COLUMBIA, Mo. — Do you have an interest in primitive hunting techniques? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting Atlatls & Archery: Primitive Hunting Techniques in Missouri from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, at the MDC Columbia Regional Office, 3500 East Gans Road in Columbia. The class is free, but registration is required by March 4.
Participants will learn about some unique primitive hunting tools and hunting methods that early Missourians used. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour the University of Missouri's Grayson Collection of archery and archery-related items, which contains more than 5,000 pieces and is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of its kind in the world.
"The use of the atlatl predates the bow and arrow in North America by thousands of years," said MDC Outdoor Skills Specialist Brian Flowers. "Today, hunters use the atlatl and also the long bow to harvest a variety of wild game."
The atlatl, pronounced by some as "at-lat-ul," was for 30,000 years or so a popular worldwide hunting tool. Native Americans brought the atlatl to North America about 12,000 years ago. The bow and arrow are relative modern hunting weapons in comparison. Atlatl throwers hurl a dart forward with a throwing motion of the arm. A board with a notch or tip for the dart to rest against is held with the arm and used as a throwing device that gives the dart extra speed and power.
The class is open adults and children 11 and older. Those ages 17 or younger must be accompanied by an adult.
To register or for more information, contact Flowers at Brian.Flowers@mdc.mo.gov or 573-815-7901, ext. 3388.
The E. Sydney Stephens Central Regional Office and Conservation Research Center is conveniently located off of US Highway 63 just west of the Discovery Parkway exit on the south side of East Gans Road.
For more information about this and other Discover Nature programs in mid-Missouri, go online to mdc.mo.gov.