1. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Taking down a deer with a slingshot and stone

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Keitsumah, Dec 3, 2013.

    Hey guys, I have gotten to a certain scene in my book and, though it is completed, i figured i may as well ask if this kind of scenario is accurate:

    The main character ends up making a slingshot by tearing the hem of her dress and takes a jagged stone before firing it at a deer, using the cloth. She has never hunted before, but from my experience in reading other works, i had her approach it from behind quietly, and got her within fifteen feet before she shot at it.

    The stag ends up bolting after she misses, and gets its horns caught in a low-hanging tree's branches after the stone bounces off the trunk and strikes it in the face. The MC ends up trying to free the stag, but it snaps its own neck in its attempts to bolt again.

    so, is this reasonable or should i change a few details to make it more accurate?
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I like it. Not sure the antlers wouldn't give before the neck would but other than that it's credible and creative.
     
  3. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    The muscles of the neck are well bulked out to accommodate rutting behaviour. It might damage its antlers, but I really couldn't see it breaking its neck in the attempt to escape.
     
  4. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Have you any irl examples of this having happened? I've never seen / heard of such a thing even though I know a few pretty active hunters.

    Another thing is that if your character is human (i.e. doesn't have super powers or some weird elf-skill of moving quietly), especially if she's inexperienced, it's highly unlikely she would get anywhere near close enough to a deer. They have sharp senses and even if they didn't, have you tried to move silently in a forest? Unless there's a storm raging in the background, drowning out the noises your movements cause, it's next to impossible to move silently and quietly enough that the deer wouldn't bolt before you can get close enough to use a slingshot.
    Now, if she had a decent scoped rifle, it would be a different matter.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe you are describing a sling, not a slingshot. Such a weapon is told to have been used to fell a giant named Goliath, so it's not unreasonable to assume one could take down a deer with one as well.

    A sling can impart a respectable velocity to a stone, or a metal ball, and a massive enough projectile could fracture the deer's skull.

    A similar weapon could be an improvised bolo, two projectiles connected by a flexible strap. The principle is similar, using angular momentum to deliver an impact to a target.
     
  6. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's true. I'm just not that convinced of its effectiveness, legends aside, especially in the hands of someone inexperienced as generally projectile weapons require skill from their users. I would imagine it to be a difficult shot even for someone who has practiced using a sling since moving targets are a challenge even for a well-tuned pistol and the sling isn't all that accurate (even "real" slings)..

    This is a tad OT since in the given scenario, the character misses, but just for the sake of conversation:
    The sling's ballistics are affected greatly by technique (and since the sling in question is improvised instead of a dedicated weapon, that lowers its effectiveness further), e.g. does the character swing it horizontally or vertically (if the latter, is the sling spun clockwise or anti-clockwise)? How skilled is the character?

    It's also a good idea to take into account that (at least with a dedicated sling, a weapon) the average velocity of a 80-100g stone is around 30m/s. Contrast that to a 9mm bullet with a velocity of around 400m/s, yet nobody wants hunt deer with a 9mm because it's too weak.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I was picturing a sling not a sling shot as soon as it was clear there was no elastic in it.

    A Google search does find images of 2 bucks dead with their antler's stuck together, and one carcass with it's antler's stuck in a tree but the links were to forum posts so the links weren't too useful.

    I think the scenarios is plausible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You could ask some hunter (or a park ranger or whoever might know about deer and slings and creeping up on animals) read the scene and give their opinion if it bugs you, but your job is to sell it to the reader, and since even the most unexpected, improbable things can happen, I can't see why this couldn't work either...
     
  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Why is she trying to free the deer, that moments ago she wanted to kill?
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Remorse? It happens.
     
  11. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    She never really hunted a deer before and waiting for her brother took it's toll. Then when it got its head caught and the stag started screaming.... (or whatever sound a deer makes when it is in pain- im going off how a rabbit sounds really because i have actually heard that and omg it made me flip out) so yeah she immediately feels guilty and tries to help it but the stag kills itself.
     
  12. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    Hmmm.
    Okay I could bog this down with some experience of working with large animals (sheep and cows), but I think it would be pointless. A clumsy half-arsed attempt that accidentally succeeds? Why not?

