rabbit stick

Primitive style hunting - primitive-made bow & arrow, throwing sticks, spears, atlatl, fishing, traps and snares, stalking, etc.
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rabbit stick

Postby salamanderhunter » Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:36 pm

Does a direct, powerful hit with a throwing stick typically cripple or kill a rabbit or squirrel? Is it common to have to track an injured animal? Any tips on finishing an injured animal? I've stalked alot of animals with a camera or just to observe. I'm going to start hunting some of my food, and figured I'll start with a rabbit stick. (obviously, I'm going to practice first.) I was just wondering what to expect on impact...........joe
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small game

Postby paul vallandigham » Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:34 am

With small game, you want to break their necks for a quick humane kill. I would not want to grab an injured squirrel, however, and suggest not hitting them with sticks. As to rabbits, the blow often will crush ribs, and kill them with the shock, but sometimes they are not killed. Lift the rabbit up by the hind legs, and using your stick, give it a sharp, quick, hard blow to the back of the neck to break it. Later you will learn how to break a neck with your bare hand with a twisting motion. You can learn that killing pheasants, and other game birds. Animals have teeth and claws for a reason, so be careful. Another technique is to step on their ribcage, and compress the chest until they suffocate. I know trappers who don't want blood hematomas spoiling the hides of animals they trap, who hold the animal down and reach down and grab the skin of the stomach and pull on it, to extend the diaphram, so that the animal suffocates because it can't breathe, or exhale with the diaphram held out. One guy used to kill fox that way.

I hope that helps. Because we are so far removed from getting our own food, we know longer know or have any close educator to teach us how to kill, humanely, or otherwise. This is acceptable to the Majority of Americans, who buy plastic wrapped meat, and haven't a clue what the animal it comes from looks like, much less how to kill and process the meat themselves. The Majority think that by not learning how to kill, somehow our children will grow up " nicer ', and won't be violent towards others. It doesn't work that way, of course, but you don't want to pop their bubble, now, do you? Even in Hunter Safety Classes, we find a majority of kids who intend to go hunting, usually with a relative, have no idea to kill an animal they would so it won't suffer. They have to be taught, and, of course, as kids, they give us the usual disgusted reaction to the very idea of killing something with their bare hands. They also don't want to get blood on their hands. We have them gut their own pheasants to learn how to do this, and once they have done it, they are very proud of their accomplishment, and its not a problem for them anymore. They know they are now head and shoulders taller, and more mature than the other kids they with whom they attend school.
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Postby ictracks » Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:53 pm

Practicing first is a very good idea. If you hit a squirrel or a rabbit with a stick and injure it, and then have to kill it, you're going to cry. I end up being the deathbringer to squirrels and turtles and snakes that get run over by cars but not quite killed more often than you would think. It sucks.

However, if you're going to start hunting small game, maybe try some traps first. At least then, if they aren't killed, you have them tethered to the point that you're not chasing a wounded, suffering animal through the woods.

If you're going to hunt with a stick or rock, mindset is no less useful or essential than accuracy. Primal first; emotion second; reverence always.

When you can knock a soda can off an object at seventy-five feet while you're jogging, then you might consider doing a hunt in that fashion. Depending upon how much experience you have with actually taking a life, it's wise to begin with traps and skinning and butchering before going all out with the bludgeoning.

Take it or leave it.

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Postby salamanderhunter » Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:17 am

Thank you for the info. You are correct. I've met only one man in my life (in person) whom I believe truly had respect and reverence for the lives of the animals (and humans-in war) he had taken. There aren't many mentors out there. And I'm glad to see posts like these accessible to people who might have never been exposed to more than the "white" mentality. I have taken a few animal lives, and everytime it bothers me. Thats the cruel joke of evolution...make us predators, and then give us the powers of reflection so we can feel bad about it. :? I once ran into a hunter in the woods who took a pot shot at a deer. All i had was my video camera. I borrowed his shotgun and tracked the deer all of 200 feet, where i found him with a leg blown off. It was the first deer I had ever killed. He gave me the shell casing because it was my first. I kept the shell, not because it was my first, but as a reminder of his lack of respect. Another time, a local rancher was having problems with beaver flooding him out. He hired a professional trapper, who claimed to have trapped 5. All I ever found was dead muskrats. That trapper tried for 3 months...he evidently gave up out of frustration, abandoning 2 set traps for a kid or animal to step in. I suggested drain pipes. The beavers would have to live with the water level or leave. He wasn't listening. He was going to dynamite every burrow in the shoreline, killing beaver, muskrat, bank burrowing birds, turtles and god knows what else. So i killed mama, papa and one young. I figured that was better than everything dying. I watched the other young beaver leave, and he never returned. I cleaned them as best I could, (I'm not experienced at gutting and cleaning) and left the rest for the coyotes.
On the topic of mindset...that seems to me to be more good advice. I thought once that I would kill a porcupine (while camping in Maine). The locals knew how to cook them and agreed to show me if i brought them one. All a porcupine needs is a bonk on the head with a club. Porcupines are one of the easiest animals (in my experience) to get close to. I'd been following them around for 3 or 4 months, I knew their routine, and I knew where the locals denned, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. I learned a lesson. Somehow they knew. 3 days i tried and didn't even get a glimpse of one. I couldn't believe it. I tapped the primal mindset of the hunt, but I didn't know how to hide it. This goes back to my post on psychic invisibility. Since then I've learned to hide those "mental waves". I've practiced being the predator, without actually making the kill. I'm here to tell you animals CAN know when they are being hunted, without seeing, smelling or hearing the predator. But I can't explain it. Call it a spiritual realm, or a natural esp that science hasn't yet delved into. The porcupine incident was 10 years ago. Now i think i'm ready to hunt.
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Postby LD » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:30 pm

