Alright...You might be one of those people who thinks that the stars of the History Channel show Mountain Men are the real deal. They really live up in the mountains, all alone (maybe with their wives) and they live off the land and make money only by trapping, tanning hides, and selling their wares. Well, you're partially right...but you're mostly wrong.
The thing with Mountain Men is that it's a reality TV show. That pretty well means, right off the bat, that it's at least half fabricated. Things are scripted and drama is made of situations that have no drama normally. There's always something new and dramatic going on that doesn't normally happen in real life. If they didn't make those things happen, the show would be boring and they would lose ratings...but at least it would be real.
Anyway, this article is all about the things that the executives and creators of Mountain Men may not want you to know. As it happens, a lot of these things are also things that a number of the stars might not want you to know, either. Like how Eustace Conway seems to be a fraud who doesn't know what a misfire is. To be fair, Tom Oar did straight-up tell the press that the show-runners purposely bullsh*t things to make life seem more dangerous.
15 These Guys Are Never Alone
Here's the thing. The show just harps on about how these guys spend their lives all alone in the mountains of whatever state they happen to be living in. They live off the land, and they hardly see another human being most of the year because they're too busy doing work. But that's total BS. Maybe before they were cast in the show that might have been the case (might have, depending on which cast member we're talking about), but that's not the case anymore. Every moment of their life, once they sign on to the show, is covered by a camera crew. If these guys really do live a life of solitude like they advertise, then how is it that they don't go nuts over the fact that a camera crew is following them around all the time?
14 Conway's Turtle Island Preserve Was Shut Down
This is a little crazy. Eustace Conway– who had run a school at a place called the Turtle Island Preserve– taught people how to build and live off the land. But the place got shut down by the government. Why? Because the buildings on the property that Conway had built did not meet current building code standards...this is a guy teaching others how to do this! But you know what? It didn't last all that long. People came out to protest the closure of the place. Basically, these idiots figured that he could build whatever he wants no matter how dangerous since it was his property. And they are apparently more than happy to learn how to build dangerous structures as well! What the hell is wrong with so many people?
13 Tom Oar Is Not Hurting For Cash
The creators of the show do this thing where they make it seem like the mountain men are always working through money issues. Tom Oar is a perfect example of this. They try to make it seem like he only gets by from selling the pelts he gets and the hides he tans. But that is more than clearly bullsh*t. He makes more than $200 grand each year. And that was not just from the animals he hunts and sells. First of all, he has got way more business since the show came out and showed off his business to the world. But secondly, he obviously was getting paid a decent amount for doing the show in the first place. It's hard to be real when you can't even admit in the show that you're doing really well financially.
12 The Camera Crew Is Abused
You might know that some of the camera crews in documentary filmmaking like with National Geographic can deal with some pretty insane conditions. They can spend months in remote locations, having to lug their gear around while they get soaked, sunburnt, or frozen. But they get paid well. Apparently, when camera workers would go to find a job with Mountain Men, if they mentioned anything about hotels or per diems, they are almost immediately told that they won't work out. I get the hotel thing; the guys for the job need to be hardy and able to stick out sh*t weather for long times. But why not per diems? Should they not get some pocket scratch daily? Sure, some of the shooting puts them out in the woods for three days at a time. But other times, they're at town events where local wares and foods are sold. Why not have some pocket change for that?
11 Eustace Conway Is A Bit Of A Fraud
It might be a bit defamatory to call this guy a full-blown fraud...so I'll just call him a bit of a fraud. Eustace Conway has been a builder for a long time and a woodsman of sorts. There is no doubt there. He has actually done these things for years. He's also taught many people the skills that he uses to do these things. He has run a school for many years. The interesting thing is that one of the reasons his school had been shut down (for a time) was because of his buildings not being up to modern-day code...and he's teaching people how to build! And aside from that, it seems like he doesn't even know how to properly use a gun. If he doesn't actually know what a misfire is while he actually takes a shot and misses a deer 40 yards away...then I think he might be a bit fake.
10 The Same Execs Discovered Duck Dynasty...
This is perhaps one of the most awful things that the executives definitely don't want you to know. They are the reason that the A&E show Duck Dynasty came about. Originally, they had found these guys and created a show called Duck Commander. But A&E bought the rights to the show from them, renamed it, and decided not to hire them to head up the creation of the show. So, the execs of Mountain Men got screwed out of a gold mine because A&E bought out Duck Dynasty and left them out of the loop. I don't know what's worse about this though. Is it worse to know that the Mountain Men execs were screwed out of a gold mine? Or is it way worse to know that they are responsible for the ridiculous show that is Duck Dynasty?
9 Marty Rides His Snowmobile Over Dirt
Ok, to be fair, Marty didn't ask fires to ravage the area and melt the snows where he decided he had to travel. That being said, route changes are possible. I think most people know that SNOWmobiles shouldn't be running on dirt. Thankfully, Marty knew well enough to keep filling the temp exchanges with snow he could find kicking around in patches in order to keep the machine working. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the producers made Marty go out this way. If he was actually out there on his own...I think he might consider sticking to the snowy paths so that he wouldn't lose both his machine and the goods he was hauling with it. No one wants to chance being trapped in the middle of the cold woods.
