Throw a Hatchet Like a Pro

Expert tips for deer camp’s coolest trick

hatchet throwing tips
Bury the hatchet.Mark Wiens

Chris Reed is accurate—period. He shot and casted his way to three F&S Total Outdoorsman Challenge finals. And in 2011, he won History Channel’s Top Shot, where he nailed targets with guns, bows, and even tomahawks. Which is precisely why we asked him for a few hatchet-hurling tips.

Instructions > Stick the Stump

hatchet throwing tips
Camp Darts: Paint a bull’s-eye on a cross section of a stump and hang it on a tripod.Chris Philpot

[1] Find Your Throw: First, develop consistency. This means lots of practice throwing with your wrist locked and using the same arm speed and motion for every throw—until it's second nature. Reed releases the hatchet as soon as it enters his peripheral vision.

[2] Find Your Spot: Watch how the hatchet hits the target. You're looking for the spot from which it makes one full rotation and sticks. If it under-rotates, step back; or move closer if it over-rotates. A perfect throw is when the hatchet sticks at a 45-degree angle.

[3] Find Your Range: If that perfect-throw distance is 10 feet, then at 20 feet the hatchet will rotate twice. If you're throwing at, say, 15 feet, flip the hatchet around in your hand and throw. It'll rotate one and a half times and the handle will stick up at 45 degrees.

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