You need to stick with snares for a while, you are way too emotionally involved, and not nearly hungry enough, to kill dinner yet.

Kill what you eat and eat what you kill. It's a meal, not a religion.
You know you don't know what you are doing, don't you?
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Postby Versatile » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:23 am

We are talking survival here not warm bunny stuff. Run up to the injured animal and and pin it down with your foot or stomp it with your foot or jump down on it with your knees and crush it. You might also use a long stick to beat it with if it is flopping around and you can't keep up with it's flopping around to stomp it etc. Get the food first! Emotion later! Remember! You need to survive and get home to your family.
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Postby skibum » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:56 pm

Carry two sticks or at least a shap knife, the stick will generally stun small game and then it does need to be dispatched quickly. With a second stick a heavy blow to the head will generally do the job place your food on the animal to hold it in place before swinging that way it minimizes mistakes. With a knife I'll press the animal down with my foot and take the head off especially with partidge, sometimes you can just grab them by the head and spin the body and whacking against a tree or just short jerking it away from your body breaking the neck. When cleaning out rabbits careful of the bladder it tends to spoil the flavor if not carefully removed.
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Postby headnorthyoungman » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:40 pm

i appreciate you guys having respect for animals, refreshing outlook amongst hunters. keep it up
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REspecting life

Postby paul vallandigham » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:56 pm

As the many comments about killing have indicated, this is a complicated thing to LEARN to do because we live in a world without want, and few of us kill to subsist. Survival is ALL ABOUT subsistance living.

First kill the game. Take a moment to that God for letting you find food you need to surive. Thank him for the life of the animal you killed, and thank the animal for giving you its flesh so that you can live. Then use every part of the animal you can, either for food, cover, clothing, cordage, rope, bags, water flasks, etc.

Next. clean and cook it. You can refer to cook books, and " wild game " cook books for idea, or ask around to find people to show you their favorite way to cook something.

When the animal is cooked and you are ready to eat, THEN is the time to say Grace, and thank the Lord, and your own efforts for providing the meal for yourself, and family. That kind of respect may seem " Old Fashioned " these days, but it gives everyone at the table a moment to reflect on how fortunate that we have the skills and the opportunity to feed ourselves occasionally, and when necessary, on wild game. For the hunter, its a good time to remember the entire hunt, and if his audience is interested, to recount to them how long he searched, his lack of success, and then when he thought he would never be successful, the game came within range, his aim was true, and he had food. Its the way we pass this knowledge and interest children in learning the skills, and to respect all living creatures in much greater depth, and --- I believe -- with greater understanding than any kid who eats only plastic wrapped meat, if that, and thinks animals are those small critters he sees on TV.

Consider this; Only in a very wealthy, and oppulent country can you find people refusing to eat meat( The " Vegetarians") and girls( mostly ) who suffer from Bolemia, and Anorexia Nervosa. These mental disorders( I am not talking about Vegetarianism, but perhaps one day we should) are totally unknown in poor countries, and in primitive cultures.

The sucess of Human animals at the top of the food chain is a direct result of our being made OMNIVORES, with teeth that allow us to eat both plants and animal flesh. Without that ability to nourish our bodies during bad, long winters, on mostly flesh alone, we as animals would be restricted to living only in the tropical areas, where it would be warm enough to live off of edible plants, Only.

As late as the early 1700s, Great Bears roamed and dominated the food chain across the N. American Continent. Until the invention of the gun, we had no reliable weapon that would insure our survival in a confrontation with the great bears. There are early reports of Spanish soldiers and settlers killing grizzly bears in California, using spears, dogs, and horse, to chase and close on the bears, but those accountings also indicated how dangerous it was to try to kill bears with these primitive weapons. Dogs, horses, and men were maimed and killed by bears. If you use dogs to hunt black bears today, you still risk having dogs maimed and killed, and there remains a risk to the hunters if the bear is able to charge before a weapon is brought to bear.
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Postby Dirttime Dude » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:02 pm

Paul Campbell, in his book 'Survival Skills of Native California" has about the best written word on how to use and how to correctly make real "rabbit sticks"...covering the southwest.

Paul practices with a stuffed rabbit first...I have thrown "sticks" with Paul ...his skill is pretty good....It doesnt take a lot of practice to start to get the hang of the throw.

A properly made stick will travel almost a 100 yards in the right conditions...We practice at 25 yeads all the time. and then start ot move out the distance from that point.

