Ax-Throwing Venue Under Construction

JT Hagglund and Randy Heagle are hoping their new project hits the mark.

The pair have teamed up to build an ax-throwing venue at Heagle’s Arrowhead Ranch on Camano Island — and plan to open in spring.

“It’s go big or go home,” said Hagglund, a 14-year-old Boy Scout who is coordinating the effort to earn his Eagle rank. “This is not the typical Eagle Scout project.”

In search of an Eagle project last year, Hagglund reached out to various community leaders and eventually met with Heagle.

“I drove a soapbox derby car (at the ranch) and reached out to Randy, who had a cool idea of an ax-throwing barn, Hagglund said.

Heagle had been introduced to the increasingly popular sport a few weeks earlier during a trip to the East Coast.

“Once you do it, once you see it, who doesn’t want to throw an ax at the target?” Heagle said.

Ax throwing is becoming a nationwide trend that some enthusiasts hope will take off the way bowling did in the last century.

Scoring is similar to darts. Players aim at a wooden board painted with a bull’s eye and rings corresponding to different point values.

Bad Axe’s CEO, Mario Zelaya, founded the World Axe Throwing League a year ago. It now has more than 2,500 members worldwide who compete at his own locations and other independent venues.

“It’s bowling 2.0,” Zelaya told the Associated Press in a 2018 interview. “What bowling maybe used to be in the ’80s and ’90s, and this is what ax throwing is right now. It’s fun. It’s new. It’s addictive. It’s active entertainment.”

The World Axe Throwing League held its second world championship tournament in December broadcast on ESPN. Zelaya says his ultimate goal is to make ax throwing an Olympic sport.

Arrowhead Ranch ax throwing
Boy Scout JT Hagglund works with volunteers late last year to build the ax-throwing venue.

Meanwhile, local residents might be able to hurl a hatchet on Camano Island come April.

“It’d be awesome to host tournaments or meets,” Heagle said. “Come, relax, have some fun doing something different.”

Hagglund said he’s coordinating more than 20 volunteers and tracking down materials to help Heagle build the barn to earn his Eagle Scout badge. The venue will feature two regulation-sized throwing alleys, safety fencing and a gathering space.

Hagglund also is helping Arrowhead Ranch fundraise for the project. To donate, visit gofundme.com/jtseaglescoutproject.

“I’ve definitely learned some leadership skills — keeping volunteers busy so that we aren’t wasting their time,” Hagglund said. “I hope this project is something that lives on.”

To inquire about the ax-throwing barn, visit arrowheadranchcamano.com.

Or check out the venue during the first soapbox derby open house of the season on March 30 at the 20-acre ranch, 615 Arrowhead Road, Camano Island.

STANWOOD CAMANO NEWS | Evan Caldwell