The Ax Men are back and they're bigger, badder and tougher than ever. For more than a hundred years, larger than life characters, many of whom are members of logging families who go back to the time when the West was being settled, have spent their days among towering trees and powerful machines and their nights in outposts far from the comforts of civilization. Ax Men tells their remarkable story, detailing the history of the logging industry and how technology has transformed life for today's logger, while the struggle of man versus nature stays the same. Danger is a full-time job, as these brave men put everything on the line each and every day to retrieve timber. Snapped cables, runaway logs and razor-sharp chainsaws are just some of the dangers that threaten their lives daily. Even with new technology that should make the job easier, it all boils down to the toughness and perseverance of the logging crews. Anything and everything can and does go wrong. Not everyone will survive, but those who do will earn their place in a long line of men who call themselves "Ax Men."
Retired logger Jimmy Smith started his Aberdeen, Washington-based underwater logging company because no one else was doing it and he hoped to make a quick buck. The big idea? Locate and harvest perfectly preserved timber that was lost in Washington's waterways a century ago on its way to the mill.
Jimmy's a colourful man with big dreams, big ideals, but very little attention to detail. As a result, Jimmy, his son James and a revolving cast of friends-turned-deckhands struggle every day to keep the underwater logging operation afloat.
Ax Cut Timber is a small time, family-run swamp logging outfit with big time dreams of striking it rich and becoming the kings of the Louisiana bayou.
The team is made up of twin brothers, Ron and Don Jones; their sister, Brandi; and their cousin, Earl. Ron is considered the owner of the business and runs the day-to-day operations, but Don and Brandi really lead the team. Earl tries hard, but most of the time he is more of a hindrance than a help.
This ragtag group of in-laws and outlaws has never had an order of more than a few logs. But that all changes when Earl finally secures a job so big that it will put this gang of swamp loggers on the map. This family crew may not always get along, but at the end of they day, they are all they’ve got.
In the mountains of western Oregon, sophomores Big Gun Logging return. Last year, owner Levi Brown, his brother Luke and yarder operator Stacey Robeson made a name for themselves taking on the jobs that no one else wanted. This year, they’re out to compete with the big boys of Rygaard and Papac Alaska, but an internal power struggle may derail them before they get the chance.
Operating out of Astoria, Oregon, no-nonsense, all-business Jay Browning started his company from the ground up. Logging is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, which Jay is more than aware of. He lost his hand in a logging accident and now wears a prosthetic, but prides himself on not accepting any of the workers' compensation checks that followed the ordeal. Taking handouts just isn't Jay's style.
This year, Browning Logging is looking for its next leader. Jay's natural successor is his son Jesse, but Jesse has yet to prove that he has what it takes to step into his old man's boots. As Jay's career winds down and the market approaches its lowest point yet, will Jesse prove himself capable of carrying on the family torch?
This year’s new rival for the Dreadknots, Greg Chapman, uses modern, high-tech sonar and sweeps the black, gator-infested waters of the St. John’s River, turning a huge profit on enormous sinker cypress logs.
The Chapman name has been a staple in the river logging community for years. Greg knew Clint Roberts’ father, and he is the one who taught Clint how to log. He knows how the Dreadknots work, and he scoffs at the idea of ever being outlogged by the rag-tag crew on the Withlacoochee River.
Greg’s colorful crew is comprised of two prime examples of old school Florida river dogs: Roger Gunter and Leslie Jeter. Roger has a nose like a bloodhound and can smell a sunken log from a mile away. Feisty deckhand Leslie has, on more than one occasion, threatened to both cut and tase anyone who gives him a hard time— including Greg Chapman.
Florida river logger Joe Collins specializes in finding preserved logs lost in mill waterways during the 1880s logging boom. He oversees a team of southern-style aqua loggers, including boat captain Steve “Uncle Buck” Livingston, young diver Patrick “Pond Bear” Swilley, deckhand Geoff “G-Dog” Dunnam and U.S. Air Force veteran diver Jess Horstman. Joining Joe’s team this season are the father/son duo Jimmy and James Smith from the Washington-based S&S Aqua Logging. The company’s search for treasure in the fast-flowing, pitch black waters of the Suwannee River is made even more dangerous by the venomous water snakes and huge alligators that inhabit the area.
The Dreadknots are back and veteran river logger Clint Roberts is leading the charge. Using a technique he and his boys call “redneck sonar,” Clint shoots a revolver into the river to locate logs by sound. He’s joined by a diver they call “the Kraken” and new boat driver Katelyn.
There are no holes too deep or river creatures too scary for these professional river pirates. They’ve seen it all and aren’t scared by much.
Darrell Holthusen is the Superman of logging. By day, he oversees multiple job sites for one of the biggest companies in Astoria, Oregon. By night, Darrell coaches pee-wee football, counsels underprivileged youth, and is a devoted family man. Darrell’s definition of a successful job is one that allows his men to return to their families each night unharmed. Gustafson Logging’s newest job, aptly named “The Challenge,” is one of the steepest and most inaccessible jobs they have ever attempted. To help him get the job done, Darrell is relying on Robby Motsinger, his yet-unproven crew chief, who must step up if he’s going to earn the respect of Darrell and the other men of Gustafson Logging.
Using horses to get timber out of remote forests dates back to the early days of the industry. Now, a group of southern gentlemen in rural Virginia is taking this old-school practice and trying to carve out a future for themselves.
When landowners want their property thinned out so the remaining trees can grow bigger, they call in horse loggers. They’re in and out without damaging the land with unnecessary machinery—but getting eight 2,000-pound horses to move as one brute force is easier said than done. Between steep terrain, huge timber, tight deadlines and the unpredictability of working with animals, accidents come often and hard.
Leading the team is Jagger Rutledge, a know-it-all who’s trying to take over the reins from—and emerge from the shadow of—his father. Never too far away is dad Jason, who began this practice a decade ago and isn’t quite ready to let his son have at it. Meanwhile, horseman Chad Miano freely speaks his mind about both Jagger and Jason.
One of Canada’s largest logging companies is back and this time, the stakes are higher than ever. Two years ago, the men of Lemare Lake Logging were sent running from the formidable Doc Creek job when an early winter brought mudslides. For site boss Gord Vaughn, it’s unfinished business that holds the key to his future at Lemare. Gord’s always been one of Lemare’s top guys, but ever since his crew got beat by the Canadian wilderness, Gord’s stock in the company has fallen.
With more difficult conditions than Gord has ever experienced in his 40 years of logging, he’s crewing up with the best Lemare has to offer. Always colorful yarder operator Steve Weiman returns, joined by new chaser “Turtle” and hook tender Mike.
The terrain will test this small but experienced crew like never before with mudslides, rockslides, vertical cliffs, tangled timber and a deadline that will be nearly impossible to meet. If anyone can do it, this crew can, but it won’t be easy.
Gord and his men are putting their jobs and reputations on the line to prove they can take on the most dangerous terrain in logging country and conquer the site that has been haunting them for the last two years. But if the clock runs out again, Doc Creek could cost Gord and his crew everything they have.
On the Olympic Peninsula, a new yarder team crashes the mountain. Led by Kelley Oakes and his sons, Jake “Half Throttle” and Josh “Full Throttle,” this new crew isn’t afraid of anyone—especially anyone with the last name “Rygaard.”
Kelley is a levelheaded logger’s logger: salt of the earth, hard working, opinionated and uncensored. As their nicknames might imply, Full Throttle and Half Throttle are polar opposites. Full will run a machine wide open until the job is done and then walk away from the equipment, leaving it in whatever state it ends up in—even if that means a blown motor. His brother, on the other hand, is slower and more methodical; he prefers to see things through and takes satisfaction in knowing the job is done and the gear is sound.
Nowhere on this crew is there any love lost for Gabe Rygaard. As they put it, “The girls of Rygaard don’t stand a chance against Oakes.”
In Alaska, almost everything is on an island. And when logs need to get from the island on which they’re harvested to the island on which they’ll be processed, it’s Olson Marine to the rescue. One of the last remaining logging tug boat companies in America, Olson is a family-run business whose playground is some of the roughest water in southeast Alaska. Owner Rick Olson has an impressive fleet of nine barges and tugboats that can each haul thousands of tons of timber as big as three football fields. But the real challenge is navigating the massive haul through a maze of jagged islands, hidden deadheads, strong currents and unpredictable weather that often springs up on a moment’s notice–and making it to the mill all without losing a single log along the way.
That’s the job for Olson’s top crew and its tug, the Avery O. Led by captain Rodney Wills, this three-man crew spends their entire summer on the Pacific Ocean transporting million of dollars of logs day in, day out, for stints as long as long as three months at a time. Rodney, mate Dale Willis and deckhand Robert Lucero live, work, eat, sleep and breathe Olson Marine–and they have all the harrowing stories to prove it. And this year, they’re adding a new guy to the crew. To succeed, this greenhorn–an old face in a new place–will need to check his ego, prove he can keep up and win over the toughest critic of all… Captain Rodney.
