View Full Version : Spear Hunting

February 12, 2001, 10:27 PM
I read about this in a knife catalog. How common is this in the US? Sounds like it would be a real challenge...and something to brag about if you did well. ;)

Art Eatman
February 12, 2001, 11:54 PM
Spear hunting for what sort of animal? Stabbing ("spearing" :) ) works a lot better than throwing, unless you get very, very good or go for very large animals. Most very large game animals reside in Africa, and are known to resent sudden pain.

Hog hunting with a spear, from horseback, was considered quite the thing by British officers in Africa and Injuh. Some of them tried other game than hogs. See "...resent sudden pain".

The indigenes on Palawan Island of the Philippines hunted with spears for wild boar. There is a cross-piece on the back of the spear head to prevent the boar from coming right on up the shaft to chew on the source of the sudden pain.

Sporting, what?

:), Art

February 13, 2001, 12:15 AM
I was looking more at throwing. The catalog I was looking at had a few different kinds available, but the one that caught my eye was a javelin type with a wooden midsection. I wish I could give more detail but I left the catalog at work. Are common American game ever spear hunted, such as deer or elk? Do they have a special season?

February 13, 2001, 09:42 AM
I believe that you might be referring to the Cold Steel catalog.

They have many good things to look at and the latest articles on spear use are very interesting.

As far as the use of a spear to take animals, you'll have to check the regs of the state you want to hunt in. Most will not let you hunt big game animals with anything other than firearms or archery. I think Florida and Tennessee do have exceptions on weapons use for hog hunting but, you'll have to check.

Does sound like getting back to the spirit of fair chase though!

Don not only train, also teach.

February 13, 2001, 11:53 AM
In Texas you can use anything up to dynamite to take hogs. No season. No restrictions other than no trespassing.

That said, I'll stick to rifles.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2001, 01:22 PM
Read an article a few years back, on some guys throwing spears by using the ancient atlatl. They had done it enough to achieve quite decent accuracy.

Since the ethic of hunting is independent of the weapon, I'd suggest a whole bunch of practice. When you're as accurate with a spear thrown at full force as with a bow or handgun at "the ususal" hunting ranges, I guess you'd be okay...


February 13, 2001, 05:10 PM
My friend, a native hawaiin was telling me about doing drives for wild pig on the islands. They live in the thick unerbrush around volcanoes (all of hawaii:)) and they would do pushes through the brush with spears and knives to hunt them. I don't think these pigs were native to the islands, so it couldn't be that ancient of a sport...maybe a hundred years or so though.
Also...native americans used to use snow-shoes to follow bison into deep snow where they could hardly move, and then spear them. Not throw the spear, but spear in hand. The native alasskans also did this for moose. Moose have a real tought time up here when we get deep snow. It covers up alot of their food, and absolutely saps their energy trying to move around in it. Alot of them just lay down and die.

Keith Rogan
February 14, 2001, 01:25 PM
I heard a story second hand about a guy in Mississippi who hunts deer with a spear thrown with an atlatl. He apparently owns a lot of acreage that is crawling with deer and can afford to miss a lot...
I find it difficult to picture being close enough and making all that movement to throw it without them spooking. My hat is off to anyone who can do it successfully - or is even willing to try.

February 14, 2001, 02:59 PM
I was invited to go knife hunting for boar in texas once.. apparently you surround the boar with barking dogs then knock it over on its side and skewer it with a knife, taking care to avoid tusks and hooves and baying hound dogs. I didn't do it (didn't have time) but it did sound like fun. I defintely have the knife for it, a Cold Steel first edition tanto, bought it back in 86 or so.. paid $135 for it back then. At the time it was the most valuable thing I owned. I've quartered an Elk or two with that knife, and a number of deer, butchered a hog, dressed a pig after luau and broken many an antelope's bones with it. Its a serious knife., and I keep it razor sharp. best knife I've ever owned.

February 14, 2001, 03:52 PM
I have speared turtles and bullfrogs, but never big game.
And as for hog hunting with a knife, is that crazy or what?
I suppose it is what you are used to.
Sounds like a challenge that won't keep me up at night wondering if I should have.
I have nothing against it. It sounds like it is as basic as the cave man, but it is just not for me.
For me, big game hunting involves at minimun, a bow or a gun.
Happy Hunting.........

