Hunters have become accustomed to stalking game with the latest updated equipment in the form of guns and ammunition, but perhaps one of the oldest forms of hunting is the most sporting and requires the most skill. Slingshot hunting is an incredibly challenging endeavor, and requires skill, practice and the ability to be extremely stealthy in the woods. While slingshots have less shooting range than a hunting rifle, commercially made slingshots of today can put the ones that some of us had as children to shame, and should be considered a lethal weapon in the hands of a skilled hunter. In this sense, children hunting with slingshots should always be supervised and taught the proper safety techniques.
The best manner in which to ensure success in slingshot hunting is to purchase a quality slingshot and to become proficient using it. This is more difficult than it sounds, mainly because to become a good shot with a slingshot takes hours of practice on a regular basis. An excellent way to practice is simply with some bundled cardboard boxes as a target set up in a remote location where ricochets are not a concern. Start at a distance of 20 feet and as skills increase, continue to move further away from the target at 5 foot intervals. When a hopeful slingshot hunter can hit the target consistently at a distance of 35 to 40 feet, they are ready to hunt live game.
It is important to realize the limitations of a slingshot and what animals can be hunted in this manner. Squirrels and rabbits will provide the most success - any animals larger than these should be left alone. Good slingshot ammunition is a 3/8 inch steel ball bearing, as they carry the proper weight and are aerodynamically correct for use with an average slingshot. It is imperative to hunting success to get as close to your prey as is possible, simply because a slingshot is not as accurate as a gun. While this can be difficult, when success is achieved the sense of accomplishment experienced while slingshot hunting can be amazing, especially for children. The lessons learned while hunting "old school" will be long remembered, even by seasoned outdoors men.
Many of the same safety precautions used in hunting with a rifle apply to slingshot hunting as well, and it should always be foremost to utilize intelligent hunting practices. If done properly, slingshot hunting can give us a glimpse into the past, with an appreciation for how good we have it today.