INTRODUCTION Several people have suggested that I write an account of efforts leading to the decision by the Missouri Department of Conservation to legalize the atlatl and dart for deer hunting. In preparation for writing this report, I printed and review ed over 100 emails I had either sent or received related to these efforts dating back to September 2003. I am writing the report from a personal point of view. While I spearheaded the effort, many others contributed.
Background & Formation of the Missouri Atlatl Association
Although I had been shooting a bow since childhood, my experience with the atlatl began while I was teaching anthropology at Jacksonville State University in Alabama (1971–1974). At that time, of course, there was no internet and no readily available literature. Most importantly, there were no organizations like the World Atlatl Association (WAA). The first darts I used were not fletched until I visited Mesa Verde and saw an atlatl and dart on exhibit. Even after adding feathers, I still had no clear understanding of a functional dart’s characteristics. For the next twenty years or so, I only used the atlatl occasionally and never in competitions or with others. Once, probably in the early ‘90s, I heard of a contest in Wyoming or Colorado, but when I finally reached someone, I was told the contest no longer was being held.