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Thus, by artificially lengthening his arm, an Indian could sling a dart much farther and with much more power than by hand.

Armed with a sharp stone projectile point, an atlatl dart could bring down any game. Since Archaic Indians were not as nomadic as the Paleo people, they did not have easy access to good Texas flint.

In addition to deer, bear and turkeys, however, there also were large herds of buffalo and perhaps even a few elk.

The Native Americans were forced to adapt to this new environment, became hunter-gatherers, and developed new tools.

Most Archaic points are made from local chert, which usually does not flake well, and, as a result, the points sometimes are rather crude-looking.

Some collectors mistakenly believe these points must be extremely old, dating back when the Indians had not yet perfected their flint-knapping technique.

A hard rain a few days earlier made scouting conditions perfect. Today’s hunters stalk deer, squirrels, ducks and turkeys with flat-shooting rifles and magnum shotguns, but in the distant past the game and weapons were much different.

After walking for some time, I spotted it right in the middle of the road. The first Native Americans, or Paleo (PAY-lee-oh) Indians, probably wandered into this region some 12,000 years ago armed with spears. Only 2 to 3 inches in length, they are streamlined, as if designed for sticking an animal and pulling it out.Instead of deer and turkey, the Paleo Indians bagged such behemoths as the elephant-like mastodons and mammoths, big horned bison and Ice Age horses.The next time you cuss out your trusty .30-06 for failing to make a clean kill on a 150-pound whitetail, imagine what it must have been like facing down a 5-ton elephant while armed with a spear.Before timber harvesting, the ridge had been covered with a variety of oak and hickory trees, providing a rich food source. There lying fully exposed in the washed out road bed was a yellowish prehistoric stone dart point — clear evidence that I was not the first deer hunter to walk this ridge on the Hammock Hunting Club.It also was the nearest high ground that would serve as a refuge when Dugdemona River inevitably experienced its annual flood. Louisiana has been the Sportsman’s Paradise for thousands of years, a fact proven by the prehistoric points and pottery that are scattered all over the state.They stayed in one place longer but probably moved with the seasons to take advantage of ripening nuts and plants.