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

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I hope the Mountain Men who might read some of these comments don't take them too hard personally. It is easy to snipe others on a keyboard on the Internet. While I agree that these reality TV shows are often more fiction than fact, I have the deepest respect for all three guys (and their families) and I guess History Channel has to make some drama otherwise most people won't watch it. In fact you might blame the TV viewers for being too lazy to pay attention unless there is drama.

Submitted by Tracy (not verified) on
Ron, you are right on the money. Reality is a termed used lightly for these type of shows. I'm sure these people do live off the land to some extent and would probably run most "tough guys" into the ground. I come from a family of hunters, survivors and nature nuts, or whatever you want to call us. I enjoy the show. I love the scenery and with the errors of the producers, I recognize it as exactly that, errors of the producers, I truly doubt they have a clue as to what really happens in the wilderness. So I'm going to keep on watching and enjoying Mountain Men!

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Most of these posts make me laugh. Any time TV is involved in "reality" at best 5% is actually real. I'm sure these people survive each day in a manner that is not represented in the tv show. Of course they use phones, electricity, modern guns, tools, etc. It would be foolish not to. Sure, they may use tools of old sometimes, but, it wouldn't be advised to use too often. I enjoy the show for the beautiful scenery, etc. I also enjoy the people, although, Eustace IMO is annoying. With that, I'm sure all 3 guys would make 99% of these posters cry like little girls if they had to go toe to toe with them. Enjoy the show for what it is, beautiful scenery, outdoor wonders, etc. Otherwise, all you tough guys try camping out in your backyard for a week, then get back to me.

Submitted by sue (not verified) on
The History channel has blatantly lied about how these men/families live. This show is NOT a reality show as in Jersey Shore/ Housewives. History advertised and promoted Mountain Men about how these men "actually" live. That is WHY my hubby and I started watching until the box of Collated air gun roofing nails was seen while the commentator was stating how Eustace "makes his own shingles" and "uses a hammer and nails". We have ALL seen the mistakes and lies in the filming that the producers are clueless about. If I wanted to watch a show for the scenery, I would put Nat Geo on the tv. Since History advertised this show as something that it is NOT, we tuned in, hoping to see REAL Mountain Men. By the way, I have been camping for twenty five years, and NOT in my backyard!

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Most of these posts make me laugh. Any time TV is involved in "reality" at best 5% is actually real. I'm sure these people survive each day in a manner that is not represented in the tv show. Of course they use phones, electricity, modern guns, tools, etc. It would be foolish not to. Sure, they may use tools of old sometimes, but, it wouldn't be advised to use too often. I enjoy the show for the beautiful scenery, etc. I also enjoy the people, although, Eustace IMO is annoying. With that, I'm sure all 3 guys would make 99% of these posters cry like little girls if they had to go toe to toe with them. Enjoy the show for what it is, beautiful scenery, outdoor wonders, etc. Otherwise, all you tough guys try camping out in your backyard for a week, then get back to me.

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Most of these posts make me laugh. Any time TV is involved in "reality" at best 5% is actually real. I'm sure these people survive each day in a manner that is not represented in the tv show. Of course they use phones, electricity, modern guns, tools, etc. It would be foolish not to. Sure, they may use tools of old sometimes, but, it wouldn't be advised to use too often. I enjoy the show for the beautiful scenery, etc. I also enjoy the people, although, Eustace IMO is annoying. With that, I'm sure all 3 guys would make 99% of these posters cry like little girls if they had to go toe to toe with them. Enjoy the show for what it is, beautiful scenery, outdoor wonders, etc. Otherwise, all you tough guys try camping out in your backyard for a week, then get back to me.

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Most of these posts make me laugh. Any time TV is involved in "reality" at best 5% is actually real. I'm sure these people survive each day in a manner that is not represented in the tv show. Of course they use phones, electricity, modern guns, tools, etc. It would be foolish not to. Sure, they may use tools of old sometimes, but, it wouldn't be advised to use too often. I enjoy the show for the beautiful scenery, etc. I also enjoy the people, although, Eustace IMO is annoying. With that, I'm sure all 3 guys would make 99% of these posters cry like little girls if they had to go toe to toe with them. Enjoy the show for what it is, beautiful scenery, outdoor wonders, etc. Otherwise, all you tough guys try camping out in your backyard for a week, then get back to me.

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Most of these posts make me laugh. Any time TV is involved in "reality" at best 5% is actually real. I'm sure these people survive each day in a manner that is not represented in the tv show. Of course they use phones, electricity, modern guns, tools, etc. It would be foolish not to. Sure, they may use tools of old sometimes, but, it wouldn't be advised to use too often. I enjoy the show for the beautiful scenery, etc. I also enjoy the people, although, Eustace IMO is annoying. With that, I'm sure all 3 guys would make 99% of these posters cry like little girls if they had to go toe to toe with them. Enjoy the show for what it is, beautiful scenery, outdoor wonders, etc. Otherwise, all you tough guys try camping out in your backyard for a week, then get back to me.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I believe most of us on here have done a little more than camp out in our backyards. And I'm sure a 70 year old man who can barely walk, Eustace who is prolly 125 pounds soak an wet or would really make us cry. Eustace is a joke, along with his whole part of the show. Doesnt have a clue what he's talkin about.

Submitted by Ron (not verified) on
Maybe you're part of the 1%. I think most people by now knows that tv reality shows are no where close to real. Many of these posts are the same that are on gun/outdoor youtube videos. They act like know- it- alls, when in reality they know next to nothing, but want to talk big. I agree with your comment about Eustace. I had a weird feeling about him from the beginning, but, I stick to my comment that these guys (in their real world) would make most of these posters cry like little girls if they had to stick step by step with them. Tom may be old, but experience can trump youth many times. My point-just enjoy the show for the beauty. If not, then don't watch the show. But, please...don't call it "reality".

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