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How do you make a natural dart in the woods?


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#1 chuk101

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 03:25 PM

Say you're in the woods with your blowgun and a knife; how do you make a natural dart if you don't have thistle fluff around? Anyone ever try a leaf and pine pitch glue? Or what other ideas you have?


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#2 treefork

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 03:35 PM

Welcome to the forum. I know the natives used to roll the fluff onto the back of the shaft. A little of that pine pitch can be applied prior to rolling the fluff. I'm kind of spoiled with my modern set up. Good skill to know and practice .

 



#3 muddog15

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Posted 13 September 2014 - 06:16 PM

The Cherokee would use a strand of plant fiber or sinew and and wrap the seed fibers from thistle onto the dart shaft.

#4 Chimes

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 02:02 PM

Only ways I've tried so far is the way the Cherokee did it, along with the way that Treefork mentioned.. Though I didn't use any pitch or glue to hold on the cotton, you'd be surprised how well that stuff grabs onto the shaft.. 

P.S. Welcome to the Forum!

-Chimes



#5 chuk101

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 06:57 PM

I'm still trying to think what natural materials; if you looked hard enough might be able to find some acorn caps that would fit the bore and figure out attaching a shaft (?); now I gotta try it... Or maybe push a long thorn through an acorn nut?



#6 Chimes

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Posted 16 September 2014 - 09:37 PM

I'm still trying to think what natural materials; if you looked hard enough might be able to find some acorn caps that would fit the bore and figure out attaching a shaft (?); now I gotta try it... Or maybe push a long thorn through an acorn nut?

 

Acorn caps seem like they could work, you can shape them quite easily too! On second thought, they might be a bit heavy for a cone.. Long thorn through an entire acorn, doesn't seem like it would work out to well... Though for a long thorn you can use Honey Locust, you know..... The tree with the thorns that go right through the bottom of your shoe? What a blast those are! There are a lot of those around the lake at a disc golf course I like to go to. Come to think of it, I know there's a few in my backyard.. If it was me, I'd try to find myself some of that rotting wood that is just falling apart, and get myself a piece of that and use it as the plug.. It's light, and easy to work with.. You should be able to push a Honey Locust thorn right through it.. Heh, or maybe even try part of a mushroom as a plug... Of course you would need to know it that thing is toxic or not.. Maybe just wrap some grass around the shaft and secure it with pine pitch to make a plug? Resembling the cotton plugs that the tribes of the Amazon use, only made of grass.. Also.... You're in the woods, you could probably find a lot of litter that was thrown out there that could be of use for dart making.

-Chimes



#7 craftsman

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 07:47 PM

CHUK101,  A lot depends on your location.  A lot depends on what you carry in your pocket. A lot depends on the situation.

 

If you are in the woods in the NJ PineBarrens vs an Oak forrest in the Appalachians, different materials present themselves for use.   Always carry a good pocket knife. "Don't leave home without it"

 

I would not recommend using pine tar glue in any situation ... will eventually gum up the barrel, and make it a beast to clean once you are back to civilization.

Are you talking about a "damn, I can get a squirrel, but ran out of darts" ... or "I am totally lost, need to survive, need food now" ?  If the latter, then pine tar be damned - go ahead and use it.

 

The Cherokee (in Cherokee, NC .. a restored 1700's village with re-enactors) use hardwood spints, about 17 inches +/- long, with about 3 - 4 inches of "fluff" for a plug.  That can be thistle-down, or rabbit fur, deer fur, dog hair, etc.  Enough to plug up the dart in the barrel, but not too much so it can't be effectively shot out.  It takes time and practice to make, and learn by trial and error, just how dense to make it, how thick (diameter) to make it, how far of a set-back from the tail to start it (like an arrow, there is a "nock" left for handling),  and how long to make it.  From what I have seen (and sadly, I was there before I got involved with competition blowgun shooting, otherwise I would have asked more questions, watched more closely, and learned), they use a wrap method, more akin to atttaching fletching to an arrow shaft.  Compacting and making the plug smooth and an even diameter for its entire length.  They do not make them on the fly, as you are asking about (not even the indigenous americans in the Amazon area do that), instead, they make a large supply to carry with them in a quiver, when they run out, they get more materials and make a bunch more.  In their culture, this is an expendable item.

 

Natural dart materials are EXTREMELY difficult to shoot.  They don't behave like our man-made materials (whether you are talking store-bought tailcones on wire or bamboo skewer darts, or tail cones made of rolled paper or plastic on bamboo skewers or other long sharp pointy objects (aluminum nails, knitting needles, etc.)

 

I hope this helps.



#8 chuk101

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 07:44 PM

Thanks for the replys.  Just found this one too: https://www.youtube....h?v=TS2QuSt4Qn4



#9 neondog

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 10:28 PM

Another thing to consider if stuck in the Booneys is that the "cone" doesn't have to be attached to the shaft. A six or eight inch wooden shaft with a little fluff on the trailing end to keep it's point out front can be shot with anything behind it that fits the bore. If you're starving you could probably find some fifty caliber deer droppings. Take your breath before putting the barrel up to your mouth.

 

 I have tried launching small stones with flower buds and what I found would most likely never drop a squirrel but with a lot of luck I could have stunned a small bird.  :thumbsu:






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