All posts by Cheryll

Video on Making Scarf Joints on Atlatl Darts

We’re working on trying to post videos on a number of atlatl subjects. We will be posting them in the next few weeks and months as we complete them. This first video shows how to make a scarf joint to connect two sections of an atlatl dart. Here’s the link:

Atlatls Becoming Popular with Camps & Other Youth Groups

More and more young people are being introduced to the atlatl through camp programs, scout groups, museum and school programs.
We have definitely seen a growth in this area especially over the last few years. At Thunderbird Atlatl, we offer a wide variety of atlatls for those groups. We have found our atlatl kits very popular especially among scout groups.
We are happy to work with any groups interested in starting an atlatl program. Email us at or call us at 1-800-836-4520 and we would be happy to work out a package for your group. Atlatls work well with youngsters from 5 or 6 years to teenagers.
The atlatl programs teach youth good archery safety rules and provide an enjoyable target sport that all youth can enjoy.

Primitive Pursuits Day in Ithaca, NY

Bob Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl will be teaching traditional fish line and hook making at the 7th Annual Primitive Pursuits Day. He will have atlatls and darts available for those interested in the atlatl. Berg will also do a demonstration on the use of tree saps as traditional adhesives, finishes, fiber consoildants and other uses.

Primitive Pursuits Day is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension featuring Ancestral Living Skills, Nature Awareness and Sustainable Living programs, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Road, Dryden.

The cost is $5 for youth, $8 for adults or $20 per family.

A chicken barbecue will be available at 11 a.m. for $8 per dinner or $5 for just a half chicken.

Workshops are hands-on and will run throughout the day. Workshop presenters will have information on upcoming programs as well as have primitive items for sale.

Workshops being offered are: campfire cooking and carving animal bone with Hawk Circle; dream catchers and finger weaving with Wilderness Way; traditional fish hooks and line with Bob Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl; return of the fisher and tracking outings with Linda Spielman; native cooking with Tim Woods; and torches, bark baskets, coal burning, winter survival, awareness games, drilling stone, friction fires, spark based fire making and cattail tinder and tree identification.

Additional Programming to be announced with Camp Earth Connections.

Primitive Fire Making Competition to be held at 3:00. Bring your friction kits and enter at the sign in desk.

New England Atlatl Successes!

The New England atlatl community is going strong this spring! Two events were held in Vermont and Maine the last weekend of April. Another event is set for June 14 in Vermont!
John Morris sent out the following report on the Vermont event. Here is John’s report:
“Greg Maurer put on a terrific atlatl competition at “The North Country Atlatl Open” in Williston, Vermont (April 26). It was a ground breaking event for us in New England… The first tournament here, sponsored by the New York Atlatl Association.. The NYAA president, Doug Bassett, was there and introduced us all to many competitions previously unknown to many.
The weather forecast was for rain showers but it turned out to be a perfect day. We had a small but enthusiastic group of people there, including first time atlatlists.”
“Greg has a second Atlatl open coming on Saturday June 14. It also will include the: ISAC, IASAC, The NYAA** events, a moving target, a Clay Pigeon shoot, plus balloon targets ect for kids of all ages.
The second open will be at the same place. The North Country Sportsman’s [Gun] Club, Williston Vermont.”
John has put together an email list of New England Atlatlists if you are interested in being included, email John at
The Thunderbird Atlatl staff was at the University of Southern Maine for the school’s third annual knap-in. There was a small but steady crowd at the event. There was a lot of interest from those attending. Participants were able to learn flint knapping, fire building, cordage skills, atlatl building, pottery skills and more. The students set up an atlatl range on a soccer field. We look forward to next year’s event.

Atlatl Challenge! Congratulations Doug Bassett!!

Knowing that scores can change quickly, we still think it’s important to note that at the moment Doug Bassett of New York holds an Atlatl Triple Crown!!
As of March 18th, it looks like Doug was holding the top scores in the following events:
#1 WAA – 94-X in ISAC (The World Atlatl Association’s International Standard Accuracy Contest) done on 3/15/08
#1 IAS – 101-XXX (The International Atlatl Society’s Accuracy Contest) done on 1/12/08
#1 Distance – 215.5m (707′ or 235.7yds) done on 3/18/08

Congratulations Doug! The above scores were posted by Scott Van Arsdale on the Paleo Planet website. The World Atlatl Association annual meeting at Valley of Fire is coming up in two weeks, we’ll let you know if anyone breaks Doug’s winning streak!