Hunting with atlatl

I assume that the objection is to any type of hunting.

"When I was a kid, I wasn't the best at soccer or basketball," confesses Mike Waters, a community-college student from Greenwood, N.Y. "But now I get to play with my idols and hang out with the Shaqs of my sport."

Shaquille O'Neal, the imposing center for the NBA's Miami Heat, probably never has used an atlatl, a Stone Age throwing weapon that Mr. Waters has spent several years trying to master.

On Jan. 7, Mr. Waters and nearly 20 others converged on the property of Gary Fogelman, who is one of the Shaqs of the atlatl, to brave sub-freezing temperatures and participate in a tossing contest. In the future, however, these hurlers might not be limited to aiming at targets mounted on haystacks. The atlatl is one of humankind's most ancient weapons -- and on Jan. 24 the Pennsylvania Game Commission will consider granting preliminary approval to its use as a legal hunting device. With various animal-rights groups opposed, nobody knows for sure how the vote will go. . . .

"Right now, we're re-creating this ancient principle," says Angelo Mazzarese, a carpenter in Chemung, N.Y. "And we're having a blast -- a blast from the past."


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