‘Yukon Men’ Returns As The Fight For Survival Continues

Image via Yukon Men/Facebook

The residents of Tanana live along the banks of the Yukon River, and are used to facing and overcoming whatever challenges life happens to throw their way. Red Carpet Crash shared that this season of Yukon Men is no different, but danger comes much too close for comfort when a raging wildfire threatens the town. The wildlife all around them fled the inferno, and now Tanana is surrounded by nothing but ash.

On this season of Yukon Men, every man and woman will be forced to fight even harder to just survive in such a devastated and hostile new environment. They will have go further than ever before to do their trapping and hunting, which will put a strain on their already diminished resources. They will also have to deal with the dangerous scenario of competing with other predators, such as the wolves and bears that patrol the area, and are hunting the same prey.

Over the years, the numbers of wolves has grown to the point where they have nearly decimated the moose population, a problem that Yukon Men has highlighted in previous episodes. This makes it difficult for the residents of Tanana to provide meat for their families. Even more encounters with these dangerous animals will undoubtedly occur as the hunting areas continue to shrink. The Yukon Men villagers must be vigilant close to home, as well, since they have already had to deal with starving wolves that were encroaching upon the town.

Yukon Men usually follows a particular group of residents that fans are now very familiar with. Stan Zuray is one of those Yukon Men cast members, and he is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. With over 40 years of experience in the Alaskan wilderness, this Yukon Men regular is someone other villagers often seek out for advice. Thanks to advances in technology, Stan is able to maintain an active Facebook page, and fans have been wishing him a happy birthday.

Zuray recently posted a photo of the new road into Tanana, and viewers of Yukon Men watched as it became a major bone of contention among the villagers. Some were for the road and some were against it, fearing that it would interfere with their way of life. Now that’s the road is finished, it will be interesting to see on this season of Yukon Men if it does attract more people to Tanana.

Joey Zuray is Stan’s only son, and is in his early twenties. Growing up in Tanana, Joey is at home almost anywhere in the Alaskan interior. There are times when he does get into a bit of trouble, however. Last season on Yukon Men, when Joey doesn’t follow his father’s instructions and tries to make it back to Tanana in a leaky boat during the annual ice breakup, Stan asks pilot Seth Fairbanks to go pick up Joey. He is able to locate Joey and bring him back, much to Stan’s relief.

Tragically, Fairbanks later went missing after his plane went down. Stan had posted to his Facebook page that Fairbanks had become friends with the cast and crew of Yukon Men, and the plan was for him to continue to appear in the show. He went on to say that although Fairbanks and his passenger survived the initial crash, they both are presumed to have died when the tide came in and swept them away in the frigid water. The passenger’s body was eventually found, but Fairbanks is still missing. This real-life tragedy is a sad reminder of how dangerous living and working in Alaska can be.

As for Joey, over the course of several seasons of Yukon Men, he has learned to listen more to the wise counsel of his father, and has turned into quite the hunter and trapper. This Yukon Men cast member has been successful enough to sustain not just himself, but his family and the community elders as well.

Charlie and his son, Robert “Bob” Wright, are also featured on Yukon Men. Like his friend Joey, Bob is also in his early twenties and the two young men often go off hunting together. The multi-talented Charlie is a highly respected member of the community, and is a water-plant operator, mechanic, hunter, and trapper. Learning a wide variety of skills allows these Yukon Men regulars to be successful in almost any endeavor they attempt. This season on Yukon Men, Bob wants to leave Tanana again, and Charlie scrambles to figure out a way to convince him to stay.

The Moore family has one of the most successful dog kennels in the area. Pat Moore, along with his grown children Thomas and Courtney, work hard all year long to train their dogs, and it has paid off with some impressive races. Last season on Yukon Men, they were assisted by their cousin, Nations, who returned to Tanana after being away for several years. Pat has a lot on his plate — besides training and racing his dogs, he also worked on the new road to town while caring for his wife, Lorraine.

Yukon Men cast member James Roberts has been a major provider of lumber for the residents of Tanana, until thousands of trees were cut down to make way for the new road, which essentially took away all his profits. Instead of throwing up his hands in defeat, he bought his own portable saw mill and now sells boards that are always in demand for various construction projects. He also owns a growing dog kennel, and has unsuccessfully approached fellow Yukon Men cast member Pat Moore a few times wanting to buy dogs from him. James often enlists the help of his young sons, teaching them important survival skills and how fend for themselves in any situation as they work together.

Yukon Men is produced for Discovery by Paper Route, and executive producers are Alan LaGarde and Nick Guettler. Kyle Wheeler is executive producer, with Brian Peterson serving as coordinating producer for the Discovery Channel.

Are you a fan of Yukon Men? Do you think the fire and the resulting destruction is something the town of Tanana can overcome? Leave your comments, thoughts and opinions below. Yukon Men premieres on Friday, March 11, at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.

[Image via Yukon Men/Facebook]