Troy Mickelson is used to getting questioning looks. Folks ask what he is building at the corner of Larson Avenue and County Road #82 in Ashby. “I’m building an axe throwing business,” he says, and there is that questioning look again.
Ashby Axe is set to open this fall to league and recreational axe throwing. Affiliated with the World Axe Throwing League, participants can advance to state, national, and even world competition.
Mickelson became interested in axe throwing when a group of Ashby couples went to Fargo for a Valentine’s Day outing and had a blast at Fargo Axe.
“We started talking about how this would work in Ashby,” Mickelson said. Soon after, he decided to take the plunge.
Mickelson will be taking classes to become a certified instructor and scorer, and will offer classes at Ashby Axe, where you must be 12 years old or older to throw. He hopes to start doubles and singles league play by mid-September. Ashby Axe will be a 40’x 60’ building that will have six throwing lanes with targets made from cottonwood or fir, 5’ tall and 4’ wide, on both ends of each lane. Special throwing axes will be available for use.
“You will find that you don’t have to throw them hard, as you are only 12 feet from the target.”
There will be a non-alcohol bar, and Mickelson hopes to work with local restaurants that can provide food to be served there.
“We are hoping to give people another reason to come to Ashby,” Mickelson said. “Axe throwing is gaining in popularity and is a bit like trap shooting, that is also becoming popular. We will be the only place between the Twin Cities and Fargo to offer the sport of axe throwing. Although I heard one may be opening in Alexandra.”
Mickelson, who is a 2002 graduate of West Central Area, is a special education teacher at Ashby. His wife, Emily, is an OB nurse in Alexandria. The couple have two girls in third and fifth grade.
“Axe Throwing is something totally different for folks to try. It is family orientated or you can make a night of it with friends.”
Check out the Ashby Axe Facebook page where you can keep up with the news or order hats and T-shirts.