Cheers and the sound of clattering axes ring out from the wooden stalls of Bury the Axe Hatchet Throwing Bar inside Logan’s Hungry Buffalo. In one stall, a party of four competes along gender lines for bragging rights — the women are dominating. In another, a party of six offers tips for how to get the axe to stick to the board hanging at the far end of the stall — a feat proving more difficult than it first seemed.
Such scenes are playing out across the country, as axe throwing bars are gaining popularity with millennial patrons. In fact, CBS News reported that in 2019 American consumers spent more than $6 million on axe throwing experiences, a 319% increase compared to the year before. axe throwing experiences are on average, $34.12 per person,
The stress-smashing trend’s rise in relevance might also be due to the inclusive nature of the sport. Axe throwing is open to any adult who has read the lengthy house rules, which include items such as, “Spectators may NOT handle or throw axes at any time,” and “Customers must always be in control of themselves.” “It doesn’t matter what skill level you are. You can do it,” Turner says. In fact, Bury the Axe intentionally built its stalls with consideration for wheelchair users, and owners have seen these details put to regular use.
The axe throwing facility housed within the Hungry Buffalo opened in 2019, after owners carefully considered indoor activities that could maximize the space.
“People come to this area to hike and things like that and if it was a day that wasn’t pleasant, people wanted an alternative for something to do, whether to come in and warm up or cool off and take a break from the outdoors,” says Jackie Turner, manager of the hatchet throwing facility.
Not surprisingly the facility is busiest on Fridays and Saturdays. “On weekends, normally on busy Saturdays, we probably change the same board three or four times,” says Cassie Hopkins, a server and hatchet throwing coach.
Sundays at the Bury the Hatchet are booked with patrons enjoying half-priced throwing sessions, and food is served right to those playing in the stalls. The facility is open all week, and interested parties are encouraged to book an appointment online and sign in upon arrival.
“It’s a great idea, it’s lots of fun. This is our second time coming,” Jeff Kasza of Carroll says. Kasza says he and his group were there to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, management made a few changes to the facility. First, the number of stalls has been temporarily halved in order to follow health and safety guidelines. Secondly, the business postponed the opening of the axe-throwing league in which throwers can be ranked internationally with the World Axe Throwing League, which Bury the Axe is registered. However, the space is still largely open for special event bookings, including team building events, and birthdays, among other festivities.
“We get tons of bachelorette parties in here,” Turner says. “You would think it’d be bachelor parties but no.”
She also notes the popularity amongst women.
“If I kept track, there are way more women that want to do this than men,” Turner says.
She even observed a trend of female success at the stalls compared to men.
“Women, we have noticed, are better at it than men, especially starting out. They have a gentler approach and more finesse,” Turner says. “It’s not about strength. It’s all about science: strength and momentum.”