In a real world SHTF situation that pits us in the middle of unfamiliar territory, being able to secure food will be essential to survival. One of the easiest weapons to bring along with you, any time you are venturing into the woods, is the slingshot. Slingshots are compact, lightweight, and yet powerful enough to bring down some fairly big game. Some of the more modern models use advanced technology that also allows the slingshot to be used more like bow, by shooting tipped arrows from them, rather than standard rocks and stones. A properly deployed slingshot may be the one thing that puts food on your table.
Before you can successfully use a slingshot for survival hunting, you must first become intimately familiar with it; the best way to do that is through the time-honored tradition of practice, and everyone knows practice makes perfect. The first thing you need to determine is the launch speed; how fast will the slingshot send a projectile down range? This speed will vary from one model to the next, as well as from one manufacturer to the next. The size, shape and weight of the projectile will also come into play; obviously odd shaped rocks and stones are going to have a different flight pattern and speed than an arrow would. The projectiles you practice with, should be very similar to the projectiles you intend to use in real world situations; if you practice with stones, then hunt with arrows, you’re going to miss more than you ever hit.
Practice on moving targets, if possible. The objects you will be hunting are seldom going to be stationary. Animals move, and they do so rapidly when frightened; you need to be able to aim and fire with accuracy at moving targets in order to improve your chances of successfully hunting.
Pouch positioning is also an important aspect to address. If you hold the pouch too low, the projectile will initially fly out higher than intended. If you hold the pouch too high, the projectile will initially fly out lower than expected, and in all honesty, probably land no more than 10-20 feet in front of you. You’ll need to find the sweet spot for the slingshot, the projectile, and you.
Accuracy is paramount to successful survival hunting, especially with a slingshot. Since most of the game you will be hunting will be in the small to medium range, you will want to focus on attuning your shooting skills so you are capable of landing a head shot when possible. This is going to be difficult, especially on moving targets, so if you’re using an arrow from your slingshot, then you’ll want to wait for the animal to stop before firing. If you hit small game with a body shot, it could result in internal bleeding, which may ruin the meat if the animal isn’t cleaned immediately.
Helpful Hint: Look for a multipurpose slingshot if possible. There are a few models out there that have additional survival related accessories, such as a fire starter, or compass in the handle. These provide you with extra prepper gear that might just come in handy during a disaster scenario.
Hunting with a Slingshot:
The best method of hunting with a slingshot consists of finding the den of animals you want to hunt. Rabbits usually live in an underground warren, squirrels live in hollowed out trees, etc. Find these areas and establish a hunting blind where you can wait on them to enter or exit the hole. This is the time they are least active, they like to come out slowly to check their surroundings, and they usually do the same thing when returning to their homes, stopping momentarily to inspect the surrounding area before entering their den. This will provide the best opportunity for a successful kill, without wasting ammo.
Rabbits are about the biggest game you want to try and tackle with a traditional stone throwing slingshot. However, if you’re hunting with a newer model slingshot that throws arrows, then you can take down such things as wild boar and small deer. That being said, you don’t want to waste ammo on an unsure shot. Ill placed shots may injure the animal without actually killing it, this is bad for both; the animal suffers unnecessarily, and you are still hungry, but now you have one less piece of ammo to continue hunting with.
Squirrels and chipmunks are plentiful in the backwoods. They are extremely fast when they want to be, so finding the tree they use as their habitat will definitely improve your odds of sacrificing one for a meal. The best time to take a shot at a squirrel is when it is descending the tree itself, rather than when they are ascending.
Birds are another form of small game that you might decide to hunt with a slingshot. If birds are what you have for a menu, then we recommend using pellet ammo rather than an arrow, unless you’re taking down something like a duck, turkey, pheasant, etc.
Although a slingshot may seem like a less than lethal weapon, it can cause personal injury, up to and including fatalities, when used improperly. This goes double for the newer models that use arrows for ammunition. Always practice safety when using a slingshot!