Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 15, 2014

Going down the river with the ‘Ax Men’

VALDOSTA — With just a bit of flesh hanging on, “Captain” Clint Roberts finds himself wounded while river logging.

Losing a battle with an alligator snapping turtle, his bite needs medical attention. What is the captain of a homemade pull barge to do when stuck on a river in the middle of the deep Southern woods with an injury?

The answer comes from his partner, Dave “The Kraken” Stone, who decides to demonstrate his “redneck” medical skills by stitching the wound with some fishing line from the boat.

It’s a story Roberts tells anyone curious about the strange looking scar on his arm.

Becoming The DreadKnots

Down in Pinetta, Fla., as the Southern sun beats on the waters of the Withlacoochee, you can find these two men making a living performing a task few had ever encountered until it became the subject of a popular reality TV show.

Stone and Roberts’ method of logging is not only unique, it is an occupation that has made this crew famous thanks to History Channel’s show, “Ax Men.” The History Channel summarizes their story as follows: “Timber markets have reached new heights, and logging companies are pushing harder than ever to cash in. Falling trees, bone-crushing equipment, razor sharp lines, lack of attention and sometimes just freak accidents can kill a logger in an instant. Every day, there is a fine line between production and safety. ‘Ax Men’ tells the story of the men who risk their lives to provide America with much-needed timber.”

Known as The DreadKnots, Stone and Roberts are one of the logging teams followed by the show. This upcoming season will mark their third with the show. However, this job is not something they invented just to keep audiences amused. These boys have been at it way before L.A. decided to pick them up.

When Clint Roberts learned about river logging from a customer at his sawmill, he sought a place to get his scuba certification. This landed him in Valdosta’s

Southern Ocean Sports, owned by Dave Stone.

Stone asks all of his students why they are taking the class, and Roberts’ reason piqued his interest. Roberts wanted to mine sunken timber from below the waterways.

“I told him I’d let him learn for free if he taught me more about this whole logging thing,” says Stone.

Thus the DreadKnots were born.

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