The Atlatl


The Atlatl (pronounced AT – LAT- TUL ) is an ancient spear weapon. It is a very powerful projectile and my favorite ancient hunting tool. The Atlatl was used by ancient man because of the force on target it could produce over the simple spear.

A spear is a pole with  a pointed tip on the end that can either be thrown or lunged with. The advantage of hunting with a spear is that you are able to put distance between you and your intended target. However the spear has an immediate draw back, it has low range. The typical range for a spear is about 25 yards at best. However though 25 yards is pretty good distance for a hand held projectile the force needed to down a large animal is not held by a human throw.

The Atlatl has a very big advantage over the simple spear, force on target. The Atlatl allows for the individual person to put well over 2000 lbs of pressure on a small area of a target at distances of 100 yards. A huge advantage over the simple spear. The Atlatl has been known to allow an individual to down a deer, and a small group to down a Wooly Mammoth. The differences in force on target between the simple spear and the Atlatl cannot be ignored and even more so, can be the difference between getting a meal and not.

To build an Atlatl is very simple. It requires 5 parts and very little time to construct.


Step # 1: find two pieces of wood as strait as possible. The projectile or bolt will be about 4 to 6 feet in length, and the shaft or launcher will 3 to 4 feet in length.

Step # 2: Carve the Launcher, or Shaft to be flat where the bolt will rest.

Step# 3: On the back end of your shaft, lash a notching that will hold the bolt in place and push the bolt forward.

Step #4: Take the longer stick and shave the stick until it is as straight as possible.

Step #5: Either Carve a point on the end of the projectile or shape a piece of flint rock into an arrow head and lash it to the bolt.

Step #6: Take the weapon and test it, until you have mastered the motion.


It is a simple tool to build but takes a little work to master. Once you feel confident that your tool and skill are ready, go down a deer for dinner. Good Hunting.

As Always Folks: Prepare and Survive Todd Out.


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