I have hunted a lot of times with atlatls. Over the years, I have hunted mostly wild boar and deer. Many of our customers use our atlatls and hunting darts for hunting deer, elk, bear, boar and other game animals.
A couple of days ago, “Atlatl Bob”, William Robert Perkins, called me to talk. Every few months “Atlatl Bob” calls to make sure that everyone knows that I’m not “Atlatl Bob” and that we continue to enjoy our friendly competition.
Bob Perkins and I often don’t agree on various atlatl theories. We do agree, however, that foreshafts on atlatl darts are just not effective for hunting large animals. We both have done many experiments with atlatl hunting including the use of hunting darts with foreshafts.
Both of us have come to the conclusion that atlatl darts with foreshafts were probably used more for warfare than for hunting. There have been countless examples of darts with foreshafts found in the Southwest. Every time either of us have used darts with foreshafts for hunting, or witnessed someone else using darts with detachable foreshafts, we have found them to be ineffective in penetrating deeper than the connection. Usually the foreshaft breaks off from the main dart shaft when it strikes an animal. If the foreshaft is only five inches long that is how far the dart penetrates.
A dart without a foreshaft has a lot more penetration and is much more effective in killing an animal you are hunting.