On Alaska’s Kupreanof Island, the boys of Papac are back and ready to take down archrivals Rygaard. After running out of work last season, the Papac crew had no choice but to take on a supposedly “unloggable” site that has sent two former crews packing. To help out with this impossible mission, Mike Papac has brought in long-time family friend Adrienne Priess. More than just a pretty face on the mountain, she’s tougher than most of the guys and not afraid to get dirty in the brush by choking logs, cutting down trees and spitting her chew.
After last year’s defeat, it’s safe to say this crew will do anything to unseat Rygaard—even if it means putting themselves at risk along the way.
Pihl Logging has been the lifeblood of Vernonia, Oregon for almost 25 years. Of the 2,300 residents in town, almost all know someone who relies on company owner Mike Pihl to keep their family fed.
Pihl Logging is comprised of a group of men who like to trade jibes with each other almost as much as they like to cut timber. At the heart of the operation is 30-year veteran timber cutter Dwayne Dethlefs, who is the embodiment of old-school logging. Rounding out the crew is Dwayne's son Dustin and a host of other colourful characters. The men at Pihl are like family, at-times dysfunctional but always entertaining. They may fight like brothers, but they will always have each others' backs.
Based in Montana, R&R Conner Aviation is a family-run helicopter logging company owned and operated by Ryan Conner and wife Robin. While all logging ranks amongst the most dangerous of occupations, Helicopter logging is particularly dangerous and is also the most expensive forms of timber harvesting. The demands of working beneath a thundering helicopter in severe weather are more than most can handle. Having an experienced team of pilots, mechanics and ground crew is crucial.
September 18, 2013: We are extremely saddened to learn that a member of the Ax Men family, Bart Colantuono, has passed away. All of us at HISTORY and Original Productions, along with our Ax Men team, would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bart. He was an important part of Ax Men when he appeared in Series 2 and 3 and his talents will be greatly missed.
Based in Port Angeles, Washington, Rygaard Logging is a family business led by father Craig and son Gab. Logging is in their blood literally and figuratively. These are hard-working "salt-of-earth" men, risking everything they have to get the job done.
As Rygaard moves onto a downhill logging site, the most dangerous of all logging operations, gravity works against them on every turn. This is brutal work and one of the easiest ways for a logger to go broke or get hurt. Adding to the liability is greenhorn Brad Hewitt, a novice who is stepping onto the mountain for the first time.
Shelby Stanga has been swamp logging since he was a young boy. As a young man, he built a swamp-logging empire that established him as the undisputed top man in the swamp. But in 2005, all that was taken away when Hurricane Katrina hit. After years of struggling to get back on his feet, this season he’s been offered the order of a lifetime, giving him the chance to rebuild his logging empire. But with his cousin Belinda on the injured list, Shelby quickly realizes the old saying is true: good help is hard to find. The only thing more unpredictable than a day in the swamps is a day with his new assistants.
Siderius Logging is a team of young cowboys that just might have a shot at competing with the big boys—if they can keep their mouths shut long enough to pull a log to the landing. The company started just three years ago as the pet project of owner Dan Siderius. Still struggling to find its way and prove that its men are just as tough as the boys on the West Coast, Siderius Logging is a company with a lot to prove and the egos to do it.
The crew is as lean and mean as they come. On the landing, yarder operator Josh Fite keeps the logs moving and his lips moving even faster. He’s known for his constant commentary, which can get on the others’ nerves and occasionally gets in the way of the job. Down the hill, it up to rigging slinger Travis Reynolds to get the logs up the mountain. Travis comes from a long line of Marines and is the first in his family to take a crack at logging, but he’s already proving to be a natural. His boss and fellow guy in the rigging is hook tender Drew Koffler. Drew and Josh have been known to butt heads, especially when Drew feels that Josh is getting out of line. Finishing up the crew is greenhorn Jesse Kelleher, who has the best intentions but struggles to fit in with this tight-knit crew.
Thirty-two-year old company owner Melvin Lardy eats, sleeps and breathes logging. He’s been in the business for more than a decade, but recently landed a monstrous job that could be his big break – if it doesn’t break him in the process. Melvin’s equipment is the logger’s beginner set – a collection of rusted hunks of metal that stop at a moment’s notice and shut down production without warning. Melvin has always succeeded where others have failed, though, and he’s hoping his luck will hold out on this job. Part of his success depends on greenhorn Michael, who’s been on the job only one month. Michael is working alongside his childhood buddies at Stump Branch, but lifelong friendship won’t get him anywhere when it comes to learning the logging business. Michael is catching on quickly, but this business doesn’t cut anyone a break.
On the banks of Lake Superior, there’s a multi-million dollar cache of antique old-growth white pine. But this century-old timber isn’t buried under the water like it is down south–it stands high above ground in what was the largest grain elevator in the world when it was built in the late 1800s.
Wisconsin Woodchuck’s job is to take apart this enormous, unstable structure one board at a time and sell the wood to high-end flooring companies. Using cherry pickers and cranes, this group of unruly retired journalists and bankers is lifted high into the sky, where they cut large sections of the building’s frame away while trying to keep the rest from collapsing. They’ve invested their retirement accounts into this project, but what started as a way for them to turn a quick profit has gone into about five years of overtime.
Now the orders are coming in faster than they can fill them. To help, Woodchuck’s owner Judy is bringing in her brother Mike to act as site boss and daredevil Robert to do the tasks no one else will. Rounding out the crew is Judy’s longtime partner David, who helps her try to manage the chaos that often surrounds this huge operation.
These are tough-talking Midwesterners who are all used to getting their way. The profit margins are tight. The money is dwindling. The equipment is unreliable and the crew is volatile. Will Wisconsin Woodchuck come out on top or have they taken on too much?
The Ax Men are back to take on North America's deadliest job. Gabe Rygaard faces the toughest challenge of his career as he struggles to keep the family operation in business without his father Craig, who suffered a career-ending injury last season. Papac Alaska heads to a remote, mountainous island to tackle the biggest job in the company's history. Greg Chapman embarks on quest to find a lost logging train, if only he can fund it. And the Swampman takes on an impossible job for a client with deep pockets, but may be in over his head after pushing the limits too far.
The already shorthanded Rygaard crew fights Mother Nature as temperatures climb and a massive forest fire burns just over the mountain. Joe is still reeling from his injury, and what should be easiest site of the job could already be too much for the Papac crew. Greg Chapman may have hit the jackpot when he pulls an extremely rare double barrel log from the St John's River. And the Swampman calls upon his trusty Swamp Buggy in a desperate attempt to win over a new client.
With Rygaard off to a tough start this season, Gabe is left with no choice but to call upon his son Aidan to step up and fill the family shoes. In Alaska, an overcrowded landing means one wrong move could wipe out the Papac crew below. Down in Florida, Greg's quest to find the Lost Log Train is back on track after a double barrel jackpot brought in enough cash to fuel his dream. And in Louisiana, Shelby Stanga battles a deadline to deliver the sixteen thousand board foot order he promised his new log buyer.
In Washington, production's soaring with newest generation of Rygaard on the job, but with an ominous blood sun in the sky the day looks ripe for disaster. In Wyoming, David Zitterkopf is back in action with his son Levi to take on their biggest ever job, but after last year's health scare, does David still have what it takes to be the self-proclaimed alpha predator? Up in Alaska, Papac's new unit, dubbed "The Longest Yard", puts the crew and their equipment to the ultimate test as they string a mile of skyline across the mountainside. Meanwhile in Louisiana, the Swampman's on a hot streak after delivering a sixteen thousand board foot order, but today he must finish up a big job for a pint sized client. And down in Florida, Greg Chapman continues his quest for the Legendary Lost Log Train at two new sites on the St John's River.
Rygaard Logging has been behind the eight ball all season, but when the crew gets a surprise visit from logging legend Craig Rygaard, it's game on. In Wyoming, the Zitterkopfs face a major obstacle in their push to complete their biggest ever job, and they're forced to get to the root of the problem to get the wood moving. Meanwhile in Alaska, Papac battles the "Longest Yard" unit with its mile long skyline-the longest they've ever run. And down south in Florida, the Chapman crew's quest for the lost log train turns up an unexpected treasure.
On Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Rygaard Logging is fighting to get back on track with the help of patriarch Craig Rygaard. But it's Craig's way or the highway, and his return to the mountain is rubbing some of the crew the wrong way. In Louisiana, the Swampman's under the gun to build and emergency treetop storm shelter to protect his empire from rising floodwaters. Meanwhile in Wyoming, David Zitterkopf's son Levi gets a crucial lesson in logging, but one wrong move could end it all. And on the Mississippi Delta, two long time bayou boys, Gary Champagne and Eddie Frashier, have given up their fishing days to try their hand at hauling in the green gold.
