Axe marks the spot!

Axe throwing comes to Cullman’s west side

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German Axe Throwing Company Co-Owners (left to right) Dalton Woodard, Devon Woodard, Nichole Hancock and Jarrid Hancock at the boards Friday night, Feb. 5, 2021 (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Axe throwing, once the sport of lumberjacks and buckskinners, has found its way into the mainstream over the last few years and, this past Friday, into Cullman as the German Axe Throwing Company (GATCo) opened its doors at 419 Main Ave. SW on Cullman’s west side. After an unpublicized soft opening for family and friends last week to work out bugs, GATCo’s official opening night was packed, drawing visitors from Fultondale to Huntsville and delighting co-owners Dalton Woodard, Devon Woodard, Jarrid Hancock and Nichole Hancock.

The Tribune sat down with Dalton Woodard Saturday afternoon to find out more.

Woodard said, “We originally went axe throwing for ourselves in Huntsville. And you know, there’s nothing to do in Cullman, for the most part. I’ve lived here my whole life, and other than bowling- we’ve had Fun Zone come and Fun Zone left, and the go-carts and the putt-putt- but as far back as I can remember, there (hasn’t) been a whole lot to actually go and do unless you’re on a sports team or something like that.

“And axe throwing’s growing as a sport itself, so it’s like you’ve got the WATL (World Axe Throwing League) which we actually play on our TV out there, and they’re on ESPN. We went through and we were like, it’s something we think we can do, is open a venue in Cullman. It’s a lot more simplistic than a restaurant, because there’s so much more that goes into opening restaurants or certain businesses where you’ve got to have merchandise and stuff like that.

“It just seemed like it was something that was enjoyable, that we could also actually go out and do.”

For first-time throwers

Everyone has to start somewhere, and GATCo welcomes newcomers to the sport, which is not as difficult as some might think.

Said Woodard, “We’ll see people come in, and they throw, and they have- like us the first time, we had no idea how to get it to stick- and within an hour, they’re hitting the bullseye nearly every throw . . . Once you figure out how to do it, there’s nothing to it.”

Once they get off the ground, Woodard and his partners hope to link GATCo to one of the major axe throwing leagues.

Woodard concluded, “We put a lot of effort into it for the people, and that’s the biggest thing: we’re not doing this to get rich. We’re not doing it to even be business owners. We just wanted the opportunity to bring something to Cullman to actually participate in.”

GATCo is a veteran-owned business with five throwing lanes open to throwers age 10 and older, as well as darts and cornhole.  The venue can supply axes, and throwers can bring their own, within limits: bring your hatchet or tomahawk and leave the big lumberjack gear at home. One hour costs $22 per person; 30 minutes is $15.

Schedule:

Monday-Wednesday, 4-8 p.m.

Thursday, 4-10 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight

On Sundays, the facility is available for rent.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GERMANAXETHROWINGCO/.

 

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com