Completing the Tomahawk Mastery Challenges gives you a Trophy/Achievement, and it causes you to gain tomahawks when you open chests at properties you own.
- Rank 1: Purchase the tomahawk from the general store at Manzanita Post.
- Rank 1: (Undead Nightmare) Save Manzanita Post from an Undead attack.
- Rank 2: Kill one enemy with a thrown tomahawk, one with a tomahawk melee, and one while on horseback.
- Rank 3: Kill a flying bird with a tomahawk without using deadeye.
- Rank 3: (Undead Nightmare) Kill an Undead Bat with a tomahawk.
- Rank 4: Kill five enemies in a row with the tomahawk without missing.
- Rank 5: Clear a gang hideout using only the tomahawk.
- Rank 5: (Undead Nightmare) Save a town using only the tomahawk.
- Only enemies shown with a red dot will count for this. Hunting with the Tomahawk does not count.
- Clearing gang hideouts is an easy way to finish this rank, often times they will have a horse in the area as well so you can get all three at once.
- To melee with the Tomahawk you must be standing directly in front of, next to, or behind an enemy. If you are not close enough it will be thrown instead
- Clearing a gang hideout will cause vultures to spawn. They fly in a circular motion and are easy to hit. At the Twin Rocks gang hideout, the vultures can sometimes be easier to hit from either of the two rocks, as it is closer to their height.
- This challenge can be completed using a minor exploit regarding when the game registers Dead Eye as being active. After entering Dead Eye, mark a bird with an "x", and deactivate Dead Eye as soon as Marston throws the Tomahawk. The Tomahawk moves much more slowly in Dead Eye, allowing a small window of opportunity to exit Dead Eye before the Tomahawk meets its target. When done correctly, it will not count as a Dead Eye kill since the actual kill was not made in Dead Eye.
- In some areas, such as the Great Plains, many birds will fly away when you appear. These are perfect opportunities to catch a low flying bird.
- Sometimes, a bird that is standing on the ground can be hit easily with the Tomahawk. If that bird reacts, it counts as a flying bird, earning the challenge.
- In Undead Nightmare, a good tactic to hit an undead bat is to kill a Sasquatch in the Birth of the Conservation Movement Survivor Mission, and as a creature dies, bats will start flying, giving you a chance to hit a low-flying bat with a Dead Eye thrown Tomahawk.
- The best way is to simply melee attack five civilians. Whilst wearing the Bureau Uniform you don't attain any bounty.
- One could also go to Thieves' Landing, or Casa Madrugada to get the 5 kills.
- It only counts shots with the Tomahawk, so you can kill someone then switch weapons and it won't reset the counter.
- Nosalida is a perfect place to get this rank, as the first enemies are preoccupied shooting the Mexican soldiers.
- Another easy place is the saloon in Armadillo. Stand up on the second floor and there should be 5 Walton's Gang members sitting at the tables below. Ready up and rain steel down upon them.
- If there is a bounty at Mescalero, sneak up to path entrance of the camp along the north ridge and crouch behind the rocks at the campfire. The gang members will come one-by-one to the path entrance below. Dead Eye the first five in the head.
- The Tomahawk can also just be used to hit the undead in rank 4.
- Do Pike's Basin. The enemies in the Basin are pretty much stationary requiring you at times to approach them head-on from long distances. In some cases you can attack them from the ledges above.
- Go through the Tesoro Azul hideout. Take out the first outlaw at the gate, then take out the two that will rush out soon after using Dead Eye. Everyone else will stay inside if done correctly. Rush in and find some cover. Yes, they are using cover, but you have plenty of cover as well. Just wait for them to pop their heads up and take them out. With this hideout, you can obtain rank 4 and 5 easily.
- You can equip the Treasure Hunter Outfit and simply walk through the Gaptooth Breach gang hideout without killing anybody (at least occasionally, the player may encounter hostiles near the exit of the cave after acquiring the treasure). This will count as only using the Tomahawk and you should complete the challenge.
- You can throw your Tomahawk at explosive crates (causing them to explode) and still successfully complete the challenge. This can be especially useful in Undead Nightmare's Cochinay as you can kill many zombies using very few Tomahawks.
- In Undead Nightmare, you can use Death to help kill the undead while using dead eye to kill the undead with Tomahawks, as long as you don't use a gun this should work. Even if you run out of Tomahawks just ride into the undead using Death to finish off the rest. You could also kill all the undead with Death and kill the last undead with a Tomahawk, or just kill everyone with Death (confirmed without Tomahawk even equipped).
- Before approaching the Twin Rocks gang hideout and starting it, it is possible to use a sniper riffle to kill the two bandits perched on the large rocks, then killing the remaining bandits using the tomahawks, either by throwing them, or used as a melee weapon; this, in turn, completes rank 4 and 5.
Complete all Tomahawk challenges in single player.