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Mountain Men: Did History Channel cameraman steal Marty's gun?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

A blatant production error in this week's episode of the History Channel's Mountain Men demonstrates why "reality television" is still "television," after all.

Benjamin Franklin said, in a 1789 letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, "'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes;" seems that this is true even for a mountain man.

One thing—maybe the only thing—that makes it truly impossible for one to live completely “off the grid” is the fact that, even when we “own” our property, the government continues to get its piece, year after year, via property taxes. If we don’t pay those taxes, the government will eventually step in and take that property we “own.” Thus, even mountain men who live off the land have to come up with some way to bring in at least enough cash to pay those annual property taxes.

Eustace Conway went down to his mailbox on the latest episode of the History Channel’s Mountain Men to find a letter threatening to take his property if he doesn’t pay his taxes.

“What pisses me off,” Eustace says, “is crazy people focusing on foolish things like taking my land away that have no idea that the land is the most important, sacred thing in my life, period. The people that are suing me, I never even met the people, and yet they’re taking my land away? B*******.” But, Eustace isn’t taking the lien against his property passively. “What this land means to me is life. It’s about existence. This is home. I’m ready to die to take care of this mountain.”

Trapper Marty Meierotto is trapping his way through the episode, although he comes up empty-handed on the trip. If the careful viewer was paying attention, he saw a production error in the footage, as well. As Marty checked the first trap, he saw that it was empty. Clearly, he has a gun strapped to his back. As he rides up to his next trap—which, according to the voice-over, took him five minutes to reach after leaving the first trap—he notes that he sees wolf tracks around the empty trap. But, now, the gun is gone. “Marty’s been surrounded by a pack of wolves while crossing a frozen lake before,” the voice-over says. “He had to fire a shot with his rifle just to escape. This time, he’s unarmed.”

Well, if the wolves come along, maybe the cameraman will give him his gun back.

This is why “reality television” is, in fact, often more “television” than “reality.”

Will Eustace be able to cut enough firewood to sell for tax money? And, will Marty be consumed by a pack of wolves while he walks through the woods (his snowmobile broke down, as well, during the “he’s unarmed” scene), or will the cameraman have mercy and let him have his gun back to keep the pack away (and perhaps give him a ride on his own snowmobile so that he doesn’t have to walk 10 miles in the dark)?

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Will Eustace keep his land in Season Two?

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sue probably needs to learn how to spell probably. But it's probably just a probable typo - probably.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I'm just now watching the missing gun episode and was glad to find this site! What a stupid blooper!! I guess the producers wanted to create such an atmosphere of drama that they lost their common sense. Hard to believe that the show aired with such obvious errors. The editors really screwed up bigtime.

Submitted by headlesshorsewoman (not verified) on
Common sense isnt that common anymore.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
This Eustace doesn't have a clue what living off the grid is like. Obviously we all saw the coil roofing nails. And with a hammer and nail like he was doing he couldn't have possibly done that shingle job in the time period they said. Then in this weeks episode, he wants Justin, to sight in a rifle with 4 shots? You need at the very least 6 rounds to do this accurately and that's if the scope is already really close. Then e says the rifle misfired? I clearly heard the rifle go off. Then u see them tracking the deer. Any hunter that take a rifle to the woods to take a animal shoots his own rifle and knows where it shoots, so the risk of woundin a animal are minimal. After only two episodes I don't even wanna watch the show anymore because of this part of the show. Marty and Tom still seem interesting regardless that they haven't caught or killed anything and really have failed to show how try live off the grid, with telephones, trucks, electricity, planes, and snowmobiles. Just saying.

LOL--when I was watching last night, I was like, "Misfire? What is he talking about? The gun clearly fired!" All I could figure was that he was using "misfire" as a way of saying his sights were off (I mention it in my latest article about this show, in fact; see link above on UPDATE). You're absolutely right on everything you said; I could not believe anyone would take a gun into the woods to hunt without knowing, as you said, how it was sighted. I also do not believe, personally, that Marty walked 10 miles back to that cabin. A few set shots, and the rest on the cameraman's snowmobile--that's what I think (certainly would be what I would prefer, anyway, in the same situation).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Its TV. Eustace is bad to the bone. I've met few, very few, of his knowledge and experience.

Submitted by Rip (not verified) on
What a blatant error depicting Justin sighting in one rifle (lever action), then showing Eustace missing a deer using a different rifle. Then, to blame Justin for improperly sighting in the rifle and causing Eustace to miss is so ridiculous. It certainly reduces my enjoyment of the program. Another earlier episode where they are repairing the wood shingle roof on the shed emphasizing the use of hammers and old nails, then they show Justin carrying what looked to me like a case of air gun nails. Good story, just really stupid errors.

You know, everyone knows that reality shows are more "show" than "reality," but I don't think people really mind if they are done well ... I mean, it's like watching any other TV show at that point ... but, when the errors are so blatant and so numerous, it does take away from the enjoyment ... maybe it just demonstrates how little the producers/editors on this project know about their subject matter for this show?

Submitted by Hate Drama (not verified) on
This show would be cool if it wasn't such a wimpy drama cry fest. Every sentence is worry, danger, the dog missing for 30 seconds, not enough meat, winter, snow, my clothes are wet, im screwed, a bear, waaa waaa waaa. Show some cool tough mcgyver stuff these guys do to get food, build things, improvise, not eusteces gay love quarrel, old dudes worried wife, and Marty's im screwed sound bite used 46 times in 10 minutes. God you producers are wimps!!! Make some good man show if your gonna call it mountain men. If not rename this mountain fairies!

Submitted by Hate Drama (not verified) on
Lol- i posted that before I saw the ski repair and ironically they said "mcgyver like" ha. Too funny. I DVR in case your wonderin why im delayed.


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