All female reality hunting show getting attention
Whoever did never met the three Potter County residents who are the focus of TripleMAG, the fifirst and only all-female reality hunting television show.
They are mother Gina Fantaskey and daughters Alyssa Kautz-Fantaskey and Madison Fantaskey, all of Coudersport. Their show is making waves in a competitive industry.
It airs on Root Sports (cable channel 34 locally) and is very much like many other outdoor shows, except for one major difference— the stars aren’t men.
Gina’s husband, Matt, is the son of long-time Coudersport residents Ken and Marlene Fantaskey. A 1991 graduate of Coudersport High School, he was the one who came up with the idea of taking their fifilming sessions to another level. He realized just how unique his family’s hunting excursions really were.
To move in that direction, they went to fifilm school to learn how to improve their techniques in the fifield.
Matt still takes part in fifilming, but they have also hired an editor who helps. A friend also pitches in.
Gina’s scheduled trip to hunt mule deer in Wyoming with a crossbow fell through last week, which might have been for the better— or at least her daughters probably think so. They would have had to miss this one.
“They weren’t happy, but school comes fifirst,” Gina said.
So far, nine shows have been aired on Root Sports; everything from an African safari-style hunt in which each girl bagged several different trophies, to bow-andarrow alligator hunts in Florida.
The logistics of each show are arranged by Matt and offer nearly the same challenge as the actual hunts themselves.
“Organizing the hunts, making travel arrangements, and getting licenses makes it a diffificult job,” Gina explained.
Filming the hunts adds another day of planning and frequent adjustments. Beyond the technical aspects, though, it’s “all reality, all hunting,” Gina said.
The trio has taken countless animals and all of the meat is used by the family, or given away to organizations who feed the needy. In Africa, for example, the meat was given to an orphanage.
Some animals are mounted as keepsakes. “I don’t even know how many are at the taxidermist right now,” Gina laughed.
Alyssa, 17, and Madison (“Mad Dog”) take part in nearly every hunt, although Madison is limited by her age in some states.
“They’ve both been out there since they were like two, sitting in blinds with us,” Gina explained. “So, they have always been around it and have really fallen in love with it.”
Alyssa has another passion— music. She aspires to be a country singer. The show gives her an outlet for her music.
“That’s what she wants to do and our biggest goal is to help her with that,” Gina said. Alyssa has already written and produced several songs, some of which have debuted on the show.
Matt and Gina, meanwhile, own and operate WhipperHill Consulting, an environmental inspection company that has grown to over 50 employees.
While the name TripleMAG sounds like something related to hunting (as in magnum), it’s not. Triple simply means “three” and MAG is the fifirst letter of each of their names.
TripleMAG is scheduled to be moved to The Sportsman Channel in January. Plans are being made for new hunts all the time.
Despite being from Pennsylvania, the girls have not yet targeted bear or elk. Those animals are in the plans, as is a hunt in Australia for water buffalo.
It’s a common misconception, said Gina, that reality hunting shows make money. Sponsors pay for the air time, but the family picks up the tab for the hunts.
“We certainly don’t make any money at this,” Gina said, laughing. “This is our passion, so we would be doing it anyway. It’s just that we are fifilming it now!”
The family has lived in Coudersport for the past 11 years. Gina is originally from Lock Haven.
You can learn more about their show and their adventures on Facebook or at triplemagtv.com. If you don’t have Root Sports or want to catch up on their past episodes, you can do so on their website or by visiting their youtube page.