“What do you call a boomerang that won’t come back? A stick!” –Old saying.
Throwing sticks are a form of non-returning boomerang that takes on a variety of shapes but retains one standard function…small game hunting. These were some of the most important hunting tools used among indigenous peoples ranging from Africa to Europe, Australia to the Americas in ancient times. Unfortunately, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife does not recognize these implements as acceptable means to acquire food, so all we can do in this state is carve these deadly tools and target practice. Still, it is very fun to refine the shape of your personalized throwing stick and refine your accuracy at a distance. Not to mention, if you were lost, and your life depended on it, this is a very easily made tool that requires a very little learning curve to master.
Properly Identifying Wild Currents
Close Up of Wild Currents
Newly Ripening Elderberries
Out in the desert again, abalone and I made our way to the shade of a small riparian corridor of willow and cottonwood. On the way we noticed that the wild currents were ready to harvest so we took a few minutes to forage. We could also clearly see that this season’s delicious elder blooms were finally stepping aside for droves of blue elder berries which were already large and healthy. I look forward to making my first batch of elder preserves this year.
Abalone swam in the little brook until she vomited…talk about fun huh? Then we made our way into the desert scrub and started practicing with the throwing stick. Abalone is a great friend to bring along on these adventure for many reasons, one of which is that she enthusiastically retrieves throwing sticks again and again.
Mix 'em in the Batter!
Great with a Little Honey
When we arrived home I cooked up another poor college student’s favorite, wildcrafted currant cornmeal muffins. Not a bad way to end a good day.
If you're interested, I made a little video a while back of carving these throwing sticks with all stone tools...
Keep the old ways alive!