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
do u have buck skin clothes for sale if so email me back

Submitted by Frank (not verified) on
I absolutely idolize Tom and his lifestyle. His wife is also a wonderful person as well as a Great Lady. Thank heaven I managed to see a real American before I passed on this earth. Thanks so much History Channel for this show........... Tom's dog (believe the name is "Emma") is also a real treat. Hopes for you all to have and enjoy a long life folks. You are part of the American heritage we need to remember.........

Submitted by jon epsteen (not verified) on
I dont know if you remember me, you were best man at my brother Wayne's wedding....I thought you were the SHIT!!!!! I was young then. My mama loved pops knew you smoked a little I am glad to see you on T.V., Tom....good for you!!!! I'll join you anytime in them mountains sir.

Submitted by jon epsteen (not verified) on
jon epsteen 317 658 7350

Submitted by Hip (not verified) on
Did anyone one find out how to get to the stuff tom oar makes at home?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I would really like to buy some of their products but cannot find any way to see his availability or stock on knives or whatever... ANYONE??

Submitted by Richard O'Leary (not verified) on
I was raised in the Yaak. My family moved there when I was 8 years old. We had a place near the West Fork bridge, in the upper end of the valley, in the shadow of Wood Mountain and Lick Nob. My family were entered on the register of the Dept of Interior as the last pioneers of the Yaak. In those days we had no running water, electricity, or indoor plumbing. It was a primitive existence, and the best years of my life. I am very disturbed by the reports of Grizzlies and wolves. In my youth we killed those predators on site, if they set foot on our homesites. There were no incidents that involved the injury to a human being by one of these predators. I know the EPA has been placing these dangerous animals in that region, and I am disgusted. It was bad enough that they destroyed the logging industry with the spotted owl nonsense, but endangering the welfare of families in the Yaak is a crime. I would love to have Tom contact me directly, if that's possible.

Submitted by ellie (not verified) on
I would love to get in contact with Tom to see if I could buy couple of the things he makes. I love the old fashioned made stuff.


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