Indian “Buffalo Jump”—Yellowstone Valley.
To pierce the skin of one of the large animals, such as a mastodon or mammoth, the hunters had to be close to the powerful beast. They hurled or jabbed their spears at the animal, and tried to confuse and immobilize their prey. Perhaps several hunters surrounded an isolated animal waving their arms and distracting it while one or two others speared it. If the animal was wounded, the hunters would have tracked it until it became very weak or went to water to drink. Even a mastodon, wounded and exhausted, or mired in the mud of a shallow lake, would have been relatively easy game for a small group of experienced hunters.
Dogs may have been kept as pets, and may have helped in hunting. Meso-Indians developed many new hunting and fishing techniques. They used fishhooks, traps, and nets for catching fish and other small animals, and they used a new weapon called the atlatl (pronounced at′lat′l) to help kill their most important prey, deer.
An atlatl was made from a flattish, two-foot long piece of wood and was used as a spear-thrower. It had a hook, made of bone or antler, attached on one end and a hand grip carved on the other end. A stone, clay, or shell weight was sometimes attached toward the hooked end to increase the force of the throw, or perhaps only for decoration. A spear was rested on the atlatl with the end of the spear shaft inserted into the atlatl hook. The hunter held the atlatl grip and the middle of the spear in the same hand, then he hurled the spear from the atlatl. The atlatl acted as an extension of his arm, giving extra power and accuracy to the throw.
Wolves hunting a deer
Archeological explorations revealed that the colonists enjoyed archery. The iron lever shown, known as a “goat’s foot,” Was used for setting the string of a light hunting crossbow. It was found 4 miles from Jamestown. Illustration showing the use of a “goat’s foot” From Weapons, A Pictorial History by Edwin Tunis.
"The Way to catch Squirrels on the Ground in the Woods"--Fac-simile of a Miniature in the Manuscript of the "Livre du Roy Modus" (Fourteenth Century)
One of the best ways of pleasing Louis XI. was to offer him some present relating to his favourite pastime, either pointers, hounds, falcons, or varlets who were adepts in the art of venery or hawking