Gabe pushes the crew to its breaking point; Delta Gary and Eddie hope to cash in on green gold; the Swampman plays demolition derby in an effort to keep the community safe. Meanwhile, one wrong step by Zitterkopf could bring down the family empire; and the Chapman crew contemplate mutiny.
As Papac Alaska pushes deeper into their seven thousand acre site, Joe and Coatsy hike out into the harsh wilderness to devise a plan of attack for the next section of this massive project. Meanwhile in Washington, Rygaard Logging is struggling to get the wood out.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Papac crew is moving on to the most remote and dangerous site of their season. On the St Johns River, the money's drying up for Greg Chapman and his crew is seeing red, so they're on a desperate mission to score big and get back in the black.
The crews of Ax Men are back and the race for green gold is on! In Washington, Rygaard pushes deep into their roughest terrain yet in an effort to recapture the title. In Alaska, Papac's dreams of a repeat are shattered when Coatsy's seriously injured. In Canada, a new contender steps into the ring, taking on a daunting site and proving they're the special forces of the industry. Down in Florida, the Dreadknots and Chapman battle over a half-million dollar log order. And in Wyoming, old school loggers Zitterkopf & Sons tackle a 100 acre-site... all by hand.
It's only the second week into the logging season, but it seems like the teams could already use a break. In Alaska, the Papac team fights to find a replacement to fill the shoes of injured Coatsy. On Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Gabe Rygaard and his crew are scrambling to make up for their slow start by bringing in a second yarder. In Wyoming, David Zitterkopf and Sons keep their chainsaws humming as they tackle their 100 acre site, but run into a snag with the landowners fence. In Canada, Triack Resources is struggling to get their wood off the mountain and delivered to the mill. And down in Florida, the Dreadknots are pulling lots of wood, but it's not the right kind the log buyer's looking for.
It's week three, and the loggers are feeling the pressure to produce. In Alaska, Coatsy's still out of commission, so Papac institutes an extremely dangerous process called Shotgun Logging. Over in Wyoming, the Zitterkopf men are taking the Bear Ranch site by storm. At Rygaard, the team has doubled the yarders to up production, but they've also doubled their trouble by crowding an already tight landing. Up in Canada, Triack Resources are on a roll using a logging method called "chucking", but getting the loads out is proving a major challenge. And in Florida, poor communication between the Chapman crew nearly costs a diver's life.
Shelby the Swampman uses an airboat to search for a treasure trove of century old logs in a legendary lost canal. In Washington, Rygaard tries to haul out the biggest log on their site--a mammoth six-ton cypress. In the Wyoming wilderness, while David Zitterkopf delivers the first load of logs to the mill, his sons struggle to hold down the fort. In Alaska, Adrianne steps up and takes a shot at working on the landing for the Papac crew. In British Columbia, the most rugged section of the Britannia site puts Triack to the test. And in Florida, the Dreadknots are firing on all cylinders, but an accident late in the day could be a game changer.
In Louisiana, Shelby looks to repair his custom made two-ton swamp buggy. In Alaska, Coatsy returns to the Papac worksite. In the Pacific Northwest, the Rygaard crew must climb over a hundred feet in the air to top a new lift tree. In Wyoming, David Zitterkopf's attempt at swinging between the trees could end in disaster. In Florida, with Katelyn back and the half-million dollar order on the line, the Dreadknots go night logging. And up in Canada, an injury to a key crew member leaves Triack stuck behind the eight ball.
In Louisiana, Shelby and his assistant Bob head out looking for logs on his newly repaired two-ton swamp buggy. In Central Florida, the Chapman crew goes to battle against the legendary "Gump" log - the biggest challenge of their career. In Washington, Rygaard fights to stay in the load count race, but their equipment doesn't cooperate. In Alaska, Joe's forced to take over as Papac's yarder operator. North of the border in Canada, Triack Resources races to get out as many loads as they can before an upcoming storm threatens to shut down their operation. And in Wyoming, David Zitterkopf is known as the workhorse, but an illness may have him down for the count.
Deep in the Bayou, Shelby hits Lake Ponchartrain with Belinda and Bob to retrieve a massive log he marked years ago. In Florida, it's round two between Chapman and the legendary Gump log. In Washington, things go from bad to worse for the bare bones Rygaard crew. On Alaska's Kupreanof Island, Papac risks it all by downhill logging. In British Columbia, the Triack crew tackles the steepest section of the Britannia site. And in Wyoming, the Zitterkopf sons try to keep production moving while their leader, father David, is at the hospital.
In Washington, Rygaard's remaining veterans go old school to keep the team on track. Deep in the Bayou, Shelby and Bob discover a valuable sinker cypress, but reeling it in is easier said then done. In the high plains of Wyoming, the Zitterkopf crew tries to tackle a dangerous tangle of logs known as "the teepee of death." In Alaska, the Papac crew takes on "shotgun logging," one of the most dangerous forms of logging in the industry. In Florida, the Dreadknots get on a hot streak, while on the Saint Johns River, the Chapman crew's season could go up in smoke as an engine overheats. In British Columbia, the Triack crew tries to fight through the hottest temperatures of the season.
Shelby gets his jetboat back, and it now has a new five hundred horsepower engine that will help him get the job done. Up in Washington, Rygaard is still struggling, and with no other options, Gabe is forced to promote his inexperienced crew, which could spell disaster. And in Canada, Dave McRae and Triack Resources step up to the plate and bring in a beast of a machine to get the wood out.
Down in the high plains of Wyoming, the Zitterkopfs are without their skidder, but David comes up with a plan to save the day and keep delivering the much needed wood to the mill. And down in Florida, Greg Chapman's decision to leave the logging in the hands of his crew, could cost him more than just productivity.
The battle for King of The Mountain rages on between the big boys of the Pacific Northwest. In Washington, the Rygaard crew has a problem with getting the wood to the mill, so Gabe's bringing in a trucking ace to get the job done. While up in Alaska, Papac has to deal with a dangerous unpredictable downhill site and mother nature isn't helping make it any easier.
Down in the bayou, Shelby's got his jetboat back and has enlisted a couple of assistants to pull big wood for his log buyer. Down on the St. Johns River in Central Florida, the Chapman crew is in a tight battle with the Dreadknots. But today they'll have deal with their nemesis who's back to poaching logs.
The race for logs is heating up as Papac heads onto their most daunting site yet. Loggers fall through ten-foot holes in the brush and high stumps smash as the crew pulls some of the biggest, most dangerous turns of the season. At Rygaard, the crew attempts to string a road over a steep draw using a device called a knife, but Jeremy can't seem to figure it out, inciting Gabe's rage. At Zitterkopf, Ethan is out to prove that he's a valuable member of the crew, but after a near-miss while falling trees, he questions his place on the team. Up in Canada, Dave's son Cory shows up to help out and his first job, just turning a truck around, puts his brother in mortal danger.
A devastating injury at Rygaard shakes the crew to the core and threatens to shut down production. Down in the bayou, Shelby's jet boat is back and it's time to go hunting... for logs and hogs! Up in Canada, Triack is under the gun to finish their site before their permit expires and the crew pushes things a little too far. Down in Florida, Greg Chapman and Swilley get into a battle and Swilley quits the Chapman team. But over at the Dreadknots, a new crew member shows up and helps increase production immediately.
Hit rough terrain with the Pawn Stars when Rick bumps into a vehicle known as a rock crawler. Will he steer this off-roading dream machine home or will negotiations hit rock bottom? Then, Corey does a touchdown dance when a game worn jersey from Bob Hayes gets carried in. Will his victory be short-lived? And later, when the guys realise they're getting negative reviews online they attempt to solve the problem, but will they change for the better or worse?
An all-new series of Ax Men explodes on to the scene. Swamp Man Shelby Stanga continues his search for the million-dollar log raft but a rough first day and a new opportunity change his mission. In Florida, the Dreadknots have a new deckhand and a new enemy. While in the northwest, last year's King of the Mountain winner Gabe Rygaard returns but this year he's defending his title with a whole new crew and without his dad. While in Alaska, the boys of Papac are back and ready to reclaim the title, but they face a site so treacherous it's considered to be unloggable.
The season is just beginning, and already, things are off to a rough start. At Rygaard, worried about his son's rocky start, Craig stops by and gets an unwelcome surprise of his own. In Alaska, Joe Linderborg and Mike Coatsy are taking two new greenhorns to school but it's looking like one of them might drop out. In the swamp, Shelby is loosing his assistant, his dog, his jet boat and his mind. In Florida, both Dreadknots and Chapman river teams are fighting just to stay afloat.
