Harford man’s TV show seeks prey… and audience

Nate Hosie of Harford shows the signature face paint he wears for “HeadHunters TV” show, airing this July on the Outdoor Channel. TIMES-SHAMROCK PHOTO/JASON FARMER

BY JOSH McAULIFFE

Times-Shamrock Writer

Like most people, Nate Hosie hunts for the sheer thrill of it, for the fact that it allows him ample time in the great outdoors.

Where he differs from most people, though, is that he actually gets paid to do it.

The 26-year-old resident of Harford spends the majority of his days at some of the country’s prime hunting destinations, thanks to his role on the upcoming cable series, “HeadHunters TV.”

The half-hour show, which will premiere this July on the Outdoor Channel, will center on the exploits of Hosie and three other world-class hunters, Randy Birdsong, Troy Ruiz and Shawn Luchtel.

Created by Birdsong, “HeadHunters TV” is not your father’s hunting program. It’s a hunting show for the reality TV generation, one with high-quality production values, fancy camera work, abundant contemporary music, occasional celebrity cameos (country music superstar couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, among others) and a healthy flair for the dramatic.

Different appeal

Each hunter’s personality will come into clear focus on the show.  Hosie, for instance, is the designated wild and crazy guy, “the one who stirs it up,” he said.

Most of the time he’s on camera, he’s wearing elaborate bat wing-designed face paint.

The show will also spotlight Hosie’s other passion – music. At the end of this month, the show’s camera crew will shoot him playing a gig with his band, Maybe Someday, at downtown Scranton’s Hardware Bar.

“Basically, we’re looking at like, if it’s in season, we’re going. We’ll hunt whatever,” said  Hosie, who lives on a one-acre spread in Harford, Susquehanna County. “I could be gone for as long as a month and a half at a time.”

Despite all that time on the road, Hosie realizes the rare opportunity that’s been presented to him. And he’s not about to waste it.

“This is our passion. This is something we love to do,” he said. “This is a group that all shares the same common goal. For me, it’s just so exciting.”

Early start

Hosie was first introduced to hunting at the age of 6, when he’d join his father, Marty, and grandfather, the late Josh Lepri, on their weekly Saturday morning pheasant hunts during the fall.

He loved every moment of those hunts, and as the years passed that love became a full-blown obsession. He’d hunt anything that was in season, from deer to all manner of game birds.

He took a particular interest in turkey hunting, especially the elaborate series of calls that goes into stalking the prey. He practiced his technique daily, and by his early teens he was winning contests.

Friends and family members took to calling him “The Turkey Slayer.”

Life-Changing Events

Two horrific events during his late teens essentially put Hosie on his current path.

One day, he and a friend were driving back from a hunting excursion when his friend lost control of his truck. The vehicle flipped over, and  Hosie ended up with a broken neck. He easily could have ended up a quadriplegic, or, worse, dead.

Not long after that, his 18-year-old sister, Marla, was killed when the car she was riding in with  Hosie’s mom, Lanette, and grandmother, Florence Lepri, was struck at the intersection of Routes 247 and 107 in Scott Twp. by a carnival truck driver from Florida who had run a stop sign.

That tragedy, Hosie said, inspired him to go after what he really wanted in life.

“I just thought in my head, ‘Why wait to do what you want to do in life?’” he said. “Everything I’ve been through, I’ve just learned to appreciate today. I’m someone who’s so appreciative, and so thankful, to be here.”

While studying for his education degree at Wilkes University, he simultaneously pursued a career in the hunting world, eventually landing a job as a sales representative for Top Calls, a well-regarded call company out of Renovo.

“I would always find myself watching these hunting shows, and I thought it was such a unique way to connect with the public,” he said.