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Let's talk about Hunting with a blowgun. What are the factors that need to be taken into account. I am hoping that some of our more experienced members can share their thoughts. Some examples of what I am looking to discuss is:
Is aiming different than target shooting due to elevation differences?
What is the minimum dart weight that should humanely be used for a quick kill?
Does blowgun length play a part in being more effective in hunting?

Please share your thoughts on hunting with blowguns.
 

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I'm not experienced but I would never hunt with a blowgun with just plain darts. I don't think I could consistently get a clean kill without poison. Even with my sharpened nail darts the most I could expect to kill would be a small bird like a Starling.
 

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A coworker of mine shot a squirrel with one of the coldsteel babmoo darts and it penetrated it in the right hip. Went in about 2-3 inches.

In Crosby TX, if you have fruit trees then you have tree rats..so it was not a hunt per se, but the animal is eadible (I've had plenty of squirrel from my back yard), but it was an attempt at a kill. To kill anything larger than a rat, you need to pierce the heart or lungs, or use a broad head to cause it to bleed out. This squirrel went into hig gear and was gone, never to be seen again..well we were lookikng for the squirrel with a handle hanging out of its rear.
 

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Aiming and elevation is definitely different than target shooting because of shooting at unknown ranges. The unknown range factor becomes more critical with heavy hunting darts that move slower than light weight target darts and have a more curved trajectory. Another aiming difference: when hunting you're usually trying to hit something at ground level, or above head level (like a bird or squirrel in tree) while with target shooting it's more likely around shoulder or face level. So practice for hunting should probably include 3D targets like toy/stuffed animals placed in realistic locations.
 

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Another consideration is that paper targets don't jump when they hear a strange noise. I wanted to try and scare a sparrow out of the building I work in so I decided to send a very lightweight home made stunner past him He was overhead and only about ten feet away. I aimed about three inches in front of him so he'd be sure and see it. He never saw it coming. I had to carry him out.
 

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I've had the same thing happen to me Neo. I hunted with an airgun for years when I lived on a farm. One time a flock of sparrows or something landed on our barn. I just shot a warning shot across the roof but they all jumped and it hit one. It sat on the roof for a while...
 

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Is aiming different than target shooting due to elevation differences?
What is the minimum dart weight that should humanely be used for a quick kill?
Does blowgun length play a part in being more effective in hunting?
Let me begin by stating that I am no expert, but thought I could shed a little light on your questions until others post. First question seems answered, yes. Second, darts need to be heavier than standard commercial darts and it is highly recommended that you use a .625 to help ensure that humane harvest. As important as weight is type of dart. That fancy custom x-acto broad head dart you made might fly through squirrel, but fall off of thick feathers (yet that modified stun dart might drop both). Lastly, length is good. The more pipe you have, the longer you're able to add thrust behind those big heavy hunting darts.
 

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I have never hunted. But I think ANY hunting is much different than shooting at a target. A blowgun is a great survival tool.
 

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I hunt with my blowgun all the time. I even hunt quail with it using BBs and Shotgun wads. SO far, I have never wounded or failed to recover a shot animal. I use the bamboo darts for squirrels, and sometime spearhead darts for them as well. I use the large broadheads for rabbits, bullfrogs, and woodchucks.

The key to successful hunting is shot placement. I almost always hit them in the head, for an instant kill. Next choice is through the heart, another practically instant kill (no more than one or two jumps at most). If I can't get a good shot at either of these areas, I won't shoot. Quail are easy. You either hit them and they go down, or you miss them totally.
 

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If you are going to hunt, you need the longest blowgun you can handle. And the only brand to have for hunting is Cold Steel Big Bore, with at least one 2' extension. I even use 2 extensions on occasion, when hunting from a stand, or blind. That gives me a 9' blowgun, that hits like a ton of bricks. This set-up can definitely reach out and touch something.
 

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Let's talk about Hunting with a blowgun. What are the factors that need to be taken into account. I am hoping that some of our more experienced members can share their thoughts. Some examples of what I am looking to discuss is:
Is aiming different than target shooting due to elevation differences?
What is the minimum dart weight that should humanely be used for a quick kill?
Does blowgun length play a part in being more effective in hunting?

Please share your thoughts on hunting with blowguns.
When I hunted with my blowgun, about a 6' long .50 caliber hand made beauty, I used bamboo skewers about 90% of the time. I used corks on the end or a very light cone. All my darts were in the 38-42 grain range, no more. I tried very hard to keep them in this weight zone. For me, just like the natives of the Amazon and the South Americas, speed and flat trajectory was of most importance.."Knock Down Power" was not even looked at. All I had to do was go out and see how deeply a thin sharp needle or sharp bamboo skewer penetrated and there was my answer. I might add that although my two main blowguns were in the 6' range I also used 4' blowguns a lot. It sure was handier in the field and at most of the ranges I was shooting I did not feel handicapped at all.

To me the most important thing was dart speed and of course accuracy. My sharpened bamboo skewers penetrated deep into anything they hit and stayed in the animal as I barbed them, they were like a porcupine quill. Never used a broadhead on my darts as I wanted the same point of impact with hunting as well as target darts.

I might add the secret to dart speed is your blowing technique, it is a COMBINATION of air volume, explosion of breath AND the continuation of that air flow till the dart leaves the barrel. Explosion of your breath is a quickly learned thing as the air is shot out from your lungs not blown .. you build up pressure and it is explosively shot out as fast as possible using the roof of your mouth as a air release valve !!! Watch the natives, they fill their lungs and cheeks to the max and on expulsion almost leap forward keeping the fast air flow going till the dart has left the barrel.(the quick leap/push forward actually improves dart speed a bit). Very, very few on YouTube are actually using a blowing technique correctly to get full potential out of the tube ! I'm sure in my day I could get the same or faster speed with a 4' BG than many are getting with a 5 or 6' BG.

My shots were in the 8-15+ yard range, rarely a little further. To say I hunted a lot with a blowgun would be an understatement for sure.

To bad we don't all live close by so we could exchange ideas and experiences. I have many to tell !

wll
 

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.625 homemade 6foot one piece..idk how much the darts weigh..they're 12inch bamboo skewers with #2 exacto for broad heads..very common. I love squirrel. My neighbor prepared that opossum as a treat for his dog.
 
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