Atlatl throwing is gaining popularity as a fun and challenging hunting and target shooting sport.
Atlatls were some of the earliest hunting tools used by humans, predating the bow and arrow. It is used to throw a 4 to 6 foot long, spear-like projectile called a dart. The atlatl is a wooden shaft approximately a foot-and-a-half long with a knock at the rear to hold the dart. A well thrown dart can achieve speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour. With practice you might be able to snag a deer like Paul Gragg, or try your hand at harvesting a turkey or fish. In Missouri, all are legal to take with an atlatl. You can check out full regulations for each season go to https://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/seasons?field_learn_more_about_species_target_id=All.
This Saturday, the Discovery Center is offering two chances for those who are nine years old and up to learn the art and skill of using an atlatl. This introductory program will teach the fundamentals of atlatl. Participants will learn different types of atlatls and darts and proper techniques including proper stance, grip, form and release. Safety will be emphasized as participants practice their new skills with individual coaching from staff. Equipment and targets will be provided. Go to https://mdc.mo.gov/events?location=1392&county=All®ion=702 to register for this exciting class.