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By JoEllen Black, Publisher
Jimmy Houston dubs himself as America’s favorite fisherman, but Ray County may have one in the making.
He’s not quite syndicated yet, but Henry Hilliard and his dad, Hank, have produced 15 fishing and hunting videos in the past two years that viewers can see on You Tube (youtube.com/user/fishon421). Henry is the star of the show, Get Outside!
“It was my idea (the show) and his enthusiasm. He’s a ham in front of the camera,” his dad says, who is his sidekick, cameraman and chaperon as Henry hunts squirrels and deer and fishes on area lakes.
A deer hunt with his dad in December netted a large doe and Henry’s boyhood exuberance was evident as he tracked down the doe.
“There she is, right there, yeah!” Henry said. “Look at the size of it. This is a huge doe! That’s a mature doe, daddy,” Hank said, then takes off his hat to say a prayer of thanks for the doe and the experience with his father.
The 10-year-old shows his knowledge and skill of the outdoors and doesn’t display one ounce of stage fright. Asked if he watched outdoor TV shows for tips Henry said, “I don’t need any tips, ma’am,” although he’s met Houston and watches Bill Dance. And like the big boys, Henry’s show also has sponsorships that either he or his dad reeled in.
A squirrel hunt with sister, Honna, is Henry’s most-watched show with 27,031 views. Henry offers tips on how to find squirrels in a wooded area and appears to be just as excited about his sister’s trophy squirrel as his own.
Trapping is Henry’s favorite winter activity; however, in the spring and summer, it’s all about fishing.
Henry’s first video was fishing on Ray County Lake with other shows filmed on Pomme de Terre Lake, Table Rock Lake and an undisclosured lake around Cameron – a favorite of the family.
The beginning of this year has offered more exposure to Henry and his show as he is featured in the 2012 Big Bass Mania kids’ calendar. Henry is Mr. November. Proceeds of the $10 calendar go toward the Wounded Warrior Project to purchase fishing equipment for wounded soldiers’ children. He and his family braved frigid temperatures two weeks ago to autograph and sell the calendars outside of Walmart. In April, Henry will compete in the BASS junior tournament at Table Rock Lake.
For Henry, a sportsman life is not a fad.
“How long will I do this? For the rest of my life ‘til the day I die.”
To purchase the Big Bass Mania calendar, contact the Hilliards by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.