Making a Survival Bola

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    If you find yourself in a situation where you have to hunt for your own food, hopefully you will be prepared. Having a rifle, shotgun, or bow and being proficient in the use of such items is probably the best way to go. Should you find yourself without such items, you are going to have to resort to alternate means of acquiring food animals to sustain yourself and your family. There are a lot of options for doing this, one of which is the bola.


    A bola is an easy to make weapon that is useful for acquiring small animals in the wild. It can be used in the capture of animals that run across the ground or for birds that fly in close enough proximity to the ground that your bola cast can reach them. The way a bola works is through the utilization of several cords that meet at a center knot. Each cord is weighted so they will separate and wrap around game animals upon contact. To use a bola, you will need to grasp it by the center knot and twirl it overhead, releasing it in the direction of your target at an opportune time for a connection to be made. The weights cords should separate in flight and immobilize the game animal upon making contact, keeping it from being able to flee while you close in on it. Do keep in mind that successfully throwing a bola at a moving target and making contact will take practice. Also be sure to remember that immobilized animals can still bite, and will probably be more than willing to do so once entrapped and riddled by fear.


    To create a bola you will need three strands of rope as well as three heavy objects. Once you've gathered your components, take your three strands of rope and tie them together to form a center knot. You want to tie these close to their ends in order to be able to utilize the length of the rope for the weighted objects you will be soon adding. With the center knot tight, move on to the objects you plan to use. You can make a bola ahead of time and add it to your BOB or you can make one on the fly; the timing of your bola making will depend on what you will have available for use, but items such as rocks are generally useful. If you plan ahead, you can tie monkey fists with steel balls inside or even use something small and simple like nuts.


    There are recommendations for the length of the rope involved as well as the weight of the objects used, but the best way to go about making a bola is using lengths and weights that are comfortable for you as opposed to following a universal guideline. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of game you will be pursuing, which will vary somewhat from one part of the country to the next. With all of this in mind, make selections with which you are comfortable and experiment with those, adjusting them as needed to enable yourself to throw your bola successfully. Once your bola is done, do not forget to practice using it. Like all skills, bola wielding takes practice and becoming proficient with it ahead of time will aid you in using it when scoring a game animal for a meal really counts.

    Of course, be prepared for the inevitable headaches of whacking yourself in the dome with your new bola as your work with it. Further, follow your hunting regulations for your state and make sure you don't violate them with your primitive weapon when practicing pre-survial situation.

    Be safe out there

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