It's week three and the surprises keep on coming. In Washington, Gabe's king of the mountain title is in the hands of a novice crew, until he gets some help from an unlikely family member. Down in the swamp, Shelby's log buyer stops by for a surprise visit and things aren't looking good for the Swamp Man. On the Withlacoochee, the Kraken and Katelyn find that logging without Capitan Clint might not be as easy as they thought. At Chapman the newest member of the team fights for his life.
It's week four and the season is already running off the rails. On the Olympic Peninsula, Gabe runs a hung-over greenhorn into the ground but Jason disagrees with Gabe's management style. In the swamp, Belinda is too hurt to log so she's brought in a new assistant who almost drowns Shelby's dream of rebuilding his logging empire. Up in Alaska, Mike Papac decides to shake things up and brings in a long time family friend to help in the rigging. The battle for river supremacy rages on in Florida as the Chapman team fights amongst themselves and the Dreadknots divide to conquer.
The competition is heating up a quarter of the way through the season. Down in the Bayou, Shelby brings in a new assistant, but the logging gets put on hold when the Swamp Man finds that all his equipment has been sabotaged. In the Pacific Northwest, Joe tries to muscle his way through his mistakes but his shortcuts land him in hot water with the boss. In Washington, Gabe's greenhorns aren't living up their potential, and things get heated when Jason oversteps his boundaries and takes matters into his own hands. In Florida, the Dreadknots have their hands full with some surprise help on the boat, while Swilley fights for his place on the boat with the Chapman crew.
In Cajun country, Shelby has found a huge cash of logs, but to get it, he has to navigate the paddle barge through a narrow canal surrounded by private homes and docks. On the Olympic Peninsula, Gabe goes it alone and risks his own life trying to do too much. Down in Florida, the competition is heating up as the Chapman team discovers someone is poaching their logs and the Dreadknots suffer a crippling injury when Kraken gets his hand caught in a winch. Up in Alaska, Joe is sent to teach new logger Adrienne while topping a tree.
In Washington, Gabe Rygaard is in over his head when a logging legend bails him out of trouble and gets him back in the race for King Of the Mountain. Down in Louisiana, Shelby and old friend Mike Chatellier use brute force to pull two of the biggest logs they have ever seen. With the Kraken injured, the Dreadknots bring in a new diver to brave the muddy waters of the Withlacoochee, but she soon finds out river logging isn't easy. Down on the Saint John's River, the Chapman team is pulling ahead, but a log poacher needs to be caught and Jeter is just the guy to do it.
The Rygaard family is back on the mountain and firing on all cylinders, until new yarder team Oakes Logging crashes onto the site, challenging Gabe face-to-face for the title of King of the Mountain. Down in the swamp, Shelby and Mike use redneck ingenuity to pull a huge and rare heart-pine log. In Alaska, the Papac team is down a yarder engineer, leaving them no choice but to make reckless Joe the new operator in order to stay in the race. In Florida, the Dreadknots newest diver Erin is finally getting the hang of river logging, but Kraken's fear of another diver taking his place causes a rift with Captain Clint. Meanwhile, the Chapman team gets revenge on a suspected log poacher.
In the bayou, Shelby goes diving in gator infested waters. Up north, rivals Rygaard and Oakes square off on a one-way road and a Rygaard driver is nearly killed when his truck flips. Down in Florida, the Dreadknots go their separate ways as Kraken and Katelyn set sail with their own boat. And in Alaska, the hottest day of the season gets even hotter for the Papac crew when a fire breaks out on the mountain.
It's half way through the season and time to go old school. Down in the Bayou, Shelby's wild ride could end his season early. In the Pacific Northwest, Rygaard and Oakes compete in a no-holds barred turf war. Up in Alaska, an accident sidelines one of the Papac crew. And in Florida, Logzilla continues to derail Kraken.
In the Bayou, Shelby goes on the hunt for the thief who stole his boat. Up north in Washington, the battle between rivals explodes as Rygaard refuses to allow Oakes to pass through their landing. Down in Florida, Clint's boat nearly goes up in smoke. And Swilley pulls up a prize from the bottom of the lake, the Chapman crew will never forget.
Big noise and big toys turn the season upside down. In Alaska, a misstep by Joe cripples the yarder for Papac. In Washington, Gabe Rygaard pulls out a massive feller buncher, one of the largest machines in the logging industry. Down in Florida, the skies open up on the Dreadknots and Chapman crews as they try to make it through a dangerous lightning storm.
On Snag Hill, the war between Rygaard and Oakes explodes after Kelly demolishes a Rygaard pick-up truck. At Papac's site, tensions between Coatsy and Joe also reach a fever pitch as Coatsy makes a drastic decision regarding Joe's employment. Down in Florida, the Chapman crew may have found the treasure of a lifetime. On the other side of the Sunshine State, with Logzilla still stalling, The Kraken steals Clint's boat. And in the Bayou, Shelby's spin in his new ATV ends in disaster.
In the Bayou, Shelby teaches his new puppy how to hunt for wood. On Snag Hill, the Rygaard crew breaks out their biggest weapon, but the increased production leads to total chaos. In Alaska, the Papac team struggles as Coatsy tries his hand in the yarder. Down south, Chapman's night logging expedition clashes head on with a band of alligators. And the end of a legend turns the Dreadknots season upside down.
In Washington, a battle erupts when Oakes is accused of stealing Rygaard's logs. In Alaska, tensions soar as a runaway log nearly wipes out the crew. In the Bayou, Shelby brings out his puppy to help him with a special assignment. Down in Florida, when Swilley gets snagged underwater, it's up to Jeter to save him. And in Louisiana, Ax Cut Lumber uses a homemade invention to float a monster log home.
In the Bayou, Shelby and his new hand hit pay dirt with one of the biggest logs of the season. In Alaska, Coatsy's misstep in the yarder puts the crew in danger. Down in Florida, the Dreadknots reunite and take the fight directly to Chapman's home turf. And in the pacific northwest, tensions rise and hard hats roll when Rygaard and Oakes are forced to share the same landing.
In Washington, Rygaard's quest for king of the mountain hits the skids when the crew nearly topples the yarder. Down the road, the Oakes crew capitalises on their sidelined rivals and one team member learns first hand a drastic remedy for a toothache in the brush. In the Bayou, while trying to bring in a land-locked monster cypress, Shelby pushes his boat to the limit. On Alaska's Kupreanof Island, Joe returns, determined to whip the crew back into shape. And down in Florida, Chapman races against a lightning storm to find river gold, while the Dreadknots conspire with a Chapman enemy to secure their lead.
In Washington, frustration boils over as Rygaard and Oakes are forced to share the same landing. Down in the bayou, Shelby gets in hot water with the law over a contested log. Up in Alaska, Joe and Coatsy struggle to get the Papac crew back on track. In Florida, the Dreadknots have a run-in with fish and wildlife while the chapman crew works through the night to catch up in the log count. And on the Pearl River, the Ax Cut team races against a fast moving tropical storm.
As the loggers close in on the end of the season, one log could be the difference between winning and losing, reeling in fortunes or coming up short. In Louisiana, Shelby is only a log away from completing his big order when a boat crash stops him in his tracks. Up north, Gabe Rygaard unleashes fury on his own crew when he catches them doing a favour for the Oakes team. On Alaska's Kupreanof Island, Joe employs a dangerous strategy to make up for their slow yarder engineer. On Florida's St. Johns River, the Chapman crew closes in on the Dreadknots' lead. And a mistake forces the Ax Cut crew to log into the night, desperately trying to finish up their order.
In the season finale, battles and fortunes are all on the line. On Alaska's Kupreanof Island, a chainsaw accident leaves the crew short-handed on the last and most dangerous site of the season. In Washington, Gabe Rygaard's ferocious push to move the final loads proves too dangerous when Jason flips a loaded trailer. In the Bayou, it's Shelby's big day as he heads to the mill to find out if he's successfully filled his 200,000 board foot order. And down on Florida's St. Johns River, Greg's mistake could cost his crew a victory over the Dreadknots when a broken propeller leaves them dead in the water.
For six series, the Ax Men have been chasing huge paydays in the most dangerous conditions imaginable. Now, Series Seven is gearing up to be the toughest yet, and we're taking a look back at the logging legacies of the companies who have made it this far, and introducing the new rivals storming in to claim their own share of the green gold.
An all-new season of Ax Men starts with a bang. Swamp Man Shelby Stanga is in search of a million-dollar payday, but nemesis Richard is hot on his trail. In Florida, S&S Aqua Logging gets a new captain, but a rocky first day signals trouble on the horizon. In the northwest, reigning King of the Mountain Rygaard Logging returns with a surprising new addition, and in Alaska, the rowdy boys of Papac Alaska begin another season battling the toughest terrain in the country.
The season has only just begun, and already, things are off to a rough start. In Alaska, Joe Linderborg is back in the yarder seat and the whole crew is paying the price. At Rygaard, DJ comes face-to-face with Craig after two years and the reunion isn t a happy one. In the swamp, Shelby and niece Stephanie stumble into a wasp s nest, and in Florida, S&S realizes they aren t alone on the Withlacoochee River.
