Interview with Dustin Taylor of Country Music Television’s (CMT) “Swamp Hunters”
March 5, 2014
Interview by: Don of Don411.com Media
Coordinated by: Madison McElhaney of Brooke Fisher Public Relations
What inspired your group to bring “Swamp Hunters” to a reality show?
I was at a storage auction and they were filming a tv show, I told the producer if they thought auctions were a “tv show,” they should see what I do out in the swamps. I told her about it and she agreed to send a camera crew out to follow us for 3 days. After she saw the footage, she felt it was a worthy of TV, and it just grew from there.
What were some of the challenges encountered while filming and how were they overcome?
The big challenge filming was the heat and dehydration….not to mention keeping an eye on the film crew. Ha ha! They can’t hang. We filmed during the summer in south Mississippi and parts of Louisiana, so the heat and humidity can drain you.
What was your most challenging find?
Our most challenging find has to be anything we find underwater rather than on land. Anything we have to retrieve out of the bayou can cause problems. You are working blind swimming in the bayou. Sharp objects can cut you, and gators or snakes can swim up on you.
What was your most valuable find?
Me and D’Roy have found many valuable items; we’ve also found many that aren’t worth a dime. I would probably say the most valuable thing we have found was a coin worth somewhere between $20k-$30k.
What inspires you and your family to brave the swamps for relics? What should the viewer take away from watching the show- are there any interpretations or a messages you wish to convey?
We do this as a means of providing when we sell an item or artifact, but we also do it because we love to discover history. We aren’t looters of the swamp, we are helping to clean it up and keep an eye on it.
As far as a message goes, I would hope most would see that we are just regular good ole boys. We aren’t out selling drugs, or doing anything illegal for money- we are just using good old hard work ethic to make a living. No different than a farmer, mechanic, trucker, or cowboy…we are just do our work out in the swamp, bayous and backwoods.
If you could go back in time, what advice and lessons learned would you had given your “younger self”?
I would tell myself to spend more time with family. All those years I spent working other jobs, I could have spent with my family. Money is never as valuable as time with your family.
What advice for aspiring young relic hunters would you give? What did you discover about the industry that you would want others to know about?
The younger relic hunters should learn patience. You will not always find something. Do your relic hunting with family or a friend- someone you enjoy being around. You will find yourself talking and bonding more than finding relics.
If you had to pick one, what was the most memorable experience you had while searching?
I remember falling in a hole while walking through the swamp. I was walking along and fell into a hole about 12 feet deep. Spent about 3 hours in that hole.
Are there any questions you would want asked of you that haven’t been asked? What would your answer be?
Something I would like to ask anybody who is thinking of becoming a relic hunter- please respect other people’s property, always refill the holes that you dig and do not leave trash behind.
Any other things you would want others to know about yourself?
D’Roy has been fishing and hunting in these swamps for over 60 years. He is a one-time Mississippi Governor’s Cup Fox Hunting champion with a dog named Swampcat. Dustin has been hunting and fishing with D’Roy in these swamps for over 30 years. Relic hunting is only one of the types of hunting they do. They also hunt Squirrel, fox, rabbit, deer, hog and raccoon. Catfishing, bass fishing, saltwater fishing, frogging, crawfish, shrimping, crabbing and trapping are among the other things they do in their redneck way of life.
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