    You can figure out a couple of things for yourself.
    Creeping up on a deer?
    You wouldn't get within 50 yards.

    We have them at a local deer park and my kids have spent many afternoons trying to creep up on them. These are deer that are used to people, and these are kids who know the meaning of persistence.

    They have VERY good hearing.

    Having once tried to free a sheep that had got tangled in a barbwire fence I will say that an animal that is trapped thrashes around like a demented thing. Even when someone is trying to free the ungrateful thing.
    I would arm your protagonist with shin pads and chest armour. A baseball helmet would probably help as well.

    Just for the record the sheep survived, but my mate did have to tie it's legs with a cunning releasable knot to stop it kicking the crap out of us while we cut the barbwire away.
     
  13. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    I would add that does it matter how credible it is?

    Not many people have got real experience of working with large animals so they aren't going to know any different.
     
  14. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    mmm... actually i got within touching distance of a wild white-tail deer on horseback, and my horse was not being quiet at all. I do get that you wouldn't be able to get close most of the time, but ....

    freak incident? idk but it was AWESOME! :p
     
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  15. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    That must have been a special moment for you.
    My kids would be jealous.
     
  16. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    i literally wasn't even looking. (lax rider who trusts her animals not to try and knock her off lol) we just rounded a tree and my horse literally brushed up against it, and the deer backed up and looked at us as if offended, and im just open-mouthed in complete and utter shock. now i can laugh at the memory, but now i think i can safely say a deer is magical. even if only in my imagination. :p yes, that is a very, very fond memory indeed. The closest i've managed to get to a deer since is about...meh five yards?

    animals seem to like me cuz...well... i have come nose-to-nose (literally) with a raccoon and come out unscathed. After that my ag teacher hads been obsessed with getting me to handle every large or exotic animal they can find so i can show them off to the class because "i am the experienced one".

    I think it may be because i have the mentality that "if the animal don't give me trouble, i don't give them trouble." but i do not go around deliberately putting myself in a bear or bull's path. now that would just be stupid.

    but stallions seem to be very protective of me and can't get enough of my hair...i still have to wash it out after that last bugger slobbered all over me.

    (this is a child who crawled into a stallion pen at three and scared her parents silly when the stallion was standing over her and wouldn't let anyone else int eh pen for fear that he may kick them. :D)

    I'll shut up now about my animal incidents now, but overall, i have NO CLUE why animals like me. but i can't seem to complain lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
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  17. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    The deer could trigger another hunter's trap (a pitfall, maybe?). Or it could impale itself on a sharp stump or something after being startled by the protag. I liked the scene you set to start with, though, and I won't be putting down the book in disbelief if you just stick with that.
     
  18. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    Thanks. this scene is actually just a small thing in chapter one to get the reader interested, and i was only worried about accuracy. seems that most people seem to agree here on it.

    again, thanks guys!
     
  19. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I would use a sling rather than a slingshot. In short, she should use a longer strap and a pocket, put stone in pocket, swing it around and throw it at the deer. It has much more power, although accuracy is questionable.
     
  20. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I hate talking about this stuff because despite being a meat eater I'm overly sensitive to the death and suffering of animals. Call me a hypocrite. I was watching Alaskan troopers and one was called out to a house where a man accidentally spooked a group of deer and they went to jump through a fence and one of them got its antlers caught and broke its neck. The man called the troopers because it wasn't hunting season and he didn't want to get fined for killing it. The trooper shot it to put it out of its misery and put the body in his trunk. In Alaska when things like that happen, they take the body to a butcher who cuts them up and donates the meat to homeless shelters.
     
  21. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    Could I suggest to the OP that maybe she should fashion herself a slingshot and try to hit a tree - far away from any windows?
    I'm sure a simple bit of research will provide extra ideas and inspiration, and will probably be fun.

    Of course trying to really bring down a deer in this way might lead to *complications*.
     
  22. DPVP
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    DPVP Active Member

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    They do that in most states, what else would they do let perfectly good meat go to waste?

    i have used a sling a bit, you could definitely kill a deer with it, breaking human bones or skulls was done with it. I find the freak accident killing the stag less believable.
     

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