Even though many talk about how ancient the boomerang is, it was only around 1800 when the word (a similar word as a matter of fact, “wo-mur-ran”) was used to describe the name of one of the Aboriginal clubs. Right after 1800, the word boomerang was used in the Sydney region, which is why it’s so common to consider the boomerang and Australian tool.
What’s the story with the boomerang anyway?
For a very long time, boomerangs were used exclusively for hunting and some were built to circle more than once. This way, the Aboriginal hunters would get closer to some birds, throwing their Boomerang high, for more than just one spin. The hunters would continue by mimicking the sound of a bird of prey so that the birds would think they’re being attacked. The birds would flock together and fly right towards the hunters who could easily attack them in the end.
How many types and sizes are they?
You may find many shapes and sizes for the Boomerangs and each of them is better for some situations. Some boomerangs are built so that they travel fast and, if you missed your target, they come back so you may try once again.
You can also find bigger boomerangs that don’t have symmetrical designs so that the heavier side picks up momentum as the boomerang spins up in the air. You may use this type of boomerangs for hunting kangaroos. They are tough enough to break the legs of kangaroos, which would make later killing way easier.
Let’s not forget about the boomerangs with serrated edges that are helpful for clipping wings or breaking legs of your prey.
What to use for hunting?
It’s important to know that Australian aboriginals don’t use light returning boomerangs for hunting. The most popular model, the returning boomerang, isn’t the best choice for hunting, not these days nor in the past.
In fact, it’s the non-returning boomerangs that you may use for hunting, sunken shelters, digging up roots, fire pits. You may also use them as musical instrument or even for hand-to-hand combat, which you couldn’t do with wooden tomahawk.
Returning boomerangs are too light for hunting and you can’t really predict their path, so you can’t really aim when using them. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them for practicing for getting better when actually hunting with a non-returning boomerang.
A hunting boomerang, aka “kylie” for the aborigines, is heavier and larger than a regular boomerang. It also has a specific design, typically in the shape of its art foil. It’s very common for a hunting boomerang to have one arm much longer than the other is so that it doesn’t fly in a circular path. This why it’s easier to aim with it and why it flies faster. What you get in the end is a hunting weapon that may become deadly it used right.
How to use a hunting boomerang?
You may throw the boomerang sideways as you don’t need it to come back anyway. When hunting birds, you may use returning boomerang as you may fail the first time you throw them. They’re great tools to use against flying flocks, ducks or bats, individual sitting birds or even smaller animals.
Funny fact: King Tutankhamen of Egypt used the non-returning boomerangs when duck hunting. As long as you’re throwing it right, if you throw a heavy boomerang into a flock of ducks, chances are it’s gonna hit one or two of them. As ducks or any other birds fly off from the lake, they all do it in one direction, therefore a leading throw may hit and hurt a wing or a neck strong enough to bring it down.
You may also the boomerang to hit a small game (rabbits, hares) and even a deer from time to time. Some Australian natives used boomerangs against emu, breaking its neck or leg, immobilizing it later on.
The same principles applies when using it against a kangaroo, wallaby, just as long the boomerang is heavy enough to knock out the animal.
You would need a sharp boomerang to disembowel the animal to kill.
If you want to add more fun to it, you can also throw the boomerang against the tree’s leaves, scaring roosting birds. They would fly right into your throw-up nets.
The fair conclusion
Boomerangs lost their popularity once the bow and arrow were invented and proved to be more efficient and precise then boomerangs. They still remain a common choice for the Australian aborigines though as they do master the skills of throwing them.
As long as you’re willing to play with it and practice a lot, we see no reasons for not trying to use the boomerangs for hunting. They do try it to develop it as a sport as well, in case you’re interested 🙂 .