Caught part of a show last night when I got home from work on Discovery Channel called iCaveman. I saw most of it, though I was doing other stuff and missed sections. I think the series had run before. Don't know if anyone else watched it, but here's couple of thoughts I had while watching:
1. The idea behind the show is that it would be an "experiment" wherein they would teach rudimentary paleolithic skills to a group of volunteers and then have them live a week or so as hunter/gatherers. Much of the show centered around their quest to bring down an elk for food. It was interesting to watch a few of the people give up on the experiment after a few days of hunger and cold. The first girl to drop out was a pretty brunette who apparently refused to eat some of the less impressive small animals that the group managed to kill in the first couple of days. She became weak and hungry and ended her stint sobbing as she mentally broke down and couldn't handle the scenario any more.
2. The second person to drop out was a healthy, enthusiastic guy who I didn't peg as a quitter. After the second or third unsuccessful attempt to kill an elk, he quit - but not before stating that it wasn't fair for the few active hunters to go out and expend energy every day while some of the women lounged around under the trees sleeping all day and whining about being hungry. "Its not like they are my girlfriends or anything.... why should I provide food for them while they lay around and complain?"
3. Combine #1 and #2, and you see the birth of the Worlds Oldest Profession.
4. I was surprised that there wasn't a more concerted effort on the part of EVERYONE to concentrate on small game and fish. While small groups of hunters tried for an elk, the rest of the crew basically sat around instead of setting snares, deadfalls, or fishtraps.
5. Their first elk hunt was with stabbing type spears, which was doomed to failure. You'll never get close enough to a large animal in modern times to make that work. Then, they were given Atlatls and a brief instruction in their use. The next couple of attempts were failures too - since the elk smelled, heard, and sensed the hunter long before they got close enough to make a throw.
Then... when the group morale was at it's lowest and they needed a successful hunt the most, magically they were able to bring down an elk. For some mysterious reason, the elk just stood there and let them get close. Even after the first spear was thrown and missed its target, the elk - all of which were staring at the fur clad hunters - remained where they were and one of them was speared and killed.
I'm of the opinion that being able to hit an elk with an atlatl and bring it down, cut it up, and haul it back to camp is a great achievement for people with little to no experience. It was pretty clearly a "canned hunt", though, with elk that were used to being near people and in no way reflected the skills and abilities needed to stalk and bring down truly wild game.