Tomahawker, the only thing I have killed with my atlatls was a near-life-size plywood mammoth with foam kill zone that I made for a primitive arts gathering many years ago. The kids sure had fun with it. Lots of info on atlatls at PaleoPlanet, and lots of plans here. A word of advice: pass on the Alaskan board atlatls at first. They can be painful to use unless you get the geometry right for your hand. My favorites are simple "Basketmaker" style atlatls.
This is pretty much the way that we used to do our wood baseball bats. I think the heat opens up the grain at the surface and then the pine tar (or whatever wax/sap you wanted) better absorbed into the wood. I saw a lot of batters using rosin bags to rub down their bats but a hot bat would suck the tar into the grain and from then on, it wouldn’t need much else. I actually preferred a smoother, less sticky bat. Johnson’s floor wax is what I liked. Didn’t use a batters glove either so maybe that had something to do with it.