My experience is :::: Almost evertime I have hit a bunny ,it is dead..That is a cottontail...A Jackrabbit is a bit tougher,but not by much...

Bushytails are much harder to hit with a rabbit stick...

I have taken quail, doves, duck, ..They fly all together and I throw minto the "herd of birds"...

Once you have made a rabbit stick it gets kind of addictive and you will make more..When hunting having at least three on you is a good idea.

There size and shape can vary and you can experiment after you have made one or more the tradidtional way.

Pauls book seems like it is limited to Californina by the title but I assure you that that much of what is contained in the book could be used anywhere..

Bear...I have hunted bears,with and without dogs...

A bear is a fast and smart critter...I have had my dogs hurt bad by bears, and a few were killed...I learned to hunt bears from my Dad and his friends when I was a kid..we hunted big cats as well..

Bears kind of fake you out because they do not seem to be moving fast..thats because of their bulk...
The dogs learn form the other dogs and by being exposed to the hunt. Many times we never killed the bear, just put him "up" and left ...
the fun was the hunt ...
But if we needed meat and the fat we took 'em...
Bear fat that has been rendered is lip smacking good..better than any butter.
We used Treeing Walker hounds,Redbone hounds, Akitas , and mixed hounds for the packs..Though sometimes the pack might be only 2 dogs...Sometimes the pack was a dozen or more.
It was always important to know that you had a good "strike" dog...thats one that catch the scent and never let go..You would know it was a bear and nothing else.

When the Spanish came into California , you can read De Anzas account , the firearms of the day were not reliable ,as has been stated. Spears used by the Spanish were not thrown, but used like a "pike" and thrust into a critter ,man or beast, over and over , if they could, and from horse back.

Against a large black bear or a grizz this was dangerous work. I have seen black bears in California that hit close to 500 punds..most are about 300, 350 but some big males are in the woods..But any size of bear is to be respected, they can do you in...Or leave you badly scared and screwed up...They will double back and hunt you. For the most part they will run until or unless they are cornerned...Although just when you think you them all figured out ,you will run i nto one who just doesnt play that way at all.

Dont hunt a bear with a rabbit stick>>>>


I have been where the hand of man has never set foot
Dirttime Dude
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Postby Don » Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:00 pm

I use a rabbit stick to kill cottontale rabbits here in New Mexico. It is about 24" long. I do not throw at a rabbit over 30' tho. All good kills. Don :
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Postby dixieangler » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:10 pm


I agree with Paul, thank the Lord God for the food. However by the same token and reasoning for thanking the Lord God, humans are not animals. Animals may have a soul (the seat of emotions) but they do not have a spirit (or God conscience) like humans. Humans are stewards over the animals and the environment in the role that the Lord God has placed humans over animals and the environment but not over nature (humans cannot control nature). Kill animals only when you need them for food to survive.

I think you would be better served by a weapon that is as old if not older than the bow and arrow. It is called a sling and has protected flocks, killed game, and even used as a military weapon over the history of this world. I have used them with great success. It does take practice to be able to hit targets consistently but with practice of hitting targets that are smaller and smaller, it can be very accurate and effective for taking small game. Squirrels and rabbits can be taken effectively. You can build one very easily. Take a piece of canvas the shape and size of the back heel of a sneaker (an old canvas sneaker heel would be ideal to take directly from the sneaker). This will be a cradle for the projectile. Kind of in the shape of a football, an oval with pointed ends. Make two holes in the canvas piece, one at either end. Take two lengths of small diameter cord. The length that would be about right could be from your shoulder to the tip of your middle finger. Tie each one to each hole in the canvas with a permanent knot. Make an adjustable loop on one end of one cord (Duncan Loop Knot, Uni-Knot, or Tie-Knot should work). This adjustable loop attaches to the forefinger of your dominate hand (this will keep the sling from flying out of your hand). Bear in mind the orientation of the sling cradle as to which cord to make the loop. Place a small stone (try to keep the stones or rocks as small as possible to fit into the canvas cradle piece and as smooth as possible) or rock into the canvas cradle piece with the other cord end held in the same hand between the thumb and forefinger. About two or three revolutions of the canvas cradle either over the head or at the side and release of the cord end should send the rock or stone on its way to the target. The release point should be timed to just before the target as you aim the cradle on the target. It does require practice to master. It is also easy to carry (in a pants pocket) when heading out into the woods. You can finish off the animal if need be with a length of a pointed stick or knife depending on the animal. You will find that you will have greater range to a target than with a throwing stick. A stone or rock can be hurled by a sling on target from a long distance. This means that your odds of taking an animal increase as animals may be less alert to your presence and/or danger at longer distances. You will have to determine based on your slinging capability, what your effective range will be and from this determine your effective distance to a target. A stationary target is by far easier to hit with a sling than a moving one alerted to your presence. Best of luck.

I do not believe in evolution and here is why. Link below. Suffice it to say that I believe in the center of the King James version of the Holy Bible Psalms 118:8, "It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."
Evolution Is Not Fact Or Science
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