Many viewers who watch “Mountain Men” on History Channel tune in for one reason: to see what is going on with Tom Oar in Montana. Last season, the show left with Tom heading off to Florida, questioning whether or not he should return to the beautiful-but-rugged land he has loved so much for so many years. Of course, he returned. But, did he make the right decision?
Each episode of “Mountain Men” demonstrates various ways life in the rugged areas where the cast lives is hard, from Eustace in North Carolina to Tom & Rich in Montana, to Charlie up in Maine and Kyle over in New Mexico, and, of course, Marty all the way up in Alaska. Tom Oar lives the true life of a mountain man in the Yaak River Valley, trapping, hunting and tanning hides. He and wife Nancy have lived in the beauty of Montana for decades, and he is well-known in the area for his skills, determination and willingness to help his neighbors. But, now he is getting older, and it is getting harder. A former rodeo cowboy, old injuries are prone to aching in the frigid temperatures, and making ends meet gets harder and harder with each passing year. This season, we’ve seen him making his way precariously through the snow, and no doubt fans have been concerned for him each time he has taken a tumble down a snowy incline. Fans love Tom, most cannot imagine the show without him, but even the most ardent fan has to wonder at times, “Is it time for him to leave?”
Ultimately it will be up to Tom and Nancy, of course, whatever they decide to do and when. But, he really did seem to enjoy life in Florida, living around family and where life was decidedly easier on his ever-aching knees, no doubt. And, does it have to be all-or-none, anyway? Could he spend the spring and summer in Montana, take in the early fall, and then ride out the winter in sunny Florida? It’s an idea; could it be an option?
Whatever he and Nancy decide for the future, they will no doubt make the decision that is right for them, whether that be Montana, Florida, or some other place that isn’t even on the table right now--you just never know what life might throw at an old rodeo cowboy, after all.
“Mountain Men” airs on History Channel on Sunday nights at 9/8c.