By Montana Grant

Posted: June 18, 2020

Throwing axes and knives used to be a common skill for warriors, wild men, and wilderness survival. The hatchet, or a tomahawk, were carried by most pioneers, Mountain Men, and native peoples. Even soldiers in Vietnam carried a more modern version of a combat hatchet.

These tools served many functions. They could help gather firewood, build shelter, capture food, or add personal protection. In Boy Scouts, many of us earned our “Totin Chip” award by mastering axe and knife skills.

Today, Axe Throwing is having a revival. Humans love to shoot guns, bows, and throw spears, knives, and axes. I guess it is in our survival DNA. Shooting, archery, and using weapons appropriately is empowering. We all know anti-gun folks that became avid shooters after pulling a trigger a few times.

Weapons are gender friendly. You do not have to be a huge male Viking to master most shooting tools. Skill makes up for muscle. John Colt said that his six-shooter made everyone equal. I guess Erik the Red said an axe makes all a warrior.

Practice makes perfect. Axe throwing requires the ability to judge distances, aim, coordinate, and consistently throw the weapon. You can make a target for your back yard. There are many choices to build a safe target and instructions on how to be an excellent axe thrower. Search online or Google up some ideas.

Hobbies are fun. Axe Throwing can bring a new sport to your backyard arsenal of fun. Always consider safety, age, and your target backdrop. Anticipate the misses, ricochets, and potential accidents.

Give yourself a BIG target. Start chucking easy and close before going full force. The Celts, in Europe, invented the sport of axe throwing. Their targets were around 4 feet round or square. A huge tree cross section can be a good target. Build a rack to support the target at least 2 feet off the ground.

A proper Bulls Eye is important. Locate the center of your target and make a 36-inch cross both the vertical and horizontal. Add a 3-inch diameter circle in the center. The lines will help with targeting. Adding balloons and other targets can be fun. Lighting a match with an axe throw is not for beginners.

After many axe strikes, your target will show wear. Anticipate this and always have a backup handy. Soft woods work well. Planks also are a good choice.

If you hit someone with an axe, it will leave a mark! Avoid putting your axe target near corners, doors, walkways, where someone may step into the path. Fences will not allow visibility to the other side. Find an area where you have a hill or safe backdrop. Make rules to keep the range safe. Require some instruction before allowing rookies to throw.

Enjoy the cutting edge safely!

Montana Grant

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