COLUMN: Hitting the right target

Published 5:12 pm Thursday, January 21, 2021


Is axe throwing a plausible defense against zombies? I bet that’s a question you weren’t expecting to read today. Rest assured, it’s not a question I expected to ask today, but here we are.

I cannot take credit for the inspiration behind this question; all credit goes to my coworker Scott Mims and the creative lead he crafted for his story about Big Axe Hangout.

Scott wrote, “Sometimes you just feel like throwing an axe at an approaching zombie. Or, perhaps, you simply need to get out of the house. Big Axe Hangout has provided a way to do both.”

Doesn’t that lead make you curious about the power of an axe to ward off those beings many of us became acquainted with through shows like “The Walking Dead”—and eager to find out more about this new place where you can practice such a thing while spending a few minutes out of the house?

It worked on me, but as I continued to read, I realized there was more to the story than just axes, targets and zombies. And that’s thanks to the people behind this new business.

The mobile entertainment venue, based in Calera, is designed to allow people of all experience levels to try axe throwing in the safe confines of a trailer.

Projectors create standard and not-so-standard (e.g. zombie) targets for people to aim at when they throw their axes, knives or ninja stars, depending on preference.

The Davises can partner with host businesses to bring their trailer to them and provide onsite entertainment. For example: Big Axe Hangout set up at Oversoul Brewing in Helena earlier this month, essentially creating a one-stop shop for people looking for something fun to do over the weekend.

For the craft beer enthusiasts out there, imagine the satisfaction of sipping on your freshly poured brew and then hurling an axe at an approaching zombie projection. What greater sense of accomplishment could there be on a Saturday afternoon?

On a more serious note, as we all continue to wade through these uncertain times, I’m encouraged by business owners like the Davises and their creative approach to running a new business and working alongside fellow entrepreneurs to share and multiply their successes. I think that’s something we can all celebrate while we try to give our unpleasant targets—both projected and real, zombie or otherwise—the axe.