Bolas ( sometimes called bolos) have been used as a weapon for hunting and protection by many different societies throughout history. They were used by the Australian Aborigines and have been found in Pre-Columbian settlements, in South America. They were used by the Gauchos in South America to capture running cattle or game.
They are simple throwing weapon that are easy to make. They consist of several balls (from 2 to 9) on the end of interconnected cords. They are thrown at the game entangling it in the cords. The balls can vary in weight depending on the size game you are hunting. Now most of us are never going to have the chance to learn to throw a bolas and take down cattle from a running horse. But it is fairly east to catch birds with them.
To make a bird bolas, find half a dozen small round rocks about the size of a marble. Wrap each rock in a piece of skin or cloth, as shown in diagrams a & b. Take three pieces of string, twine or even 550 cord about 5 feet long, double them in the center and bind the doubled parts together. Tie the bags containing the rocks to the loose ends of the string. Your bolas is now ready for use.
To throw the bolas, grasp it by the bound end and whirl it around over your head like you would a sling and throw at your target. When you let it go, the loaded ends of the string will fly apart so that it will cover a space approximately 5 feet in diameter in the air. If it hits a bird it will either wrap the strings around the bird or stun it. Either way you have a meal. They can also be used on all types of small game.
With a bit of practice, you can become quite proficient at throwing these. If you live in the country, it is a good skill to teach young children.