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What’s an atlatl?

Learn about the ancient weapon called the atlatl during the World Atlatl Association’s annual contest March 30 to April 1 at Valley of Fire State Park in Overton. Events include an atlatl demonstration March 30, a target contest and kids’ activities March 31 and an endurance challenge April 1. (See events list below.) Events are free, but entry into the park is $10 per vehicle; Nevada residents receive a $2 discount.

For more information on and directions to Valley of Fire State Park, visit www.parks.nv.gov.

World Atlatl Association contest events (note: advance registration is required for the Atlatl Endurance Challenge April 1).


March 30: Atlatl Demonstration
Drop by Atlatl Rock to learn about the ancient tool the atlatl, which predates the bow and arrow. The atlatl was commonly used by natives of the area while hunting bighorn sheep. Get a chance to throw an atlatl and test your hunting skills.
WHEN: Friday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Participants will gather at Atlatl Rock. The park is located only six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.
WHO: The event is open to the public.

March 31: 3D Target Contest
Join people from around the world as they compete to be the best atlatl competitor. Registration is free and starts at 8 a.m. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third places in the women’s, men’s and children’s divisions. Some atlatls will be available to share
WHEN: Saturday, March 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Participants will gather at Atlatl Rock. The park is located only six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.
WHO: The event is open to the public.

March 31: Ancient Arts and Weapons Kids Activities
Join park staff for fun crafts, learn how to throw with an atlatl, create your own petroglyph and many more fun activities.
WHEN: Saturday, March 31 from noon to 2 p.m.
WHERE: Participants will gather at Atlatl Rock picnic area. The park is located only six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.
WHO: The event is open to the public.

April 1: Atlatl Endurance Challenge
Join competitors from around the world to test your endurance in pursuing your prey. Competitors will run a one-mile fun run, 5k (3.1 miles), or a half-marathon (13 miles) trail route, and end with a precision shoot out to test their skills in the ancient hunting tactics. Medals will be awarded for first, second and third place in all three distances runs. A minimum of five participants are required for each distance.
WHEN: Sunday, April 1 from 8 a.m. to noon
WHERE: Participants will gather at Atlatl Rock. The park is located only six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.
WHO: The event is open to the public. Participants must sign up by via phone 702-397-2088 or email at vofranger2@mvdsl.com no later than 4:30 p.m. March 21, 2012.

  • Posted by Chris Moran on March 15th, 2012