Special Report: South Georgia Ax Men - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: South Georgia Ax Men

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The History Channel has a hit show, Ax Men, who retrieve logs from the bottoms of rivers. One of the teams on the show is from right here in South Georgia.

The murky water of the Suwannee River is where "the Dreadknots" make their living.

The men pull valuable century-old logs from the floor of the river. Dave Stone is known as "The Kracken,"  the expert SCUBA diver.

"It's a treasure hunt every day, you never know what you're going to find, what you're going to run into. So it's exponentially harder,"  Stone said.

But they're good, and they quickly realized they had something to offer the History Channel.

"next thing I know we're putting a video on YouTube telling the History Channel their show sucked and we were that much better and I guess you could say the rest is history," said Stone.

Captain Clint Roberts is the expert logger and Chris Miller, the River Guide, drives the boat.

As they gear up to shoot season seven, the guys are still on the river every week logging off camera.

One log can sell for $5,000, and on any given day they can pull in up to 40 logs.

They sell the logs to high end wood floor, furniture, and cabinet makers. And what History Channel doesn't cover is the story behind these century old logs.

"The only way you could get logs to the saw mill was to actually cut them down with axes and float them in the rivers. They'd take mules, drag the logs to the rivers. Well the densest, heaviest of those logs would sink to the bottom - never to be recovered until now,"  said Captain Clint Roberts.

These guys are pulling the only source of original virgin growth timber left in America.

"It's neat knowing that some guy spent hours cutting this thing down with an ax and then it got lost and now I'm finding it,"  said Roberts.

But it's not the history that helps Ax Men's ratings, it's the drama -- and these boys know how to put on a show.

"You know how dolphins have echolocation? Well what we got is redneck-o-location. Basically we listen to the way the bullet hits off the water and from there we can tell if its log or rock. And that's how we can tell if we're finding this monster river gold," said Stone.

And at the end of the week you can find the guys in Dave's living room with their families watching the newest Ax Men episode.

And they are just as surprised as you to see what makes it on the show... Speedos and all.

If you ever see these characters around south Georgia, make sure to say 'hi.' They love taking pictures and signing autographs. And they say they have some new tricks up their sleeves for season seven.

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