Ashley Jones' journey to Swamp People wasn't an easy one.
Five years ago, Jones told the paper that after experiencing a miscarriage, she slipped into a deep depression for three months "without even knowing it."
"It was like I was dead inside," she recalled. "It was like just going through the motions of life without getting anything back from it. It was a hormonal imbalance and that's normal, but I didn't have anything I was passionate about to fall back on."
Going through life in a haze, Jones explained, "I just felt like there was something missing. It was like I was meant to do something else."
Her husband, Chad Jones, knew she was struggling to find a higher purpose and suggested she accompany him on a deer hunting trip, which she said made her feel alive once again. Moving on to other game and alligators, Jones quickly distinguished herself as a expert hunter, impressing a man who was friends with the Swamp People production team.
"I watched the show religiously and never in a million years would I have thought I would be on it — ever," Jones said. "Actually, it's still surreal to me. I've watched three episodes with me on it and it still doesn't seem real."
Taking on gators for the History Channel cameras is definitely a challenge, and not one the reality personalities are playing up, she added.
"Those gators really are fighting that hard," she confessed. "We're not being overly dramatic."
Even the mosquitoes in Louisiana were new for the Mississippi native.
"They were pretty bad," Jones admitted. "You can see on some episodes where I have knots on my skin. I was just welted up with them."
Nothing could deter her from the hunt, however.
"It was so suspenseful each morning waiting to see if the bait was down," Jones said. "Then getting to see how big of a gator we caught."
"The biggest one we've caught was 12.5 [feet]," she continued. "But if we didn't have any measuring tapes around I would have said it was 14. That thing was huge."0comments
Swamp People airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on the History Channel.
Photo credit: Facebook/Swamp People