Here at Wide Open Spaces, we’re a big fan of guns. We know this may come as a bit of a shock, so take a moment if you need it.
However, we also recognize that as much as we enjoy, say, a good magazine-fed 5 round 12-gauge shotgun, it’s not great for hunting small game like squirrels if you want anything other than fluff and aerosolized squirrel left over after you pull the trigger.
No, sometimes hunting requires a lighter touch. Here are 5 options that are quiet, subtle, and very, very deadly.
1. Cold Steel Big Bore Blow Guns
Sure, their promo video is filled with middle-aged men in casual office wear killing the hell out of balloons and wine bottles to thrash-metal. We don’t care. Blow guns are awesome. Used by the Huaorani people native to the Amazon to hunt game as large as spider monkeys, blow guns are silent, and lethal. Just don’t forget your deadly, deadly frog poison (just kidding, please never, never mess with that stuff).
These particular blow-guns have an effective range of up to 20 yards, come in 4 foot and 5 foot varieties, and can fire a “.625 Magnum dart.” We’re not sure what that means, but we’re fairly sure it’ll kill a quail without you having to pick out shot pellets at the dinner table.
2. The Wrist-Rocket
Far from the toys you used to annoy your teachers in high school, these slingshots are the real deal. They can launch .38 cal steel ball bearings up to around 30 yards at around 250 feet per second, and certain sources question if those ball bearings, because of their weight, hit with more total force of impact than some handguns. Plus , they’re really cheap. Take that, squirrels.
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3. The Sling Bow
So, as this awesomely scored promo video will show you, slingbows are a strange hybrid weapon containing the best of both worlds: the accuracy and range of a bow, and the light, compact form of a slingshot. Although they look like the grandfather of the crossbow, slingbows actually only date back to 1967, with Robert Blair’s unfortunately named “sling thing.” With a range of 15+ yards, and a an FPS capping out at around 215, depending on your ammo and your sling, these hybrids are awesome for both small game and bowfishing.
4. Magnus Broadhead Arrowheads
So, this is cheating a bit, because it’s technically an arrow attachment, and come on, look at this thing. Not that you can’t hunt small game and foul with regular arrows, but the Magnus is built specifically for turkey, and it decapitates your game with one fell swoop. You don’t just have to use it for turkeys either- it’s a pretty sure kill shot on just about whatever you shoot it at. Because of the added weight, you may have to use a heavier bow and your range will be limited, but it’s a small price to pay for robin-hood style decapitation.
5. Hunting Slings
If it worked for David, it’ll work for you. Slings have been used to hunt and fight the world over– everywhere from Ancient Greece to Medieval Europe or current day South America. And while it takes time to develop technique, you can sling ball bearings as fast as 150 FPS, with stopping power that rivals some handguns. No joke. And while any of our other options may be a little easier, if you’re looking for a challenge, and to connect with hunting’s roots, give the sling a shot. More information on slinging, everything from history to technique, is available here.
So there you are. Now you have options in case you want to give the guns a rest, or the Zombies finally come and gunpowder becomes a scarce and valuable trading resource.