A slingshot can be very helpful in many bowhunting situations such as diverting a deer’s attention; rousting a deer from heavy brush; hunting small game; strengthening your arms; and improving your aim. Shooting a slingshot improves your hand/eye coordination as well, and can be practiced almost anywhere. Plus, it’s really fun! Formal targets are great and easy to build, but informal targets–cans, leaves, anthills, etc. are found everywhere. Just like bows, you’ll probably want more than one slingshot!

Slingshots are readily available from many places and reasonably priced; however, they are also very easy to make at home. Slingshots come in a variety of sizes, take up little space, and there are many types of projectiles available for ammunition. If you make your own slingshot, you may choose the crotch (the forked stick), the style of the pouch, and the length and strength of the elastic band. Natural crotches can be made from ash and maple trees or saplings. Any tree with opposite (as contrasted with alternate) branching will work. You can also make one out of a board, a heavy-duty plastic cutting board, or a piece of PVC pipe.

Elastic bands for slingshots used to come from red inner tubes, but now the choices are usually latex tubing or flat bands. Latex tubing comes in various wall thicknesses and diameters. Flat bands come in different strengths based on color and/or thickness. You can make them the length and the strength (width) that is best for you. A little experimentation will go a long way. The weight, size and style of the slingshot is a personal decision.

Anything that will fit into the pouch will work as ammunition. You can buy ammunition such as marbles, lead balls and bullets, or paint balls; or you can make your own from rocks, acorns, pecans, crab apples or taconite (flint-like rocks). If you have the equipment, you can cast your own lead bullets and balls or you can make them from potter’s clay or clay from the ground. The list goes on and on. Paint balls are a really fun type of ammo. They are biodegradable, durable, a good size to shoot, and they make a terrific mark on the target. Acorns and pecans are not very heavy, nor do they fly very straight for long distances. When they hit something fairly hard, they disintegrate and go back into the soil. However, they can be used where accuracy and momentum are not important as for example, to get a deer’s attention, turn its direction, make it focus on an unknown, or scare it out of hiding.

Shooting a bow and shooting a slingshot go hand in hand. You may want to consider the right slingshot and ammo as an addition to your regular hunting equipment. It will fit right into your backpack, pocket, or vehicle. Give it your best shot…you may be surprised.