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History's 'Mountain Men' comes May 31

By April MacIntyre May 3, 2012, 20:03 GMT

History's 'Mountain Men' comes May 31

For more than 25 years, Eustace Conway has lived off the land deep in Daniel Boone country at the western edge of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. In this unspoiled wilderness, dangers like mudslides, falling trees, ravaging weather and hungry bears are a fact of life. He does his own lumbering, tanning, and blacksmithing, subsisting solely on what he can grow, fish or hunt.

Rugged terrain and hardscrabble men will star in the next docuseries for History, Mountain Men. 

Tag line: In the wilderness, every minute is a fight for survival. Only a fearless few have what it takes to live as...

The new HISTORY series premieres Thursday, May 31 at 10pm ET

From History

For more than 25 years, Eustace Conway has lived off the land deep in Daniel Boone country at the western edge of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. In this unspoiled wilderness, dangers like mudslides, falling trees, ravaging weather and hungry bears are a fact of life. He does his own lumbering, tanning, and blacksmithing, subsisting solely on what he can grow, fish or hunt.

Getting back to nature…going off the grid…searching for a more truthful existence…however you describe it, the “simple life” is not so simple. A new 8-part series, MOUNTAIN MEN, follows Eustace and others who have chosen the wilderness life as they race against time to obtain the food and supplies they’ll need to make it through the brutal winter months ahead. MOUNTAIN MEN premieres Thursday, May 31 at 10pm ET on HISTORY.

Ancient survival skills can mean the difference between life and death in the wild. It takes a whole year for Tom Oar to prepare for the seven-month-long winters on the Yaak River in Montana, about 100 miles from the nearest town. He needs to chop some 700 square feet of wood to heat his home and find enough food to last the long, unrelenting winter. All the while, he must keep a vigilant eye out for aggressive grizzlies, mountain lions, and wolves.

Meanwhile, up in the northern range of Alaska, Marty Meierotto is piloting his bush plane in search of animal pelts to make a living. But staying alive is a full-time job. As the days grow shorter and shorter, he must cut and gather enough wood to survive, in complete isolation, an Arctic winter that can reach 60 degrees below zero. He’ll live off mountain sheep and caribou – if the wolves and bears don’t get him first.

True American originals, these Mountain Men are the last of their kind, and the clock is ticking. They are:

Eustace Conway – When he was 16, Eustace attended a Native American ceremony where the spirits led him to live off the land as man was intended. He bought a tract of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains, built his own shelter, and eventually purchased (by selling firewood and giving paid lectures) a 1000-square mile tract he calls Turtle Island Preserve. Interns come to Eustace to learn the old ways of living with nature in a self-sustaining society. They include Justin, a tough city boy who can be hard to handle and doesn’t like taking orders; Chloe, a college student who hopes to someday help Eustace take Turtle Island Preserve to the next level; and Jessie, who is willing to work hard but struggles to adjust to the harsher side of outdoor living.

Read this great article on him from GQ: HERE

Marty Meierotto – At age eight, Marty’s dad took him fur trapping for the first time. From that moment he knew he’d be trapping the rest of his life. At 25, with ten bucks in his pocket, he lit out for Alaska and is now known as one of the top trappers in the territory. He lives in a cabin 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle with his wife Dominique, and their daughter Noah. Working the trap line means leaving his family for weeks at a time to live in his primitive one-room log cabin 200 miles from civilization. In bone-chilling isolation just a stone’s throw from the Yukon Territories, he relies on his wits to survive nature’s deadliest obstacles. It’s heart-breaking to be away from his family. Still, his inner spirit is calling him to the wild, and he has to listen.

Tom Oar – Tom was a bronco rider on the rodeo circuit for 28 years. When the work started to take a toll on his body, the long-time trapper taught himself tanning to support himself and the love of his life, Nancy. They’ve been a team for more than 40 years. Nancy worries about Tom working the trap lines every day; wolves are becoming a big problem, and he’s not a young man anymore. She is concerned that if his health or hers should fail, they’ll be forced to give up the life they love and move to Florida with his kids. Their neighbor Will is a close friend of Tom’s from their rodeo days. He looks up to Tom, who taught him how to live the mountain man life. Now that Tom and Nancy are getting older, he helps them out from time to time.

 



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