“Mountain Men” Recap: Who Took Marty’s Gun?

Trappers were hoping to see some more trapping in the new History Channel series “Mountain Men,” and the second episode did not disappoint.

In the episode entitled “Mayhem,” which aired last Thursday, Marty Meierotto, of Alaska, and Tom Oar, of Montana, both spent much of the episode trapping. Oar trapped two beavers in a nearby pond to help save his neighbor’s water supply from contamination while also securing some meat for the winter. And cameras followed Meierotto on his Alaskan trapline as he experienced a slow day on the trapline and some snowmobile issues. If you missed the episode, it airs again at 2 a.m. Central tonight and at noon on Thursday on the History Channel. To view the full episode online, you can visit the History Channel website.

Oar’s trapping scenes were well done and portrayed trapping in a positive light. Not only was he helping his neighbor by trapping the problem beavers, but he also mentioned that trapping the beavers would not be detrimental to the overall beaver population and that the #330 bodygrip traps were very humane. Oar said something to the effect of, “He never felt a thing” as he displayed a beaver in a trap. Oar also had a National Trappers Association member patch on his pack, which was nice to see on national television.

Meierotto was unsuccessful on his trapline after spending much of the episode battling snowmobile troubles. While I enjoyed seeing some of the lynx sets Meierotto made, it was hard for me to get over a production error in the episode. When Meierotto checked his first set on the trapline, he had a gun across his back. But at the next set, which took five minutes via snowmobile to reach according to the narrator, the gun was no longer there. The narrator then said something about a time when Meierotto was surrounded by wolves on a frozen lake. He had to fire his gun to get away from the wolves, according to the narrator. “This time, he’s unarmed,” the narrator said as the episode flashed to images of wolves and the sound of howling.

So, what happened to his gun between those two sets?

I’m sure it’s just a small production error that leaked into the episode, but it’s the kind of thing that makes viewers a little more skeptical of just how “real” this reality show is. I can assure you that by all accounts everything about Meierotto and his lifestyle is very much real, but the show is for entertainment, and the production team might have spruced up the footage a bit to make it more exciting for the viewers. It was a regrettable mistake.

The production team also seems to be overemphasizing the threat of danger in the wild. Yes, grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, cold and hunger can certainly be life-threatening, but the only immanent danger they’ve shown on the series so far appears to be Meierotto’s broke-down snowmobile and impending 10-mile hike back to camp in the dark and bitter cold, which will play out in the next episode (airing Thursday at 9 p.m. Central on the History Channel). While some viewers have pointed out that the Meierotto could hitch a ride back to camp on the cameramen’s snowmobile, I imagine the agreement beforehand was that the cameramen are merely there to observe unless it’s a life-or-death situation. The fact that they don’t appear to be helping Meierotto gives me hope that “Mountain Men” will be more realistic than the seemingly made-up gun drama from last week’s episode.

All in all though, I believe the episode was entertaining while also being a public relations success for trapping. The two veteran trappers portrayed trapping in a good light in homes across the country, many of which had very little or no understanding of trapping prior to viewing the show. While the jury is still out on the overall impact of “Mountain Men” for the trapping community, the show seems to be off to a good start in that regard.

The next episode, “Lost,” premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. Central.

Have you been watching “Mountain Men”? What did you think of this week’s episode?


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10 thoughts on ““Mountain Men” Recap: Who Took Marty’s Gun?

  1. Staged drama for the the trappers is not needed, unlike the idiot in NC. who in the world would give there hunting rifle to sight in, to some one ells when your life depends on it for food. One minute they have a 22 rim fire rifle then a leaver action rifle then a bolt action rifle then a shot gun, come on! Being a trapper for 35 years now, the staged drama made it hard for me to watch. Let the two trappers do what they do and it will be entertaining enough. You have plenty of drama with the guy from NC and his free labor kids working his place.

  2. I don’t know if the wolve danger is over emphasized or not, but i also noticed the differences, such as the missing rifle, different outter colthing on the same trip, and the second Snowmobile in the background. I think Oar’s scenes are good,but after seeing his log home I not sure he’s as dependant on hunting and trapping as the program alleges. Both Oar’s & Marty’s narration is over done and too dramatic in my opinion and i think others with similar experiences as mine probably would have the same opiniion..

    I spent 6 years smokejumping in Alaska, and most of the western states plus another 35 years in wildland firefighting plus hunting, and a little trapping when I was young and and like how the program depicts at least those two.

  3. I had high hopes for this show but am finding it both confusing and boring. The gun disappearing from the scene really exasperated me and ticked me off. Is it really that hard to edit correctly? I’m am also getting sick and tired of hearing Eustace harp on and on and on about his food supply. Hey, we heard you once already – ok? The world now knows that if Eustace doesn’t hunt and kill his food or if the kale crop fails then ‘Eustace won’t eat.’ Geez……….

  4. Just a quick question, where can one purchase or look at Tom oars products at? I live near Philadelphia Pa. And would love a pelt or some thing made from hand and not mass produced factory workmanship. Is there a website to check out for this type of homemade products?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • I would be interested in knowing where I can look at some of Tom’s products..I think he is very unique and I like him. I also like Marty and I think he could teach us a lot. I sure would like to eat supper with them! Caribou steaks!!

  5. Todays’ tv programs are all about the drama. Sometimes a producer tries to create too much drama. Doesn’t life create enough stress without producers always trying to leave the flatlanders on the edge of their seats?

    Example- Ton Oar on the horse ride with his brother. Only a flatlander would believe that they just psuhed a mountain lion out of the area and only a producer would make that up. They had dogs with them on the trip. The horses spook for whatever reason. They show a edited in picture of a mountain lion. The dogs don’t give chase or run away from anything. Then we’re supposed to believe that a mountain lion ran out of the area. Come on. The idea behind having the show is great. It’s a shame the producers are killing the show. I would rather watch Tom sit and twiddle his thumbs all day than be lied to.
    One more example- Tom cutting wood. They say that he cut enough for something like a month. They show him cut one little tree down and then show him dragging some wood on a sled. The wood he brought back wouldn’t last me 2 days. The wood on his porch wouldn’t last me much more than a week or so. I cut and split 7 cords a year and I’m happy if I have anything left in the Spring.

  6. I live in Georgia but went to highschool in Helena, MT . That’s where my heart is . I would like to buy some of Toms products. Can you help me please. Thanks so much

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