A cabin in the Mayo River District was chosen to be refurbished as part of the Renovation Hunters television show, a series that sets out to make family’s experiences in the outdoors better by renovating cabins, hunting camps, fishing camps, and vacation homes.
The show, hosted by Hal Shaffer, a professional Huntsman, and contractor Kevin Tarkovich is set to premiere in March 2023 on the Outdoor Network. Shaffer also hosted the hunting series Drop Zone TV.
Chad Joyce, who owns the home and property with his two brothers Todd and Darrell Joyce, said his middle brother Todd applied online, put together a video and submitted it to the network.
“They called us, it got down to the top 5, and then they wanted to do a visit to each property. I think they gave us about a 24-hour notice,” he said.
Since all of the brothers have moved out of town, their parents, Bobby and Jean Joyce, also of Critz, gave those affiliated with the show a tour of the property.
“My father, Bobby, met them over there, gave them a tour of the property, and showed them the house, and they fell in love with it,” he said.
Joyce said he and his brothers bought the 170-year-old property nearly two years ago to serve as a place for the family to get together. Since all the brothers live in different places, and his parents live near Critz, the cabin serves as a central point for them to all meet.
Joyce and his brothers previously worked on the property, installing a trail system and somewhat updating the cabin.
“But anything built in the 1800s, it took a little time and extra effort. We were spending more time working on the property than playing on it,” he said.
For the renovation, Joyce said eight to 10 contractors were brought in.
“A lot of it revolves around the hunting aspect of the property as well, so they’re kind of doing a full assessment of the land and looking at putting in a couple of deer stands, and we think they’re going to put water and electricity into the cabin,” he said.
Joyce said the renovation team came from all over the country to work on the property. He noted the women working on the cabinets were flown in from California, the man handling the cabin’s furniture was brought in from Buffalo, New York, and the land management handler hails from Iowa.
Joyce said the team also sourced much of the project in Patrick County.
“They asked where they could buy lumber, and they got a local exterminator to do some work. I think they’ve had about 10 meals from the little grocery store and gas station in Critz,” he said.
He added that he believes the renovators also purchased fertilizer and grass seed from local sources.
“They’ve by far exceeded our expectations of what we were thinking was going to happen versus what’s really happening. They’ve really gone above and beyond on everything,” he said.
Joyce said the team also made sure the family did not try to sneak a peek of the work being done.
“We were out working on a fence and they wanted to make sure we did not go down towards the cabin,” he said, chuckling.
Joyce said he believes a lot of the show is going to be focused on the more country aspects of life, like cabins, the land, and family.
During the renovation, the team went over to Joyce’s parents’ home for a meal of potatoes, garden vegetables, and cornbread. “These were the happiest guys in the world to have that, they loved it so much,” he said.
Joyce said it meant a lot to his family as the renovators got to sit around the table, they have Thanksgiving at and enjoy some traditional country food. “They got to sit around and have a two-hour meal and enjoy some country cooking,” he said.
The grand unveiling of the property was Thursday, June 30. Joyce said the team kept a lot of the renovations a secret and “were not totally informing us of what” they did.
Like a previous renovated property, the show did in Nebraska, pictures that show the extent of the renovations are being kept secret to encourage people to watch to show when it comes out next year.
For more information about Renovation Hunters, go to Facebook.com/RenovationHunters.