We spoke to Chris Reed, winner of The History Channel’s Top Shot Season 2, about the use of primitive tools when it comes to hunting. Although he was in the middle of the Field & Stream’s Total Outdoorsman competition in Missouri, Reed provided us with a detailed look at why primitive tools have as much a place in an outdoorsman’s collection as a shotgun or rifle.

“In a nutshell, it’s a combination of accuracy, knowledge, technique and practice. Some things, like throwing a rock, is practice and muscle memory. Guns you need knowledge of a lot of things like trajectory, trigger squeeze and sight picture to be effective.

“Notice that the knife stage (of the Top Shot challenge) was at exactly 11 feet. The reason for that is a knife will make one revolution at that distance. The tomahawk was thrown at 13 feet. Same reason. Not a very practical way to hunt, but still an option. Hence the reason we evolved to bow and arrow on to firearms. Rocks can be deadly at close range on small game but there will be more misses than hits. Trapping is a better alternative than most of the throwing options. Velocity also is a big factor to consider too. The faster it goes the further you can hit your target. The situation also determines what you should use.

“A .50 cal, for example, would be overkill for fishing. And a slingshot would probably have little effect if you’re hunting moose. I personally like all types of weapons and constantly try to perfect my technique with each of them. They all have their own place in someones arsenal and can be used like tools in a toolbox. A pair of pliers may work but the wrench will work better.

“For this competition, I have been practicing throwing knives, bow and arrow, slingshot, shotgun, rifle and blow gun. I have fun with each of them and love trying to figure out how to become accurate with each one. It’s hand eye coordination exercises and mental focus training for me. “

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