Legislation approved by the Illinois state Senate committee earlier this week could allow residents to bow fish, although with a device some may not be familiar with. Sling bows or slingshot bows are actually, according to manufacturer John Hugger, legal to use for in 30 states. But what does it look like? How does it work?
Well a sling bow is exactly what it sounds like: a slingshot that has been made or adapted to accurately shoot an arrow. Instead of firing ball bearings or other rounded, blunt objects, the sling bow fires small arrows. Designs vary from producer to producer, but many opt to make the device themselves. Sling bows are notoriously easy to make and cheap in materials. A few outdoorsmen also tout their lightweight and compact nature for survival purposes. A video of how to construct a sling bow geared towards fishing is available here.
According to The News-Gazette, the Illinois bill will not introduce hunting with a sling bow although other states have been reported to allow it with certain restrictions. Larger sling bows with more significant draw weight can shoot heavier arrows at a longer distance. Hunters have reported harvesting big game with these devices.
For the purpose of bow fishing however, one could see how a sling bow could be useful. Fast and easy on the draw with enough power to stop fish dead in the water, the bow sling can be a highly efficient weapon. See the below demonstration: