The driftwood season has started in Tanana—and a black bear is taken down after it starts closing in on Stan’s home.
“The black bear at the dump?” Charlie asked. “He hasn’t come back for awhile, because maybe he’s found something else to eat; killed a calf or a moose or something.”
Well, he did find something else to eat, but it wasn’t a calf or a moose: It was fish at Stan’s home place. And, with a bear coming into his family’s space, it was time for Stan to take action. And, he did.
It is probably hard for many people living in urban areas to understand the threat of a bear, and why it is necessary to take one down now and then. Living in an area with a high bear population myself, it is just the way it is sometimes. As Stan explained, “99 percent of the bears that come by, they’re really shy of people. But, every now and then, bad food year, fishing year. One year, there were all of these bear attacks, black bears, they were attacking all sorts of people all over the interior. That’s when you decide you could use a little bear meat to eat.”
Rural Life Too Much for Some?
It is interesting, reading comments Huliq readers have made about Yukon Men. People often complain that reality television is too scripted, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Yukon Men. One reader in particular, “Huskers,” had a, well, unique take on the lifestyle residents live in Tanana:
No I"M NOT A TREE HUGGER!!!! People really have no business living in such a remote area...so what do they do, basically KILL everything they can so they can survive...really that's all the show is about, nothing more...sucks for all the wildlife.
Personally, I cannot say that I agree with this comment, or, frankly, even understand it. People have been living in extreme rural areas since, well, all that existed were extreme rural areas; there is no reason that they should be off-limits now. And, hunting, well, these people are not hunting for sport. They are not going out to just kill everything they see just because they can kill it. They certainly are not taking down the entire wildlife population, as Huskers implies. How hunting is negative but, apparently, buying processed meat in a Styrofoam package at the supermarket is okay … well, honestly, this particular comment really has me kind of baffled, regarding just where the commenter is coming from. Perhaps he/she will elaborate at some point, beginning with answering the question: Are you a vegan? Because, if not, the outrage at animals being killed for food really makes no sense.
Driftwood Season Begins in Tanana
Meanwhile, thousands of dead trees surfaced and were in the process of being forced down the Tanana River by the spring thaw. Charlie and other residents of the little town have about a week to get a year’s worth of wood from this driftwood. Like everything else involved with living in Tanana, it is dangerous. Wearing a life jacket is essential, Charlie indicates, as one can easily fall into the river and drown.
“The Tanana River is beautiful, but she’ll take you without any questions,” Charlie says. His stepfather, for one, lost his life logging, after falling into the water after a boating accident. “He was so far out in the river, he didn’t make it to shore,” Charlie explained. “You’ve gotta be careful,” he added.
That one sentence seems to sum up life in Tanana, Alaska: You gotta be careful.
Yukon Men airs on the Discovery Channel on Friday nights at 10/9c.
Image: Discovery Channel