February 15, 2001, 01:27 AM
hmmm...I have gigged (speared) frogs, and shot turtles, but how excactly to you spear a turtle? Do you spear them through the shell, or just aim for the head???
In Idaho we used to shoot frogs with our .22's and use them for catfish bait:) There were a couple places where the 3 of us could get a couple gallons in an hour.

February 15, 2001, 01:28 PM
Through the shell.
We use to spear snappers. You need a very heavy spear.

February 17, 2001, 12:28 AM
It worked for John Rambo.

February 17, 2001, 07:01 PM
I would love to hunt hog with a spear...

but I wouldn't brag about it. Just knowing I'd done it would be enough, and hopefully, I would do it without a pack of dogs to hold the boar.

February 19, 2001, 07:50 PM
A few years back (college days)I remember an article in in the local paper about some guys in Montana who wanted to hunt whitetails with spears and atlatls. The reporter said they were able to hit a soda can at 50 yards consistently.The only real problem they were having was with MT fish and game not being able to decide if it was legal or not.

January 14, 2010, 12:22 AM
Wondering if you were still interested and thought it would be funny to bump an old thread.
Actually due to the thickness of hog's hide one of the better ways to use a spear is to plant the butt, step on it and point the spear as the hog charges. Takes a bit of grit I guess to stand there while a hog charges you. Now that I'd call a sport.
But in most states its illegal to kill game (even fish) with a spear unless its a survival situation. Seems like a bad time to start practicing when you're survival is on the line though.

January 14, 2010, 12:42 AM
I reccomend trying it on black bear.

Take a picture, and you'l never have to pay for a drink again, plus I really doubt the magnum boys will snicker at your 30-30.

In all seriousness, you better work on your ability to run like an SOB, and some serious physical fitness training.

The old boar spears and swords used in germany had a cross bar on them to keep the hog from chargin his way up the blade and splitting you wide open.

Just notices this thread is 9 years old, so the OP must be about 24 years old now, I hope he bagged something :) I'd buy him a drink thats for sure.

January 14, 2010, 12:48 AM
I think climbing like a SOB would be more practical LOL!!! And I second the buying of the drink!

January 14, 2010, 02:10 AM
Where's Hogdogs??

Aint this what he does with pigs?
I think it would be a heck of an adrenaline rush.
Unfortunatly, we dont have pigs around here.:(

January 14, 2010, 02:17 AM
Spears are a hassle the way we hunt. A good one will be 5-5.5 feet long. That will be tangled from the moment you hear dogs bayed up.

I have a pocket knife if I need to kill the pig to save dogs. If a guy along wants to "stick" a hog. we will already have the dogs off and it would be he and the pig or one other person.

If yiou wish to kill the hog by hand, the knife method gets you real close and easier to tote in the woods.


phil mcwilliam
January 14, 2010, 04:47 AM
My grandfather was a captain in the 11th KEO Lancers of the British Indian Army stationed in Rawalpindi(now Pakistan), having transfered from the 4th Australian Light Horse in 1917.
The cavalry actually used their lances in battle, but there were many stories of my grandfather & his mates sticking wild pigs with their lances on horseback.

January 14, 2010, 04:56 AM
You should check out a fellow named Sasha Siemel. He was an "adventurer" shall we say, who's claim to fame was stalking and killing Jaguars with a spear. I remember reading about him in Outdoor Life or some such magazine when I was a kid. Also later on in Peter Capsticks book, "Death in the Silent Places."

If I remember correctly, he would stalk the Jaguar until he could bring the cat to bay, then provoke a charge, taking the cat on the point of the spear during the final few feet of the charge. He had a hilt on the spear to keep the cat from clawing it way down the shaft.


January 14, 2010, 07:11 AM
When I was at the Wilderness Hunting Lodge in TN a few years back there was a guy hunting Hogs with a spear. He got his hog and a good story to go with it so a few others got interested. One of them was a freind in our group that thought it would be a the coolist way for him to take his hog so the guy let him use his spear. We followed him around with a video camera but this was not as easy as it sounded in the guys story. As some of you may know this place has a fence around it so the guy decided to hang around it in hopes of a hog being funneled to him, even then the guy never got his hog with a spear but did with a bow like the rest of us. I never thought much of hunting anywhere close to the fence myself but he got desperate with the spear.