It s week three and logging country is falling apart. In the swamp, Shelby must rely on niece Stephanie and cousin Belinda to do his dirty work. At Rygaard, the rigging guys formulate a plan to get rid of DJ. In Alaska, wild man Joe Linderborg takes it out on a choker-setter, and in Florida, James must cope with his dad s health issues while also leading his crew.
As the season picks up speed, not everyone can keep up with the pace. At Rygaard, odd man out DJ Jeremiah is pushed to his breaking point. In Alaska, Coatsy boots Joe Linderborg from his seat in the yarder, but the consequences could prove deadly. In Florida, The Dreadknots find themselves on the wrong end of a falling log, and in the swamp, Shelby and his assistants fight to claim the biggest Cypress of the season.
Tempers have reached a fever pitch in logging country. At Rygaard, three years of tension between Craig and DJ come to a head. In the swamp, the Swamp Man is on a special mission for wife Donna. At Papac, the end of the North Thorn site may mean the end of their season. And in Florida, the Dreadknots are in the line of fire, while Jimmy Smith takes a final ride down the river.
In Louisiana, the Swamp Man targets a money log, but it s in dangerous territory. At Rygaard, DJ gets put on notice, while in Florida, Brad and Swilley struggle to keep S&S from running off the rails. And from Canada, a new company is about to give them all a run for their money.
Tempers are on the rise across logging country, and some are pushed to their breaking point. At Rygaard, Gabe faces a crew mutiny. At Lemare, the guys put their chaser to the test logging on a rock slide. In the swamp, Shelby and Belinda take to the open road to bring home a money log, and in Florida, James Smith lashes out against his own crew.
As the season gets more competitive by the week, it takes more than ever to stay on top. In Louisiana, Shelby is building his new empire one big toy at a time. In Florida, the men of S&S Aqua Logging deal with last week's fallout. In Washington, DJ suffers an injury that could take him out of the season, and from the Midwest comes a whole new kind of logging.
In Florida, the Dreadknots come face-to-face with one of the most fearsome creatures in the river, while over in the swamp, Shelby and Donna are putting his new paddle barge to work. In Washington, DJ returns to work but faces another battle with Craig. And in Wisconsin, the Woodchucks are pushing hard to meet their deadline, but dangerous shortcuts could bring the whole operation down.
In the swamp, Shelby puts his new toys to work and discovers a huge payday right in his own backyard. At Rygaard, runaway logs send Craig over the edge, while in Montana, Joe and Coatsy strike out on their own. In Wisconsin, the Woodchucks battle a crumbling wall and in Florida, Jimmy Smith says goodbye.
When Hurricane Isaac hits the bayou, Shelby Stanga must race to save his logging empire and neighbors. At Rygaard, a string of crew meltdowns sends the site into chaos. In Florida, Brad and Swilley struggle to get S&S back in the Log-Off after losing their captain. In Canada, Lemare faces an equipment breakdown that could end their whole season, and in Wisconsin, a major accident at the Woodchucks causes the site boss to quit.
In Louisiana, the Swamp Man attempts a daring rescue of his aging relatives from the rising storm waters. In Wisconsin, the Woodchucks don't make their deadline and their company hangs in the balance. S&S finally hits a honey hole with the help of Swilley's "brother from another mother." And In Canada, Hook tender Mike has finally had enough and calls it quits on Lemare.
At Rygaard, Gabe is desperate to fill out his shorthanded crew--and brings in someone very unexpected. In Florida, S&S' bad luck streak continues when they wreck their boat and get into a fight with the Dreadknots. Joe and Coatsy start roadbuilding--to catastrophic results, and then come up with a new plan to start their own company. And The Swamp Man tries to assist his neighbors and relatives in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac.
In the Bayou, Shelby goes on a treasure-hunting mission, and ends up in a race against Belinda. At Big Gun Logging, Jesse's lesson on the whistles almost takes Luke out. On the river, S&S continues to struggle, while the Dreadknots' lucky charm gets destroyed. And at Rygaard, Dave's arrival turns the site upside-down.
Shelby finds a legendary old grave site and the crew has an accident. Big Gun has yet another yarder accident and Levi decides to make some major crew changes. Brad and Swilley are the victims of a prank and they lose yet another assistant. Joe and Coatsy are having a tough time keeping steady work, while at Rygaard, Craig and Gabe attempt to bury the hatchet, and Dave is forced to eat some humble pie.
In the Swamp, Shelby tries out a new assistant--and meets his match. In Florida, Brad has an MMA title fight--and wins himself a new assistant. In Canada, a new, inexperienced hook tender causes major chaos. In Oregon, the entire Big Gun crew heads out to cut the next road--in high winds. And at Rygaard, Craig drops a bomb.
Shelby is reunited with his old assistant DaVi and together, they go on a mission to help the people of New Orleans. In Oregon, the Big Gun crew is scrambling to finish up the Grindstone site, but a yarder malfunction leads to near-catastrophe. In Canada, the Lemare company is finally pulling the big wood. But site boss Gord gets greedy and loses a load of logs in a dramatic way. And at Rygaard, the new site is proving challenging. And when Craig loses his cool it pushes him to make a shocking decision.
In Louisiana, after Shelby and DaVi have an argument, Shelby makes it up to DaVi by giving him a very unusual gift. In Washington, Gabe Rygaard rushes his crew to finish the site, which leads to careless and dangerous decisions. In Montana, Joe and Coatsy get a job--in Alaska--and have no way to get back. And in Florida, Brad decides to take a risk and dives into a river cave looking for logs, but gets trapped and has to be rescued by his enemies.
In Florida, Brad and Swilley fight against a massive log--and lose. Then, when they get back to the landing, they are greeted by a very unexpected guest. The Swamp Man goes gar fishing with his cousin Cheyenne and they find what could be the log raft! At Rygaard, a tight landing is making everyone nervous. But when a loose log tumbles, Craig's reaction takes everyone by surprise. And at Lemare, a terrifying road scares everyone away.
In the dramatic Ax Men season conclusion, Shelby hits the lake with a squad of assistants to have one last confrontation with Richard. In Florida, the Dreadknots and S&S struggle to pull enough logs to help out their ailing leader, Jimmy. In Canada, Gord's whip cracking doesn't help as their final site offers lethal challenges. And in Washington, Craig Rygaard and the crew push to finish on time, and Gabe has a surprise for his father on his last day as a logger.
It's a new season of Ax Men and a new battle for "king of the mountain." Papac returns as reigning king of the mountain, but the stress of maintaining the title pushes hook tender Coatsy over the edge. Rygaard's dangerous blowdown site fights them at every turn. Shelby Stanga needs to start this season strong, but a gruesome accident puts him dead in the water. Veteran Pihl cutter Levi Brown breaks out on his own, and a new yarder company joins the competition. S&S logging returns to Florida to log against new rivals, but infighting trumps the competition.
Swamp Man Shelby Stanga is hired to remove a log from private property, but complications lead to disaster. Infighting reaches a fever pitch at S&S Aqua Logging, while the competition has a run-in with Mother Nature. A familiar face returns to Papac, much to Coatsy's dismay. Gabe Rygaard takes Dave out cutting, but things go awry. And the rookies of Big Gun Logging are adding to their ranks.
Jimmy Smith is smitten with his new assistant, while rivals Uncle Buck and Swilley push their equipment to the breaking point. Shelby Stanga scouts his newest log order with his darling wife Donna. Big Gun Logging faces an uncertain future when owner Levi Brown is admitted to the hospital. And at Rygaard and Papac, the chainsaws bite back.
At Papac Alaska, the site is turned upside down when the yarder operator walks off in the middle of the day. In Florida, Swilley's determination to beat S&S in the Suwannee River Log Off leads to a life threatening mistake. With their leader still in the hospital, Big Gun Logging loses control of the Ole Keasy site. At Rygaard, the rigging crew is learning safety lessons the hard way. And in the swamp, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Start-up outfit Big Gun Logging hits a snag as their deadline approaches. In Florida, Buck & Swilley make a run for the lead in the Log-Off while Jimmy deals with a crew crisis. Shelby Stanga enlists the help of a voodoo team to get his cousin's ghost under wraps. In Washington, a string of accidents on Craig's watch threatens to shut down the site. And in the mountains Montana, a new company joins the ranks of the Ax Men, forcing everyone to "cowboy up!"
It's a fight to the death between Shelby Stanga and a massive standing tree. At Rygaard, the bad blood between Dave and Fernando boils over. In Alaska, Papac's men are on the run when two machines get tangled up while in Florida, Buck and Swilley raise the stakes. And in Montana, the newcomers from Siderius Logging are gambling on life and limb.
