In this episode we delve into throwing sticks (also called boomerangs or rabbitsticks) and how to make them! Michael is an archaeologist by education so we also discuss some of the historical and archaeological examples from around the world.

Throwing sticks are perhaps one of our earliest hunting tools and it is always fascinating to learn how to create something like this that is so simple yet sophisticated at the same time!

From a functional standpoint, I love learning how to craft a weapon from something so elemental as a stick, from a scientific view I enjoy learning about the physics involved and how complex they really can be, and from an artistic viewpoint I appreciate their simple beauty. Hope you try making one!

Key takeaways for making your own throwing stick:

  • Use a dense/tough hardwood.
  • Violate the grain as little as possible.
  • Use a piece of wood roughly 2 feet long and 2 inches wide, with a 135 degree bend in it.
  • Make your throwing stick around 3/8 of an inch thick in the middle and tapering to the edges.
  • For optimum flight your throwing stick should be shaped so it is flatter on the bottom and more domed on top.

Resources Mentioned:

Occoquan PaleotechnicsMichael’s website and business

@occpaleo on instagram

Occpaleo on Youtube

Tracker SchoolWilderness survival and awareness school, Michael and I have both been and we mention it a couple times.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural HistoryI also specifically mentioned using their searchable online database to look things up, I highly recommend you check it out, the link (directly to the anthropology department) is here.

Books Mentioned:

Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen — apparently getting hard to find and expensive?

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival by Tom Brown Jr.

Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills by David Wescott

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