshot, wooden frames are not recommended. They can be easily damaged by rain or snow, and therefore, do not last long in outdoor environments. It’s best to find a slingshot that will hold up well in various weather conditions and outdoor elements.
2. Band Type
The modern slingshots you’ll find on the market will either have rubber tubing or flat bands.
Slingshots with rubber tubing are recommended for hunting because they’re long lasting and durable enough for extended trips in the wilderness. They also give you a wide range of versatility because you can buy them in various diameters and thicknesses. This allows you find tubes for your desired draw weight. Flat bands, on the other hand, wear out more easily than rubber tubes. However, they are easier to draw and give you a higher degree of accuracy and speed. They have a rapid snapback which increases your projectile speed. Flat bands are recommended for self-defence slingshots.
To ensure that you can hunt effectively with a slingshot, your handle needs to have a comfortable, yet solid grip. A good grip will be one of your biggest assets because it can reduce hand and wrist fatigue and allow you to shoot more accurately. Look for slingshots with a contoured handle and ergonomic design that fits naturally in your hand. Some slingshots even have a hollow screw-cap handle that gives you extra storage space. A hollow handle will allow you to store spare bands, ammunition or other survival gear.
A sight will be a useful feature to have on a hunting slingshot because they can greatly improve your shooting accuracy. Sights are recommended for hunting slingshots since your targets will be small game that can move quickly. They are also helpful for beginners who have yet to master aiming techniques with their slingshot.
If you’re serious about using a slingshot for hunting, it’s also important to choose your ammo wisely. Steel balls are highly recommended for hunting because they can kill small prey effectively. Larger calibers (3/8” and 1/2”) are heavy duty enough for hunting. They can also be used over and over again, since their even, round shape is nearly impossible to destroy. Lead ammo can also be used for hunting because of its high density. However, lead balls have negative environmental and health implications because they deform when they hit hard surfaces and can quickly leach into the ground. Low density ammo, such as glass, clay and rocks, will need to be at least 1” in diameter to work well for serious shooting. To compensate for larger ammo diameters, you’ll need wider space between the forks and a bigger pouch.
When it comes to slingshot hunting, it’s important to invest in a high-quality hunting slingshot. Research different hunting slingshots on the market and make sure they have a sturdy frame, durable rubber tubing, comfortable handle and hunting sight. Be sure to invest in ammunition that will kill prey effectively. Also, remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to shooting accurately with a slingshot.