Shelby Stanga takes his newest assistant loggin' and froggin'. In Montana, young Siderius cutter Travis earns his stripes when he's forced into a deadly situation. The father and son team of S&S hits bottom, then hits gold. In Washington, a close call puts an end to the infighting, and at Papac, Joe lets loose.
Big Gun Logging is back to face sheer rock cliffs and a new crop of greenhorns. At Papac, a widow-maker threatens to take out Coatsy and the camera crew. At Rygaard, a gamble gets out of control, causing a blowout between father and son. On the Suwanee River, Jimmy and James hit rock bottom, as Buck and Swilley discover a dangerous sweet spot. And in Louisiana, Shelby and his cousin Kelly are on the hunt.
After years of infighting, Jimmy and James Smith seek the help of a professional anger management counselor. Gabe Rygaard unveils a bold new plan to run two yarders on the same site. In Oregon, one of Big Gun's greenhorns faces the end of the line. In the swamp, Shelby takes on an assistant who puts him in his place. And in the mountains of Virginia, a new crew of horse loggers is out to show the world that they can run with the big boys.
The season hits the halfway mark, and everyone is upping his game. In the swamp, Shelby and cousin Belinda are under the gun to find a huge Cypress. In Florida, S&S hires a new diver but says goodbye to an old one. In Montana, the cowboys of Siderius must break in their greenhorn without breaking him for good. And at Rygaard, two yarders bring in twice the wood and twice the trouble.
As the season moves on, everyone's going to greater lengths to stay on top. At Papac, an accident sends one man over the edge of the landing. In horse country, the loggers take to new heights in order to get the final tree of the job on the ground. At Siderius, greenhorn Jesse Kelleher is in need of redemption. And in the bayou, the swamp man gets into a shootout with another logger who's after Shelby's profits.
In the swamp, the battle between Shelby Stanga and his nemesis Richard comes to a head. On the river, Buck and Swilley's boat goes boom. At Big Gun, one of their greenhorns shows his dark side. And at Papac, Joe and Coatsy bury the hatchet.
On the mountain, Gabe's two-yarder plan goes further off track when one crew member defects to the other team. Big Gun races their tightest deadline yet, while in Alaska, Joe and the new guy get into it. On the river, an accident could take S&S out of the Log-Off for good, and in the swamp, Shelby's trusty assistant Willy goes missing.
From Alaska to the bayou, the hits are coming fast and hard. At Rygaard, a crew shakeup leaves everyone scrambling. In Florida, the tides are turning as S&S suffers a blow while Buck & Swilley get unexpected help from James. In Alaska, Papac takes to the open seas for a fishing trip, while, Big Gun must bring in a new yarder operator to have a chance at conquering their dangerous downhill site. And in the swamp, an accident may cost Shelby another one of his assistants.
As the season enters the homestretch, everyone is risking more to stay on top. Jimmy Smith braves the depths of the Suwannee River for the first time in three years, but his fears may get the better of him. In the swamp, Shelby also takes on an old enemy--the log that flipped his winch last season. In Montana, the boys of Siderius are playing fast and loose, while at Rygaard, the crew pushes their yarder to the brink of disaster.
At Rygaard, Gabe's two yarder sides are reunited, but the infighting that's plagued them all year is worse than ever. In Florida, the alliance between Team Buck and James Smith comes to a bitter end. At Papac, Joe's hard-yarding style sends the rigging crew running for cover. In the swamp, Shelby Stanga won't stop until he gets his revenge. And in New Hampshire, two new teams of ox loggers enter the race.
While on a night mission, Shelby finds something that could lead to a bigger payday than he's ever seen. In Washington, Craig and Wayne plot a prank to teach Dave a lesson. In New Hampshire, personality differences between the ox loggers cause walk-offs on both sides. And on the Suwannee, James returns to S&S but steers he and Brad right into danger.
With three weeks to go, the final race to be King of the Mountain is in full swing. In the swamp, Shelby's chasing buried gold in Lake Ponchartrain. In Florida, a surprising end to the log-off forces sudden death. At Big Gun, a greenhorn's mistake could cost them the season's profits. And in Montana and New Hampshire, the ox loggers and cowboys of Siderius are fighting to finish their seasons strong.
From Alaska to Florida, one of the toughest seasons on record is almost over. At Papac, pushing hard pushes Joe to his breaking point, while at Rygaard, Dave has officially worn out his welcome. On the Suwannee, the teams are fighting to win the final round of the Log-Off, but a season's worth of bad blood between Jimmy and James comes to a head. In Louisiana, the Swamp Man gambles on a helicopter to search for a multi-million dollar sunken log raft.
It's the nail-biting conclusion of the race to be crowned King of the Mountain. While Papac battles to bring their yarder operator back from the brink, Craig Rygaard forces Gabe to choose between him and Dave. At Big Gun, Levi drops a bomb, while in the swamps of Louisiana, Shelby's in a desperate race to find swamp gold. And in Florida, the Great Suwannee River Log-Off comes to a close, but when Jimmy doesn't like the results, he takes matters into his own hands.
Father-and-son team Craig and Gabe Rygaard are back to take down reigning top dog J.M. Browning... but newcomer Papac Logging is gunning for both of them. Braving a remote island off the coast of Alaska, these guys play by their own rules and will stop at nothing to conquer one of America's final frontiers.
Pihl Logging also returns, this time with a secret weapon whose arrival shocks the entire crew. While the mountain's top dogs battle it out in the northwest... in the other corner of the country, the aqua loggers also return. Jimmy Smith is back to reclaim his son and challenge rival Collins to a Log-Off in the black waters of the Suwannee River, while swamp logger Shelby Stanga is on a mission to find an assistant in the
Rygaard tries to tame two monsters at the same time--the super-juiced Mean Bean and the downhill site on which it's deployed. Pihl's greenhorn must prove herself to the crew but a deadly mistake could cost her everything. Jimmy encounters trouble on his way to the river.
Shelby and his new assistant take drastic measures to unearth a monster log. And at Papac Alaska, tempers boil over, sending one man running for the hills.
On the edge of America's final frontier, it's every logger's worst nightmare: one of Papac's men has disappeared into thin air. Logging country is rattled to its core when logger Van Huffman goes missing in Alaska's remote wilderness. But when Papac's crew braves the harsh terrain and weather that batters Suemez Island, they find many reasons for concern and few for hope. Down south, the mountain's newbies are in hot water.
At Pihl, Leah creates an upender that threatens the entire crew and at Rygaard, Dave's "work ethic" meets Craig's wrath. In Louisiana, Shelby messes with a lethal dose of TNT that could sink him and his swamp friends for good, while the Collins crew lands on the wrong end of a runaway boat.
At Papac, time is running out for missing logger Van Huffman. At Rygaard, Gabe gambles on a helicopter... and loses. At Pihl, rigging slinger Eric Davis is rushed to the hospital after a gruesome fall.
In Louisiana, Shelby pulls an all-nighter to save his dog Piss Willy. And in Florida, Collins puts the Smith boys in their place.
It's a battle for survival in logging country. In Bayou country, Shelby's nighttime mission brings him face-to-face with an alligator. In Florida, Jimmy and James push their luck to get one of the biggest logs in the Suwannee.
At Rygaard, Dave goes down with an injury, while at Papac Alaska, the Colonel goes out in a blaze of glory. The tides are turning in logging country... and after tonight, nothing will be the same.
It has been called North America's most dangerous job - the remote logging camps of the Pacific Northwest. From individual loggers working with saws and axes to high powered mega-mills, today's lumber industry is a fusion of ancient tradition and modern technology.
At Rygaard, Gabe lands on the wrong end of a volatile log pile. At Papac Alaska, Coatsy risks sending their million-dollar yarder over the edge of a steep cliff. Down south, Shelby Stanga dodges gunfire on the Louisiana bayou, and in Florida, James Smith walks out on his father.
Ax Men is hitting the freezing waters of southeast Alaska when a new tug boat company enters the fold. Charged with towing Papac Alaska's million-dollar payday to the mill, this veteran crew is getting a new addition: former Pihl hothead Dustin Dethlefs.
At Papac Alaska, Coatsy faces competition when a former rigger returns. At Pihl, the new greenhorn leaves a lot to be desired. In Florida, Jimmy Smith goes it alone, and at Rygaard, Craig goes over Gabe's head in an attempt to push chaser Dave Schroeder out.
At Rygaard, Craig's secret weapon arrives with a bang... but the crew's welcome of the new guy is far from warm. In Florida, Collins and Smith go log-for-log as both teams take a run at the lead in the Log-Off. At Olson, a broken log raft requires quick thinking from greenhorn Dustin Dethlef.
At Papac Alaska, Joe and Coatsy face-off in a log rolling competition, and in Pihl country, a dangerous thinning site and temperamental equipment are a deadly combination for the rigging crew below.