January 14, 2010, 12:47 PM
Yeah, to get that close it'd take some good tracking or a very thorough knowledge of the land you're hunting on. Fortitude and brass balls the size of cantalopes to stand there with a spear while a hog charges you. Course you could always panic and freeze and as long as no one noticed the yellow stream running down your leg they'd still think you were the baddest mo'fo' on the block. Haha.

Cold steel also has some boar spears with a 2 or 3 foot shaft which would be good for dispatching a pig surrounded by dogs. Better than a pocket knife I'd think. Strap it to your back or something for the thick country.

January 14, 2010, 01:48 PM
This thread is 9 years old. TFL doesn't even allow guest posters any more.

Spear hunting is interesting, though.
It's different, but I still want to take big game with my Atlatl. The problem is, none of the states around me will allow it as a legal weapon.

January 14, 2010, 02:43 PM

This is some right of passage into manhood!

January 14, 2010, 06:21 PM
check out this guy. i dont know much about spear hunting, but this seems like the way to do it. LOOKS LIKE FUN :D http://www.huntingwithspears.com/

James R. Burke
January 14, 2010, 08:15 PM
Just myself I willl stick to a firearm. I dont have enough time to be a good bow hunter. That would take alot of practice, and just cant image someone being serious about it, but who knows maybe there is. But practice alot if you are. I wonder what the rules say?

January 15, 2010, 07:48 AM
It seems like I've read that Herman Goering was fond of hunting boars with a spear.

January 15, 2010, 11:40 AM
I throw an atlatl on occasion, but am nowhere near good enough to hunt with it. I think there is only one state (Alabama ?) where it is legal to hunt with one, of course private landowners may have the flexibility other places as well.

They are a ton of fun. My mom's husband makes them and makes shafts out of thrift store graphite golf clubs, or a few aluminum arrow shafts put together.

We have a big dirt mound that we call "The Mammoth" and have enough equipment that everyone who wants can join the mammoth hunt. it is cool, because it is more about the mechanics than strength, so the kids can be on equal footing with the adults.

January 15, 2010, 11:49 AM
The Late Peter Capstick (American who worked in Africa as a PH) tried it once, according to what he tells in his book "Death in the Tall Grass" it's not a good idea, especially if your quarry is Cape Buffalo...

then there is also the all important principle of doing ALL YOU CAN to ensure a swift death to the animal, and I doubt that many (any?) of us are proffficient enough for that. Myself, I'll stick to hunting with my rifle.



January 15, 2010, 12:50 PM
that gentleman one the link i mentioned above has several water buffalo, lions. jaguars etc. and the damage done to whitetails with it is AMAZING. damn near rips them in half (literally) I am sure it entails alot of skill and practice, however; it seems to be more than enough for most game.


January 15, 2010, 01:00 PM
As in all things you have to match the bullet (or spear, haha) with the intended victim. And maybe work at it a little longer to get proficient. Not every weapon is plug-n-play with sights or scopes. Some take a bit more work to achieve success. Know that satisfaction you get from making a clean kill? Imagine how sweet that success would be after the bitterness of attempting over and over again.

Where would anyone be if we "tried it once, didn't work too well" and quit?

January 15, 2010, 02:34 PM
I think every hunter should try it with a knife and dogs at least once.

January 15, 2010, 03:20 PM
OK, checked the link to "The Worlds Greatest Spear Hunter" and looked at some of the photos.

Can anyone tell me where it would be legal to hunt elk with a spear in the US, other than on a private "reserve"? And that was not 40 years ago, that was 2008.

Just that right there got me wondering how many of these were true fair-chase hunts.

January 16, 2010, 05:26 AM
The Late Peter Capstick (American who worked in Africa as a PH) tried it once, according to what he tells in his book "Death in the Tall Grass" it's not a good idea, especially if your quarry is Cape Buffalo...

I thought I rembered reading in one of his books that he had tried (and did it if, I remember correctly) it with a Cape Buffalo. It was something he said he'd never try again, drunk or sober.

January 16, 2010, 09:08 AM
I reccomend trying it on black bear.

Take a picture, and you'l never have to pay for a drink again, plus I really doubt the magnum boys will snicker at your 30-30.

I know an old Athabascan elder living in one of the Yukon River villages that speared a grizzly bear on the Koyukuk coming out of its den back in the day.
The spear was an Athabascan bear spear with a copper spearhead and birch shaft. He basically made the charging bear impale itself on the spear as it came out of the den and the momentum helped him flip it over his head.

He recounts the story in the book about his life "Shadows on the Koyukuk".