From airbows to dual-firing crossbows, a lot of controversial tackle now falls within a loose definition of the “archery” category. But probably the seemingly most bizarre are slingshots designed for firing arrows as ammo.

While it certainly sounds fun for backyard target practice, some small-game hunters are swapping their shotguns for slingshots. But can they really get the job done? 

If Opie Taylor could kill a mama bird with his new toy slingshot and a pebble, a purpose-built slingshot and arrow in the hands of a skilled hunter should be able to put small game down quickly and ethically.

Compared to costly compounds, crossbows, and shotguns, these slingshots are inexpensive and low-maintenance. With a strong frame, powerful band, durable arrow, and appropriate broadhead, you can hunt pheasants, rabbits, squirrels, and the like with relatively little out-of-pocket expense.

While these arrow-shooting slingshots can make sense for hunting small game, they’re not effective for big game — despite what some YouTubers might tell you. Although pretty powerful, these slingshots produce significantly less speed and energy than bows and would likely only wound a deer.

If you’re interested in trying out a slingshot-arrow combo, be sure to choose the right gear. Don’t just pick up a cheap plastic toy — buy quality.

As with any type of hunting, take tons of practice shots before firing at your quarry. Without sights or peeps, it will take some time to master the instinctive aiming.

Manufacturers recommend wearing eye protection when shooting these heavy-duty slingshots, so be sure to stay safe whenever you practice or hunt.

And before you go out and start slinging arrows at any animal, research the legality of slingshots as hunting tackle in your state.

Would you ever hunt with an arrow slingshot?