As the season reaches the halfway mark, logging country is feeling the pressure. In Florida, Swilley gets hooked in a pile of rusty metal while Jimmy and James ride a wave of high times. At Rygaard, Gabe puts his entire crew on the line when he decides to fall standing trees from directly under the skyline.
In Oregon, Pihl's greenhorn lands on the wrong end of a 2,000-lb falling tree, and in bayou county, Shelby launches a dangerous nighttime mission in a part of the swamp known as "Alligator Alley".
Logging country is coming unglued. Rygaard is a war zone when the battle between chasers threatens to tear apart the entire crew. At Papac Alaska, Joe and Coatsy let the fists fly.
In Florida, Jimmy suffers a season-ending injury. In the swamp, Shelby Stanga pushes his Log Dog past the tipping point... and for Pihl, the end is sooner than they think.
In this episode of Ax Men, it's out with the old, in with the new. King of the Mountain J.M. Browning returns with son Jesse leading the charge. At Rygaard and Pihl, both companies face season-ending crises.
In Florida, James hires a new deckhand but takes a serious blow to the head...and in Cajun country, Shelby's got a new toy.
While the competition between American loggers is more heated than ever... up north, there's a new game in town. Canadian top dogs Lemare Lake Logging are facing one of the toughest jobs of their career--a remote patch of land accessible only by boat. But when a major piece of equipment goes down, it threatens to end their season before it ever gets going. Down south, Browning's punishing pace comes at a price.
In Alaska, rivals Joe and Coatsy settle their differences with an old school ax-chopping competition. In Florida, Joe Collins conjures up the spirits of the Suwannee, and in the backwaters of the bayou, Shelby's putting his swamp buggy to work.
From coast to coast, logging companies are willing to do anything to stay on top. At Browning, the crew gambles on a slipping skyline. In the bayou, Shelby puts his swamp buggy to the test pulling one of the biggest logs of the season.
At Rygaard, Craig mounts an assault to get rid of Dave. In Florida, Joe Collins takes the plunge into the black waters of the Suwannee while S&S tries to regroup with the help of local deckhand Casey Roberson. And in Canada, Lemare receives devastating news that could end their season before it ever gets going.
There's a new crop of loggers in Ax Men country... but fitting in with the old guard ain't easy. In Louisiana, a beauty queen quickly pushes all of Shelby's buttons at once. At Lemare, Steve and the greenhorn butt heads that ends with one of them quitting. In Florida, S&S's newest deckhand gets more Jimmy Smith than he can handle.
At Papac Alaska, Joe and Coatsy get a chance to bury the hatchet... but at Rygaard, the bad blood between Craig and Dave is worse than ever and is on the verge of tearing the crew apart.
From Canada to Louisiana, desperate times call for desperate measures. At Lemare, a washed out road threatens to trap their logs on the landing... until Gord decides to blast half the mountainside to make new gravel. At Rygaard, Gabe's got a surprise for his crew to put them back on track, while in Oregon, Jay Browning has a close call with a barberchair.
In Louisiana, Shelby's bringing in a surprising new assistant: his wife Donna. And in Florida, Joe and Swilley hook a bigger log than they can handle and end up sinking their boat in the process.
As the logging season winds down, the pressure to produce, heats up. In Alaska, a family emergency takes Mark from the yarder seat and with no time for a shut down... Papac calls on the only guy with experience running the massive machine: Joe Linderborg. Meanwhile the men of Rygaard are feasting at the Honey Hole, pulling big wood and riding high.
Down south on the Suwannee, Jimmy and James try to close the gap in the Log-Off while Joe and Swilley just try to get back on the water. And in the Louisiana bayou, a ghost threatens to derail Shelby.
It's time to finish the season strong. In Florida, the Log-Off is locked in a dead heat, and with Joe and Swilley sidelined after sinking their second boat, Jimmy and James are poised to take the top spot.
Swamp man Shelby Stanga's log buyer is due in the morning, but a bite from a water moccasin may kill his plans for success. At Rygaard, Craig kicks Dave off the landing, but one moment of inattention could be the end for former chaser.
At Browning, the crew battles a patch of tangled timber, and north of the border, the men of Lemare are racing to stay ahead of winter storms that could shut them down at any time.
Across logging country, the final push begins. At Papac, Joe Linderborg's reign on the yarder has everyone running scared. At Browning, Jay receives devastating news that could mean the end of his career. On the Suwannee, S&S and Collins almost come to blows over a pair of logs.
In the swamp, Shelby mounts his final and most important mission of the season...saving his Log Dog. And at Rygaard, one chaser blows up and bows out of the competition for good.
It's the final week of Ax Men, and as the clock counts down, tempers heat up. In the bayou, Shelby races to raise his rig before offshore storms force the end of the season. In Florida, S&S and Collins cash in on the season's take... but for these bitter rivals, it's not over until it's over.
At Lemare, Gord rushes to deliver a season's profit to the mill in time. And at both Papac and Rygaard, last minute gambles backfire and push the race to become King of the Mountain to the final seconds of the season.
It's the dead heat of summer and this season the stakes are higher than ever. From mountaintop to river's bottom, six crews will take on one of America's deadliest jobs in search of green gold.
In this episode, Ax Men is logging coast to coast. Shelby the "Swamp Man" Stanga braves gator-infested waters in search of sunken treasure. Browning, Rygaard, and Pihl are locked in competition as the brutal summer weather heats up.
As the summer heats up, so do the men of the mountain. Rygaard breaks in its greenhorns, while Jay Browning takes a gamble on a new yarder operator.
At Pihl, dissension grows between Melvin and Leland. And in bayou country, Shelby heads deeper into the swamp than ever before, but the mission may cost him everything he owns.
After an ill-fated road trip, Jimmy and James Smith arrive in Florida to tackle the dangerous black water of the American South, only to realize they're in way over their heads.
Rygaard's greenhorns get a wake-up call when a cable snaps. Browning's soaring production has a price, and at Pihl, Melvin's mistakes may cost him his job.
The forest fights back, as a careless mistake at Browning threatens to take out DJ and Cody. At Rygaard, Gabe gives his greenhorns an ultimatum: shape up or ship out.
At Pihl, Melvin and Leland face-off in a fight for the yarder seat, and down south, Jimmy's first dive may be his last.
Logging country is under siege. Melvin's gung-ho attitude puts the crew in danger. Rygaard's greenhorns fight for a permanent spot on the crew.
While Jimmy is on the prowl for logs, a gator is on the prowl for him. The Swamp Man fights his way through Hurricane Katrina debris in search of green gold, and at Browning, Jay collapses on the job.
Tempers flare as the logging season hits the rails. Jay Browning battles allergic shock, while Gabe Rygaard sends one of the greenhorns packing.
At S&S, Jimmy and Joe Collins face-off, and at Pihl, Melvin and the crew finally have it out.
At Rygaard, one of the greenhorns goes AWOL and Gabe has him on the chopping block. But he's not the only one, several of the loggers face the ax and for some, this week will be their last on the job.
In the swamps of Louisiana, Shelby takes on a risky mission as he searches for a sunken raft of logs, and at Browning, bad news pushes Jay to his breaking point.
The loggers struggle to get back on track after losing a man. At Browning, a weak cable threatens to kill half the crew, while the only remaining greenhorn at Rygaard is in the line of fire during a log-alanche.
Shelby's camera crew gets lost in the swamp overnight. In Florida, Jimmy and James set out alone and score the season's first big catch. And, Conner Aviation returns to face the most dangerous heli-logging job of their career.
Shelby's desperate dash for cash is halted when he crashes in the swamp. A monster gator stalks the S&S boys, pushing Jimmy to his breaking point.
At Rygaard, Gabe competes against his own team and at Browning, Jay recruits DJ and Cody for a dangerous environmental mission. At Conner, a giant load breaks the belly hook off the chopper, grounding the heli-loggers.
Jimmy and James come face-to-face with the 12-foot gator that has stalked them for weeks. In the swamps of Louisiana, Shelby goes solo on a challenging mission.
At Rygaard, greenhorn Dave disappears and at Browning, a string of setbacks makes Jay question if the Kalina job is cursed. The rookie pilots at Conner get the ride of their lives.
With the season winding down, the pressure heats up. Dave returns from jail but may not have a job to come back to, Shelby hunts his biggest catch of the season, and Conner's rookie pilots are take off on their first solo missions.
In Florida, Jimmy faces a moral dilemma, and for Browning, it's the end of the line.
With only two weeks remaining in the season, the mountain is turned upside down. Browning bounces back, while Rygaard suffers a devastating loss.
Jimmy's on thin ice at Collins, one of Conner's junior pilots is sent packing, and Shelby is rushed to the emergency room.
It's an all-out fight to the finish for Browning and Rygaard, as Gabe mounts a last minute surprise comeback. Shelby vows revenge on the lake log, and at Conner, it's up to the junior pilot to save the season.
