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.”


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


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Tom and Nancy, Saw the show for the first time this weekend on a marathon weekend and am my hubby and I are in love with the show, your lifestyl, e and the two of you! I see that everyone is asking how we can see your products and order your products. Please let me know via my email address and I am looking forward to the future shows of Mountain Men!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I love the show and am intrested in buying buckskin clothing and knives that Tom makes. My email is included in this post Please let me know where I could purchase these items.


Add new comment