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Thread: Native American primitive weapon/Rabbit throwing stick

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    Senior Member Awanita's Avatar
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    Default Native American primitive weapon/Rabbit throwing stick

    In my running around looking for the Native American tools and weapons to add to my collection, in making, using and learning about them I recently came across the rabbit stick. Here is some information that I have gathered and would like to share with you. I will starting to make a few of these and see how they turn out for me.


    A rabbit stick is a curved stick used by Native American tribes. It was used by the Hopi, Navajo, Zuniand others. This stick, reminiscent of a boomerang, is not only used in hunting rabbits, but also to hunt prairie dogs and coyotes.

    Itís a fact that meat gives a greater return of calories and energy than plants. One of the most effective hunting weapon is the throwing stick, also known as the rabbit stick. The stone and the throwing stick are the simplest of all the meat harvesting tools to obtain but the rabbit stick is larger than a rock and more likely to hit the target with a little of practice.

    Essentially, you can grab any sturdy stick, from 2.5 to 5 centimeters in diameter, that you can throw with ease and which is long from 30 to 60 centimetres. It will definitely be all you need. This length is a just a guideline. Keep in mind that the smaller the stick, the faster you are able to throw it but with lesser accuracy. A larger stick can be thrown with higher accuracy although not as fast. To find what is best suited for you, play with different size and weight.

    Many modifications can be made to improve the performance of the rabbit stick but you can refine the stick to a more effective tool choosing between two different design:

    ēthe evenly weighted aerodynamic stick
    ēthe hammer stick


    The best thing about this aerodynamic rabbit stick is that you can throw with more power thanks to the leverage created by its angle, and that means you transfer more energy to the target.

    Use any green sampling or branch naturally bent at about a 45į angle. You can use a heavy hardwood such as oak or a stick of softwood like cedar. Remove all the bark and cut any branches.

    A stick with an elliptical cross-section or flat like a boomerang fly faster and more silently giving less warning to your prey. Shave off two opposite sides.

    Also, you can sharpen the two points of the stick to increase the damage by cutting or piercing.

    All these tweaks take very little time by using a knife or by abrading the stick on an abrasive rock.

    The Hammer Rabbit Stick
    Choose a branch that features one end heavier than the other. Remove any side branches and bark it.

    This hunting weapon is perfect for short distances because it can penetrate through low-growing plants, saplings, and shrubs to hit your prey.



    After you have reshaped your wooden weapon, you can fire harden it to increase its life span: Fire hardening is the process of driving out moisture from wood using the heat of a fire. The best way to do it is by burying your stick into the sand close to, but not in, the fire. If the stick is too close, it will burn; if it is too far from the fire, nothing will happen. Without sand, you can keep the stick above the fire or simply near to it, however you must keep an eye on it and rotate it almost continually or you may burn and damage the weapon.

    You should camouflage the carve scratches making it more difficult for the animal to notice the stickís motion as it comes near. You can either darken it with smoke or rub it lightly with charcoal to conceal any bright marks.



    You can throw a rabbit stick overhand, from a sidearm position, and anywhere in between. A sidearm throw is effective in open fields or any other place where there is plenty space between trees to allow for unobstructed flight. Overhand throws are useful in areas in which there is modest space between trees.

    To throw the rabbit stick, extend the non-throwing hand toward the target, then propel the stick either side-armed or overhand. Train both the techniques for accuracy, precision and speed. Try to generate power with your whole body.

    The challenging part is getting ready to launch your weapon. You simply canít stalk your target and then, when you are in range, move the throwing arm back and prepare to whip your rabbit stick Ė you will alert your prey. Instead, you should slowly and gradually rotate your body and the throwing arm into the launch posture while you move toward your quarry.

    Remember: the evenly weighted type should rotate like a frisbee while the Hammer type should go straight like a comet.

    The Sidearm Throw
    Move your rabbit stick behind your neck and rotate to the right until your fully extended left arm is aiming at your target. Then, in a fast and smooth movement, move your body forward, and release the weapon as your hand comes to point at the target. Pay attention to adjacent trees with low branches.

    The Overhand Throw
    First of all, aim at the target by extending the left arm. Move your rabbit stick back over your shoulder. Shoot the right arm until itís just a little above and parallel to the left arm. This will be your release point. Train slowly and regularly.

    Itís easy to learn how to use the rabbit stick. Just practice, practice and practice. Throw your stick frequently at targets until you become effective in acquiring food.


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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Nice description and write up.......Thanks.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Good stuff. thanks.

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    Senior Member Awanita's Avatar
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    you guys will probably notice very quickly I sway more to the Native American Survival mood....can't help it, its been around a lot longer. haha... thanks for the comments. Osdv Iga/good day.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Nice post. Thanks.
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    Senior Member MrFixIt's Avatar
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    I've used (and actually still have) a "hammer" style throwing stick made from dogwood.
    Works better in my area, which tends to have dense undergrowth.
    Thanks for posting, was a great read!
    When all else fails, read the directions, and beware the Chihuahuacabra!

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    I have always had great respect for the native American Indians. They had so much respect for the land, something not many people have anymore! They were as close to being part of nature as any people that have ever existed, and worshipped the animals they existed with and hunted.
    To bad that everybody doesn't have the same respect!

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    Senior Member Awanita's Avatar
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    Wildthang Wado for your comments. It is a shame that so many have gotten away from the red road. But there will come a time when Mother Earth says she has had enough, and those who do not know how to respect her will not be able to live in balance and harmony. Not A dooms day person but we need to learn how to live with nature and not destoy it. It has been a long trip for me, but I can say proudly, I have traced my family back to the Great Cherokee chief Amdoya Moytoy of Tellico. So with that and the Irish, I think we might just make it when things get tough
    Awanita from the wild patato clan of the Tsalagi/Cherokee. "When the time comes, know how to only be seen when wanted to be seen".

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Again, just a nod to the author unless you're Cherokee762 elsewhere.

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    Senior Member Awanita's Avatar
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    Rick I am Cherokee762 on newsvine and several other site just forgot to change that ooops
    Awanita from the wild patato clan of the Tsalagi/Cherokee. "When the time comes, know how to only be seen when wanted to be seen".

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    No blood, no foul.

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    Resident Wildman Wildthang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awanita View Post
    Wildthang Wado for your comments. It is a shame that so many have gotten away from the red road. But there will come a time when Mother Earth says she has had enough, and those who do not know how to respect her will not be able to live in balance and harmony. Not A dooms day person but we need to learn how to live with nature and not destoy it. It has been a long trip for me, but I can say proudly, I have traced my family back to the Great Cherokee chief Amdoya Moytoy of Tellico. So with that and the Irish, I think we might just make it when things get tough
    I grew up in Muskogee Oklahoma and some of my best freinds were Cherokee Indians. One of my friends Grandfather was very old and wise, I called him Grampa Tidwell, and he would always tell us how to be one with nature, and told us a lot of stories of the old days.When he could still walk he would take us on hikes around Tahlequa and I was always amazed at the things he knew. He would show us lots of different plants and would tell us how the Indians used them, and would always tell us about the habits of animals and why they do what they do. You could tell just by being with him that he had a near magical undestanding of things that most people could never fathom or understand.
    I had bronchitis one time when I was visiting him and he mixed up some stuff and made me drink it. It tasted pretty bad but by the next morning it was going away. He was almost a medicine man as far as I was concerned. He even knew the Cherokee language. I loved him like he was my own Grandfather!

    Thanks for the reps, agayuli oginalii
    Last edited by Wildthang; 09-25-2014 at 01:07 PM.

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