In Florida, it's the end of the road for Jimmy, but Joe Collins makes James an offer he may not be able to refuse.
As dawn breaks over a new logging season in the Pacific Northwest, the Ax Men prepare for the battle that lies ahead. Behind every turn, danger lurks. To survive, they must escape falling trees and bone-crushing machinery, face impossible deadlines and the worst weather Mother Nature can throw at them.
Returning from last season are the J.M. Browning crew, last year's winners who don't know how to lose, and Pihl Logging, an unruly group of true-blue lifetime loggers. Upping this year's ante are two new competitors: Washington-based newcomers Rygaard Logging and S&S Aqua Logging, a team of underwater loggers who fish for logs in some of the most violent waters in the Pacific Northwest. When every log they pull could be their last, there's no room for mistakes.
The battle to be crowned king of the mountains has just begun and already men are bowing out of the race. Rygaard's greenhorn struggles to earn the respect of his crew, while Jay Browning's $30,000 gamble on new equipment craps out. Jimmy Smith and his new deckhand, son James, try to reel in the log of their lives. And one of the mountain's most beloved Ax Men will hang up his saw for good.
This week, Ax Men soars to new heights as a helicopter logging outfit enters the competition.
At Pihl, Dustin tries to talk his father into coming back to work for Pihl. Rygaard's greenhorn faces his fears when he must climb a 100-ft tree, and Jimmy and James grasp at straws as their prized log slips from their clutches.
At Rygaard, the bosses clash over greenhorn Brad Hewitt. Meanwhile, at the Pihl team, Dwayne is forced to do the job of a greenhorn.
To the east, R&R Conner Aviation must choose between safety and production. Jimmy Smith and son James are still waging war against the mammoth deadhead known as Moby Dick. Usually, three strikes and you're out ... but Jimmy plays by a different set of rules ...
The mountain's men face the firing squad. Rygaard's greenhorn fights to keep his job, but the bosses may pull the plug before he gets his chance. Jimmy heads into uncharted waters; hidden below the surface is a minefield that could sink his business for good. Dustin Dethlefs encounters a deadly scenario and, at R&R, a sudden fog rolls in and traps a pilot in zero visibility.
The mountain seeks its revenge. Weather traps R&R's helicopter pilot in the fog. Trees fight back against Pihl's timber fallers. Rivers mount their defense, threatening to rip Jimmy Smith's barge in half. As a result, at Rygaard, logging is turned upside down when they move to a new downhill logging site.
The tables are turned and the mountain's underdogs get their chance. Jimmy Smith finds the holy grail of underwater logs when he attempts to pull a dock out of the water. The men of Pihl Logging battle the biggest timber of their careers. Logging giant Rygaard falls victim to its greenhorn, and helicopter logging suffers under the direction of its new pilot.
Dead weight must be shed. Inexperienced hook tender Jesse Browning, junior pilot Steve Smith and greenhorn Brad Hewitt all have their heads on the chopping block. They've been struggling since day one, but their company bosses are out of patience and out of options. Only one will survive the week.
New faces are welcomed to the fraternity of men known as the Ax Men. Rygaard and Conner Aviation hope their new greenhorns fare better than the last class. At Pihl, a missing cutter sends the crew on a search mission, and tempers at S&S Aqua Logging reach crisis level.
The gap between winners and losers is narrowing. Rygaard's new greenhorn battles to prove himself, while Conner Aviation's substitute pilot gets wild with the chopper. Dwayne Dethlefs leaves Pihl Logging high and dry, while the Aqua Loggers are sunk by bad weather. At Browning, Jesse's crew tries to catch Rygaard's lead.
The final week of logging's toughest season begins. Impossible goals leave no room for error, as each crew races the clock. While Rygaard and Browning are locked in a fight to the finish, Conner Aviation battles for survival. At Pihl, one man will not survive the week.
As the logging season winds to a close, the drama heats up. Conner fights off defeat, while the men of Pihl fight each other. Jimmy's barge refuses to budge, and for Browning and Rygaard, eleventh hour catastrophes send the competition down to the wire.
Deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, rugged men make their living doing one of the deadliest jobs in the world... logging. Their mission is to retrieve timber perched on mountainsides too steep to access with machines, but it's no easy task.Plagued by mechanical failures, relentless weather and unpredictable terrain, these brave men risk their lives retrieving the timber supply for the U.S.
Meet four companies trying to survive each day: Pihl Logging - a rag-tag group of loggers based in Vernonia, Oregon; Gustafson Logging - a close-knit crew working one of the most dangerous jobs in the region; J.M. Browning - the best of the best; and Stump Branch Logging - the young guns with a lot to prove. These are the Ax Men.
Just days into the fall logging season, the Ax Men are already being put to the test. J.M. Browning races to meet a big deadline while Stump Branch Logging tempts fate by jury-rigging their old equipment.
The Gustafson Company races Mother Nature as they attempt to build a road to access their logging site, and father teaches son the lessons of logging as the men of the Pihl Company haul in the forest's cash crop.
As a storm closes in on the Oregon coast, the Ax Men race to stay one step ahead. Jesse continues to push the J.M. Browning crew to meet its looming deadline, while muddy roads trap trucks on their way to the Stump Branch site.
Robby battles for control of the Gustafson crew, and Pihl Logging feels the effects of the slumping lumber market.
Across Northwest Oregon, the Ax Men continue to grind it out. Storm season arrived with a vengeance - shutting some crews down while others struggled to stay afloat.
But now a bigger storm is brewing: the stalled housing market's effects are hitting the Ax Men hard. Jobs will be shut down; men will be put out of work. This week, the housing market hits home.
The loggers of the Pacific Northwest perform what is said to be North America's most dangerous job. Watch this week as the men react to news of upcoming layoffs.
Gustafson Logging tries to get back on track, Browning Logging races to meet a big deadline and Pihl Logging needs to finish the Pig Farm Job. Despite Melvin's best efforts to keep up with his old equipment, Stump Branch Logging loses one of its most important machines.
Logging has been called North America's most dangerous job - and that's before job security is considered. Now logging giants throughout Oregon are falling. Two of the biggest - J.M. Browning and Gustafson Logging - are fighting to survive.
Jay Browning, usually flush with lucrative deals, is forced to make tough decisions. Gustafson Logging is down but not out. Smaller outfits, like Stump Branch and Pihl, find winning strategies in their young leaders.
The season is halfway through, and the gap between winners and losers is widening. Stump Branch tests a new but more dangerous logging strategy... and poses great danger to the men in the rigging.
Meanwhile the Pihl men play while the bosses are away, but the Browning Logging is a team divided. Jesse struggles to prove himself to his father - but faulty equipment isn't helping matters. Finally, a mistake on the Gustafson crew may end one man's career.
In the wake of the plummeting logging market, the Ax Men are barely surviving. The Gustafson bosses have a close call while taking over for their laid-off crew, while an old hook tender returns to the Browning team, stopping Jesse's ascension to company management.
Meanwhile Pihl loses a crucial member of the team as it struggles to finish Pig Farm, and at Stump Branch, the young guns take matters into their own hands when Melvin has to leave the site.
Thanksgiving arrives, but brings with it a nasty strike of winter weather which sees the men of Pihl lose one man after another to illness. Meanwhile younger crew members of Gustafson blow off steam while the bosses toil away.
Jay is forced to ax some of the Browning gang staff, and the season's first snow is a warning of things to come for the Stump Branch crew.
Thanksgiving is over, but the return to work brings more trouble for the Ax Men. The Gustafson crew now faces a nearly impossible deadline after returning from a devastating two-week layoff. Pig Farm is close to its deadline, but half of the Pihl crew skips work, leaving greenhorn Cody to pick up the slack.
Meanwhile mistakes and inexperience at Stump Branch put profits and lives at risk, and Jay Browning makes a troubling discovery about his next job.
The town of Vernonia is declared a disaster area as the worst storm in 25 years pounds the Oregon coast, forcing members of Pihl and Stump Branch to flee their work sites. Amongst the devastation, Jay Browning cannot be found, Darrell must act fast to save his house from falling trees as the town of Astoria descends into a blackout, and the future of the logging industry is in jeopardy.
The Ax Men are ready to get back to work and put the storm behind them, but it's easier said than done. As Gustafson returns to work, Darrell makes a startling discovery that could mean the end for the Challenge job.
The Stump Branch crew must figure out a Plan B and find missing greenhorn Michael. Still without phone service, Jay Browning struggles to gather his troops, and the Pihl crew bails out one of its own.
Even as logging's toughest season winds down, the battle is far from over. J.M. Browning continues to fall from glory, leaving Jesse to question the future of his family's business.
The Gustafson crew returns to the Challenge, but rumours of a final pullout abound. The Pihl crew wraps Beaver and celebrates a successful year, and one member of the Stump Branch crew announces that he will not return.