When we talk about tomahawk targets we mean one of two things, the wood that the hawk will stick in, the block, or the target markings that you are aiming for that is on the face of the wood block. These can be markings such as concentric circles drawn or painted on, lines, rubber bands, playing cards, paper targets, or anything else you might attach to the wood block to throw at.
TomahawkGuys use several different tomahawk target marking methods for scoring throws.
The TomahawkGuys Paper Target:
This target is based on the official NMLRA (National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association) target but has some modifications. The original NMLRA target has three black dots, the TomahawkGuys have modified the NMLRA target to include white “power-points”. All other aspects of this target are the regulation size of the official NMLRA target. We simply staple the target to the wood block for use. We have provided a download link below for a file that contains four of the targets on one sheet of paper. You can print these out, cut them apart and your good to go. We use these primarily from the 1 rotation distance but, of course, you can use any distance that you want.
The way it works is this: Each thrower gets 5 throws. Any stick in the wood block is worth 1 point. If the thrower cuts any part of the paper target it is 2 points. If the thrower cuts through 1 of the dots it is 3 points. Cut 2 of the dots and 4 points is awarded. 3 dots is worth 5 points. The maximum points per game is 25. If you count the “power points” on the TomahawkGuys targets, then an extra point is awarded for any white dot cut also of a maximum of 8 points per throw or 40 points per game. We usually play 5 games per set and 3 sets per match. Of course you could alter our rules however you want to. If we are using just 1 target we usually take all 5 throws consecutively and then the next thrower takes a turn. If we have more than 1 target available we will throw simultaneously. (Remember to wait until all players have thrown their hawks before going to retrieve your hawk and never throw your hawk if someone is in the “danger zone”)
The Concentric Circles Target:
This scoring system is based on concentric circles drawn on the target. The TomahawkGuys use these from the 2 rotation distance and beyond. Each thrower gets 5 throws earning the point value of whatever circle the blade crosses over. If the blade hits the line without crossing then the smaller value is awarded. Only an obvious portion of the blade has to cross over a circle to score the points in that circle.
The way that the TomahawkGuys mark the blocks with the concentric circles so that they will always be consistent between numerous targets is to first make a “Target Stick.” We simply cut off a piece of a yardstick to about 13-1/2 inches long and drill a few holes to make a kind of compass device that makes for drawing nice circles. This works best with a block that has a nice smooth cut face. For a really rough cut block face we have used a string attached to a nail driven in the center and tied a pencil at various distances for the circles but this method can lead to wacky circles if you are not careful. We have also used different size cans or other round things to set on the face for a template to draw around. The nice thing about the “Target Stick” is, as mentioned above, that we have standardized our circles and can make them consistent between multiple targets. So here is how we make our “Target Stick.”
The diameter of the circles we use are 3-3/4″ for the inner 5 point circle, then 9-1/4″ for the 4 point circle, 14-3/4″ for the 3 point circle, 20-1/4″ for the 2 point circle and 1 point for any tomahawk stick outside the 2 point line. I drill a very small hole at the 1″ mark on my yard stick so that I can push a small nail through it. This is my pivot point that I drive into the center of the block. Then I drill a larger hole big enough for the tip of a pencil (or marker etc) to go through but not so big that the whole pencil will slide through. I drill these holes at the 2-7/8″ mark on the yard stick, the 5-5/8″ mark, the 8-3/8″ mark, and the 11-1/8″ mark. This should give you a “Target Stick” with the right radius holes to mark the standard diameter circles that the TomawkGuys use.
Tic Tac Toe / Around the World:
This could be the most versatile way to mark your target block. However a rather large block of 30″ minimum is needed to fit all the markings on. The one pictured above is 32″ in diameter. We make a 21″ square centered on the target block. That square is divided into nine 7″ squares as pictured below. If your block is not at least 30″ all the markings will not fit on there. You could still mark your target as shown in the picture above leaving off the larger outside square marking. The only difference is that the outside “squares” might have the corners cut off and would be a little harder to play on than with a big target. With this pattern you can play “Tic Tac Toe” and “Around the World.” It also has the added benefit of making your wood block last longer as you are not always throwing at the center of the block but trying to stick in the outer edges also. This really helps to develop your aim better than always throwing for the center. For all the games using this pattern you are not allowed to hit the lines. If you do hit the line then the player forfeits that throw. So for “Tic Tac Toe” we use a separate piece of paper to keep track of the throws. Whenever a player makes a clean stick in one of the squares then an “X” or an “O” is awarded to that player for that square. The winner is the person who sticks 3 squares in a row horizontally, vertically, or on a diagonal just like “Tic Tac Toe.” Another fun game with this is “Around the World.” We start with sticking in the upper left corner, then move to the upper right corner, lower right corner, lower left corner, then the left center square followed by the top center square, right center square, bottom center square, then the middle to finish. As long as you make a clean stick in the appropriate square you continue to throw. If you miss that square or hit the line then you forfeit your turn and the next player throws. First person to throw around the world wins. If a player still has a turn left when another player finishes the around the world cycle then that player can throw to see if they can finish out also. If the game ends in a tie then an appropriate tie breaker can be used.
The target block pictured above has the current “official” TomahawkGuys markings on it. Both the concentric circles and the 7″ squares for “Tic-Tac-Toe” and “Around the World” variations are on there. You will need a target block of about 30″ in diameter to get all of the markings on there. If you rotate the target 45 degrees you can play “Diamonds” which would be the same as “Around the World” except the squares are diamonds! Of course you can attach a NMLRA paper target anywhere on the face also, we use a stapler to attach ours.