Looking for a Career Change? There's Always the Driftwood Business


The Gants and their wood.
  • The Gants and their wood.
Meet Jimmy and Kris Gant of Lakeview, Arkansas.

The couple is in the driftwood business. That is, they harvest and sell driftwood for use in taxidermy displays.

This morning the Gants set up shop on the parking lot outside the World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Sales were slow early on, but the Gants were optimistic. You got to be in this business.

It can take hours to extract a prized piece of wood from the murky bank of Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. And often the hard work comes with little financial reward. Driftwood retails from as little as $3 per piece to $125 for giant root balls like the one in this photo. 

"We're trying to make it," says Jimmy Gant, who uses an 18-foot, flat-bottom boat to collect the wood. "And it's a good business for the most part. But, yes, there's a lot of manual labor involved. That's for sure."