Would you hunt wild boar with a handmade spear?
New trend still pits beast against man — but the man is armed only with old-fashioned spears and arrows.
Mon, May 23, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Photo: Smithsonian Wild/Flickr
Some hunters say technology has taken the sport out of hunting. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a growing number of hunters are eschewing high-tech rifles and compound bows in favor of more traditional weapons such as flint-tipped arrows and handmade spears.
"Technology has made it too easy for the real hunters," hunter Randy Rifenburgh, also known as "Rattlin' Randy," told the newspaper.
The primitive hunting movement uses time-tested methods, making arrows with stone tips to take down deer and coyotes, using roughly hewn spears to hunt wild boar and even the use of bare hands to catch a fish.
The legality of these hunting methods varies from state to state. In Texas, pulling a fish out of the water with your bare hands is a class C misdemeanor, although there is a campaign to legalize the practice, "known as noodling, grabbing or hogging," according to a separate report from the Wall Street Journal.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, told the news organization that high-tech hunting methods can give hunters an unfair advantage over their prey. But he also said archery, which is used heavily in the primitive hunting movement, is "very problematic" because an animal can be injured but not killed.
As the primitive hunting movement has grown, an entire support industry has developed around it. Websites offer tips on hunting and snaring, videos teach archery skills and workshops offer tips on how to make flint-tipped arrows. The CEO of Primitive Archer magazine told the Wall Street Journal that readership of his magazine was up 25 percent. Even magazines like Popular Mechanics are covering the subject.
Hunters like Rifenburgh eat what they kill. After gutting a 150-pound wild boar that took five arrows to bring down, he told the Wall Street Journal reporter, "It's not pretty, but it's primitive."