The latest episode, titled “Gone,” follows the Mountain Men as they continue to struggle to find food and make ends meet. This season, almost everyone is having problems of some sort. For Tom and Nancy Oar, they discuss the very real possibility that Tom may need to trap elsewhere for the first time in 40 years.
The couple resides near the Yaak River in northwestern Montana with their German short-haired pointer named Ellie. With a seven-month long winter season, this Mountain Men duo works hard to bring in enough furs every year to meet their needs. This season, both the beaver and martin trapping isn’t paying off, and Tom only has $40 worth of martin fur to show for their hard work. Fortunately, Tom’s brother Jack calls, and after hearing their plight, he offers to let Tom visit him in Idaho so he can trap beaver in his area.
Tom decides he has to go, and Nancy will stay behind to run her own trap line and keep the household running smoothly. Tom gathers up his traps and lures and heads out, knowing that he is facing a big challenge. This Mountain Men couple realize they’re running out of time, and they hope their divide and conquer strategy will pay off in a big way.
Morgan Beasley was a newcomer to Mountain Men last season, and so far, he has been struggling just to survive since he set up a homestead in the wilds of the Alaska range. During this season of Mountain Men, he had problems with having enough food for both himself and his horses. Morgan has managed to bag a single martin, and becoming desperate, he decides to try bagging one of the hard-to-reach Dall sheep that populate the mountain ranges. Mountain Men reveals that with only two days of food left, he needs to conserve energy and tries to find the sheep before making the grueling climb up the rocky mountainside.
He is hopeful when he spots a few of the sheep, and this Mountain Men homesteader plans out how to approach the animals. Morgan fights off the effects of hunger as he struggles to hike up rocky terrain and is mindful of the steep slope, knowing that every step is extremely treacherous. He spots the sheep again and keeps going, deciding to spend the night up on the mountain range. Hopefully, this Mountain Men hunter will be able to get close enough to the sheep to take a shot and return home with some much-needed meat.
For Marty Meierotto, he has had disappointing results during this season of Mountain Men as well. Twenty miles into checking his trap line in Alaska’s Revelation Mountains, he hasn’t caught a single animal. Besides the poor trapping, this Mountain Men trapper has continuously gotten stuck because his snow machine just isn’t designed for the deep snow. On top of that, he discovers wolf tracks and becomes very concerned because it’s the first sign he’s ever seen that wolves may be in the area. If they are, they will kill everything and then be on their way, but that leaves this Mountain Men trapper without an income for the winter.
Rich Lewis suffered a serious fall from a tree during this season of Mountain Men, breaking four ribs and cracking one. Although mountain lion season is well underway, this Mountain Men hunter must sit this one out and is sidelined for at least four to six weeks. He depends on his winter income to carry him through the year, and now his inability to work is putting him in the red. Not one to just sit around, he devises a plan that will keep him occupied and perhaps put some money in his pocket as well.
To take advantage of his downtime, this Mountain Men veteran works on upgrading his old truck, named Wilbur, turning it into a vehicle that better suits his needs. Working through the pain, he adds a steel cable winch, a beefed up bumper, new tires, and a camper. Now, he will be able to stay in an area for extended periods of time and has new tools to help him successfully drive the mountain lions away from the areas farms and ranches.
A newcomer on this season of Mountain Men, Jason Hawk, along with his wife, Mary, and 5-year-old daughter, River, are settling into their new homestead in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains. The farmhouse dates back to before the Civil War and has no electricity, heat, or running water, and that’s just the way they like it.
“Homesteading life it’s not just about off-grid or going back to the land,” Jason explains during the Mountain Men episode. “It’s just going simply, it’s just about living, and really about building relationships with your family.”
A recent Mountain Men Facebook video clip follows Jason as he goes looking for the right type of wood to cut down in order to keep his family warm during the cold winter months. While on his search, he talks about how what they do isn’t easy, that there’s always something to do, and always a lot of work to tackle. With frost covering everything at night, this Mountain Men homesteader realizes he needs to start storing up wood.
Another Facebook clip show that since the family has no way to refrigerate their food, they’ve been leaving some of their perishables in a wooden box on the front porch to keep it cold. Jason discovers that feral hogs have gotten into their provisions, and although he is still learning about his new environment, Jason knows that having animals coming in so close to the property is a bad sign. Feral hogs can be very aggressive and can grow up to 300 pounds. They can destroy crops, kill livestock, and are a danger to humans as well. For this Mountain Men newcomer, he knows it is imperative that he take care of the problem before it gets out of control.
Jason tracks them down and shoots one of the hogs, which he hopes will discourage them from returning. He doesn’t make a clean kill shot and must track down the female hog he hit by following the blood trail. He is able to find her and makes the kill, which will put meat on the table and hopefully prevent future visits from the rest of the hogs.
Are you a fan of Mountain Men? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Mountain Men airs on Thursday’s at 10 p.m. ET on the History channel.
[Image via History Channel]