Mountain Men: Road trip energizes Tom's zeal for living off-the-grid

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Mountain man Tom Oar wonders if it is time to give up the Montana grind in favor of Florida retirement.

A mountain man living in Florida?

“It’s hard for me to go to the city now.”

Tom Oar, the History Channel mountain man who lives in Montana on the reality television show Mountain Men, frets that he doesn’t have very many winters left in his beloved mountains. And, his daughter and son-in-law are putting on the pressure.

“Dad, I know the winters are so harsh up there and maybe you should consider, you know, coming and staying with Chad and I. Maybe retire and, um, relax a little bit. You deserve it.”

Retire?

Not sure exactly what he would be retiring from—the History Channel? Tom’s History Channel bio indicates that he learned tanning when he gave up the rodeo life, to support himself and wife Nancy. Perhaps he still does more of the tanning than he is shown doing on the reality show. But, if one is retiring, Florida, indeed, is a good place to do it.

“It’s getting’ to be that time. Can’t stay here forever,” Tom conceded at the top of the episode.

It is certainly understandable that his daughter would be concerned about her dad and Nancy living out in the Montana wilderness, hunting for food, fighting off snowstorms and, so the narrator is frequently saying, grizzlies, and trying to stay warm. But, Florida certainly would be a big change for someone living off the land in Montana.

Mountain Men Goes Idaho Farm Men

Coincidentally, letter arrived for Tom this week from his brother, Jack. So, Tom and his neighbor, Will, took off for Idaho, eager to visit his brother and catch up on things. Jack lives the farm life, and when they arrived at Jack's home, Tom and Will learned that he had been having trouble with a mountain lion on his property. So, during the visit, they saddled up and went on a mountain lion hunt. Of course, they found the mountain lion, but why they went to the trouble was unclear, since they just shooed him away and turned around. Apparently shooing a mountain lion away will keep him from crossing one’s property line again?

Seems a bit optimistic, but perhaps so.

At any rate, Jack is a falcon trainer and, since the mountain lion had been properly dismissed, the trio was able to do a little hunting. According to the narrator, “Working in tandem with a dog on the ground, the bird will dive-bomb other birds, like grouse, plunging their talons into their prey. The dog will then tree the birds, and bring them to Jack.” This was probably the most interesting part of this episode of Mountain Men, with Marty trying to fly home from Alaska to see his daughter’s dance recital and Eustace pulling a truck with his horses in North Carolina, trying not to run over them in the process. And, the trip to visit his brother seemed to get Tom’s spirit back up.

“Tom chose this lifestyle because he could,” Jack said. “I don’t think my brother’s ever gonna quit, move to the city.”

“I love being a mountain man. … I’ll be a mountain man until the day I die,” Tom echoed. “If anybody tries to take that away from me, it’s gonna be one hell of a fight, I’ll tell you that.”

Stay tuned.

Mountain Men airs on the History Channel on Thursday nights at 10/9c.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Submitted by lance (not verified) on
find a cabin sitter some one who wants to have an rv there to stay in, and when weather is what u like it at you go back for visits and relax and enjoy cookn out n the rest of ur favorite traditions. i just might know of such a person. your a special breed tom n misses. best wishes n your thoughts

Submitted by lance (not verified) on
i like road trips also , eats that u never had before n new places to roll one up. hi michelle dillard

Submitted by Carolyn (not verified) on
Can you let me know which trade shows or craft shows you go to?

Submitted by mountaingirl (not verified) on
Tom, I one of the women that loves to go to rendezvous's and shop! Would love to purchase the wonderful item that you and your wife work so hard to make. What's the next rendezvous that you will be at? My husband and I will try and be there.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
would to know how to buy some of the things Tom makes , if anyone could email how or where I can get a list of what Tom make would love to see some of his work .

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Tom love the show mom and i watch it when she comes home from AZ, would like to know how to get a hold of Chad and Kiely,this Jo,s son Mark u can get my last name from my e-mail , good luck to u and Nancy. (your cousin)

Submitted by melinda (not verified) on
Tom, is there any way that we can see what you can make and how much they are? We are so thrilled to watch how you live, but just love homemade items. email us, the perez family :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Tom i love the show!! and am really instered to buy one of the home made knifes you made please reply back to me thank you

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