A documentary on primal hunting demonstrates how humans are capable of chasing down prey without using modern technology.
In the documentary “Fair Chase,” by Alex Cullen and Emma Tammi, a group of persistence hunters test themselves by chasing down the world’s second-fastest land animal, the pronghorn antelope.
These nine long-distance runners track down a pronghorn in the dry, scrub-brush-covered high plains of New Mexico to see how ancient people might have hunted. In the film, the runners conduct their anthropological experiment on private ranch land, occasionally scaling fences.
Three of the runners are Kenyans who participated in similar hunts in Africa. They subsequently moved to the U.S. to compete in marathons. They guide and mentor their American colleagues on their cross-country adventure.
On the morning of the hunting trip, the nine runners prepare as one might for a marathon. They load up on calories and check their clothing and shoes.
The idea behind primal hunting is fairly simple. Once they locate a pronghorn, the runners pursue it until it is exhausted. One of the runners then dispatches the animal with a bow and arrow. Pronghorns typically weigh approximately 100 to 140 pounds.
The filmmakers used several types of cameras to capture footage for the documentary, including a drone and cameras on the runners themselves. Sometimes the cameramen ran alongside the runners, and other times, they rode bicycles or a motorized vehicle.
During filming, the runners chased their original pronghorn for 15 miles before losing track of it. After regrouping, the runners located another pronghorn and chased it for three miles before exhausting the animal. The hunters believe the pronghorn herd had traded out the first animal for a ringer once they realized they were being chased.
The Kenyan hunter designated to use the bow and arrow on the animal possessed a hunting license, so it was legal to pursue and kill the animal.
This is an incredible example of how far we can push our bodies and an exploration of how are ancestors hunted.
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