[Chuck] Butorajac, who lives in Ligonier, is a member of the Pennsylvania Atlatl Society, which is trying to make it legal to hunt deer and perhaps other species in Pennsylvania with an atlatl, a device that anthropologists say dates back almost 20,000 years.
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An atlatl is essentially a stick-like tool, about two feet long, with a small hook on one end. That hook fits into the back of a seven- or eight-foot-long spear -- or dart, as some refer to it -- tipped with a stone or metal broadhead.
Two things make the atlatl so effective as a hunting tool, said Doug Leeth of Lawndale, N.C., a spokesman for the International Atlatl Society. One is that it serves as an extension of the hunter's arm, allowing him to throw the spear with more power. The other is the weight of the spear.
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"This is going to be bigger than the pet rock, the hula hoop, whatever," Butorajac agreed. "If we can get the OK to hunt with these, this is going to be big."
Link. What that last bit means is, essentially, every kid is going to want one. But they'll shoot their eye out.
Indexed by tags hunting, Pennsylvania, atlatl.
Image credits: Copyright Ken M. Brown, 1986, available at The Graham-Applegate Rancheria, Texas Beyond History, borrowed for news reporting and comment purposes.