Alongside hunters armed with compound bows and scoped rifles, Steve Spencer—a machinist from Missouri—beats the brush with a weapon that dates back to the Middle Paleolithic era. The atlatl is a throwing weapon that uses leverage to fling seven-foot darts to over 100 meters. Anthropologists believe the atlatl was used to put meat on the table by emerging cultures on virtually every continent.
Spencer is part of a small movement of hunters who are shelving their modern weapons in favor of something more visceral and challenging. Although state game officials worry about the effectiveness of primitive weapons, hunters in three states have already successfully taken down deer and other small game with atlatls. Spencer hopes to harvest his first deer in the upcoming season.
Music: “Nightingale” by Airtone and “Squirrel Hunter” by Septahelix