HUNTING SQUIRRELS WITH A HANDMADE FLIP
Aiming and Shooting a Flip
NOTE: Eighty-eight-year-old "Whittling" Sim Lovejoy
of Springville, Alabama, has made flips for 55 years. His children, grandchildren
and extended family get together every year for a traditional, family
squirrel hunt using their flips. Today we're discussing flip hunting with
QUESTION: Sean, you're a third-generation flip hunter,
ANSWER: Before I could walk, my daddy had me in the woods with a slingshot
in my hands, teaching me how to hunt squirrels.
QUESTION: Is flip hunting for squirrels a way to start
off young boys hunting?
ANSWER: Definitely. It's safe. It's not something like a gun where you
have to be concerned about a child killing someone. It's something a family
can enjoy together.
How long have you been coming to this hunt?
ANSWER: Since I was three or four years old.
QUESTION: How do you shoot that flip?
ANSWER: You start with your ears. Most people think you start off with
your arms stretched out and then the flip pulled back next to your face.
But you actually start off with the flip pulled back to your ear. Then
pull your right hand down straight until it's extended fully, release
and then flip your wrist over.
QUESTION: How do you aim your flip?
ANSWER: A number of people have asked me that. It's difficult to say.
It's similar to aiming a bow. You just get a feel for it after a while.
It's similar to the crossbeams of a bow or the scope on a rifle -- knowing
how it aim correctly. It's instinctive shooting.
How do you keep from hitting your knuckles with the steel ball?
ANSWER: From the surgical tubing to the pocket, you have a string -- about
2-1/2-inches. Ten years ago a world-class flip shooter told me a secret.
By using surgical tubing all the way to the pocket, when the string goes
through the flip it'll hit the fork and knock the shot off every time.
However, if you put the string on there, it causes no friction when it
goes through the flip, and gives you a more-accurate shot.
QUESTION: Tell me about when your dad went to flip contests.
ANSWER: We used to go over to Horton's Forties. Back in the 70s, flip
shooting got really popular, especially in the Southeast. They used to
have contests over at Horton's Forties. We'd go over there every year
QUESTION: Who would go?
ANSWER: Sim Lovejoy, and his sons David and Lyman Lovejoy.
How were the contests conducted?
ANSWER: They'd set up targets at 50 feet and 100 feet away. You got two
shots each time. The one with the closest consistent shot would win.
QUESTION: What would they win?
ANSWER: Nothing. Nothing worth near as much as we spent on the whole trip.
To contact Sean Lovejoy, write 2855 Dahlonega Highway,
Cumming, Georgia, or call (678) 513-5109.
TOMORROW: THE JOY OF FLIP HUNTING