8 Tom Oar 'Can't Survive Without Mountain Goat'...
Alright, I'm sorry for those who really like Tom Oar on the show, but there are some things that piss me off about him. And realistically, it might just be the producers who are f*cking with him and making things harder on purpose, but I don't understand why he "needs" mountain goat in order to survive. That's his choice. He has a dog right there beside him if he needs meat. When he travels to local towns to sell his wares, he could buy or barter for food then. Does he need to fly a plane 800 miles just to find one goat? Do you know how much it costs to fuel up a plane!? Imagine the amount of food Oar could have stocked up on if he didn't spend his money on fuel. I think the producers just wanted a good story, so they must have covered the cost.
7 Remember, It's 'Reality' TV
This is a thing that you definitely have to remember. And this is a thing that the execs on the show definitely don't want you to remember. Mountain Men is nothing more than a "reality" TV show. And what do I mean by "reality"? I mean to say that most of it is therefore bullsh*t. Of course, it is. Some of the guys that they film even admit that the producers keep trying to spice things up. Some of the stars on the show even think that the producers have purposely sabotaged some of their equipment and gear just to see how they'll deal with it and cause a bit more drama on the shoot. Now, that definitely sounds like "reality" to me. On one hand, it is real because the stars sometimes don't even expect the crazy drama about to happen...but on the other hand, it's all manipulated by the execs.
6 Conway Doesn't Know What A Misfire Is!
This is something that really makes me think that Eustace Conway is a fraud on the show. While on the hunt, Conway spots a deer about 40 yards away. That's not too long a shot. Especially not with a scope like the one he has on his rifle. So, he takes aim and fires at the deer. He misses! But that's not what he says. No, he says that he's had a misfire. Now, this is a big slip up right here. Any of you who know anything about guns would know that a misfire means that there was no discharge at all. It simply means that the ammo did not fire. This can be dangerous because the ammo could be unstable depending on how hard the pin hit the cartridge or shell (and we don't need to get into detail here). The point of this is that he just missed the deer. He fired and missed. That's is. A hunter should probably know what a misfire is.
5 Eustace Conway Is An Awful Neighbour
"He went and tied our gate shut, so we couldn't get out and he put posters all over our gates, mailboxes, fences. Then he put big wooden barriers, so we couldn't get out. He just kind of went nuts." Basically, once the show came out, Eustace Conway decided he was doing well enough and was a big enough star that he could lose his mind about everything. He and his neighbor used to be good friends, apparently. But once the show was going strong, he started battling her over the lines of their property to the point where he tried to block his neighbors from using their own gate on their own property! I think that the executives on the show could have done something better here. They could have left this lunatic in the woods, rather than let TV go to his head.
4 There Are Several Films With The Same Title Already
Here's a shot from s brother comedy all about surviving the elements and each other to end up closer at the end of it all. There was a film even before this one starring Charleton Heston. I would bother to look up what it's about but I think Heston was gun-nut-NRA-crazy so I'm not going to bother talking up his films. Anyway, I doubt that the execs of Mountain Men would like you to know that there have been at least two films that have come out that both rated better than the show has ever done. Of course, the ratings all depend on what source you're looking at. But, so far as I've found, most ratings are in favor of the films over the TV show. And that's crazy because "reality" TV is so bloody popular, it's nuts!.
3 Tom Oar's Danger Is Faked
"[They] always have to make [his day-to-day life] seem more dangerous". Tom Oar has admitted that the show execs and producers have pushed for moments to look or seem even more dangerous than they are. Tom might see a bear at some point in his day in the woods up the mountain. This is a perfectly normal thing to see. But once they see the bear, the producers instantly have to make this some big bit of drama for the viewers. Everyone sitting at home on their asses doesn't really get out to see bears in the woods and would probably freak out. I'm used to having bears in the backyard every year. It's nothing crazy. Just don't piss them off. Tom's big admission was followed up with a solid "I'm too boring otherwise."
2 Preston Passed On This Year
Ok, before anyone gets up in arms here, Preston did not die on the show. That's not anything that is a concern for anybody. But it can't be overlooked that execs never want their show to be mentioned in the same sentence as the death of someone. Not unless it will bring them a ton of publicity. And I have to say, however sad it might be, that Preston's death would not have brought any good publicity to the show. He died of a liver tumor that killed him in less than a month! Nothing from that looks good for the show. It doesn't make it look bad, but they don't want to be connected to death. Nor would they want to be connected to the GoFundMe publicity that came after his death.
1 Preston's Family Didn't Need A GoFundMe Page
Preston was great friends with Eustace Conway. Good thing they were never neighbors, otherwise they might have ended up fighting over boundaries and Conway might disown him as a friend. Anyway, Conway had his issues with the Turtle Island Preserve, but Preston's family seemed to have issues after his death. And not in the way that you would expect. Of course, they should be grieving. But, in addition to that, they also seemed to have money issues. I don't know the exact number, but the History Channel didn't pay the guys in pennies. In spite of this, there was a GoFundMe page that raised over 100 grand for funeral expenses and the fixing of a leaky roof. That's nuts. Don't tell me there wasn't already money enough to do that. I'm sorry for the family, but also for the people who gave their money to people who didn't need it.