Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People recap: Raised Wild

Alaskan Bush People recap Ryan Berenz

Do the Alaskan Bush People get paid? We asked! Read our interview with the Brown family.

On Tuesday, May 6, at 10pm ET/PT, Discovery Channel introduces new reality series Alaskan Bush People, which follows the nine-member Brown family as they journey 1,500 north in the Alaskan wilderness to build a one-room cabin on their new land before the winter and the darkness bring cold and death.

RELATED: What happened to Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People?

Alaskan Bush People Season 1 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | The Wild Life

Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 | Episode 2Episode 3 | Episode 4Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8  | Wild Times | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | SHARK WEEK! | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Lost Footage | The Wild Year

Now, when I was first told about the premise of Alaskan Bush People, I was expecting perhaps a depiction of some authentic Inuit culture or something. But this is a Discovery Channel reality show, so instead, the Brown family is more like those stoners you knew in high school, though far, far more motivated and industrious.

The patriarch is Billy Brown, who with his wife, Ami, has seven kids. The first five are boys (I’ll get to them in a bit). Billy and Ami chose to live in the Alaskan wilderness, and they’ve raised their family in a remote cabin, which, unfortunately, was built on public land and burned to the ground by the government. Harsh.

So the family is looking for a new homestead, and they’ve purchased some cheap land even more in the middle of nowhere than their previous land in the middle of nowhere. They pack up the SUV and a trailer and head from Ketchikan or thereabouts 1,500 miles north to near Chitina or thereabouts.

Now, about the boys. They’re the real color of the show. The one called Bear appears to be the most interesting. He’s EXTREME! He runs everywhere. He climbs trees … to the TOP! “One of my main skills is my extremeness, actually,” he boasts. He’s sort of like a hybrid of snowboarder Shaun White and Saturday Night Live‘s Mr. Peepers. The oldest son is Matt, who says, “Fishing is both my best quality and one of my worst flaws.” (Oh, the paradox that is fishing!) Gabe is the strong-backed, weak-minded one. The boy is an ox. “On a strength level, how strong I am would be pretty darn strong,” he says, unable to numerically quantify things. Noah is the MacGyver of the bunch, and can fix anything. Anything, that is, except his bum ankle that makes him all gimpy. Bam Bam (his grandpappy liked The Flintstones) is the bespectacled one and he seems to have managerial skills that may someday allow him to work in the one Arby’s location in Alaska.

On the route to Chitina, the trailer blows a tire, which stops their journey (and just grinds this whole TV series to a halt after 10 whole minutes). So they haul the SUV into the nearest area inhabited by humans to get a comparably sized tire, leaving two of the boys behind to build a fire and defend the trailer against a distant, disinterested moose. “The sun is literally falling,” says Bear, whose extremeness is figuratively boundless. Hours later, the rest of the family returns with the replacement tire, which is just a tad too big and requires someone to bend the hell out of the fender to install. Nice work, MacGyver boy.

The family arrives at their land the following day, and they get to work building a temporary “trapper shack” that will give them shelter and protection at least through the night. The sun is literally falling and so are the temperatures, and the trapper shack is kind of half-assed and plastic covered. They’re leaving someone outside with a shotgun for “bear watch” shifts, while the rest of the family gets their sleeping arrangements set. This involves digging “hip holes” and “head holes” into the dirt. Take note, good people at Sealy.

Some of the boys have to go and “bury the meat” (stop laughing!). No, friends, this is literally burying the meat in the ground so it stays cold.

Construction continues the following day. Our dear narrator teases us with the promise of “a deadly mistake.” A tree falls and nearly takes out Bam Bam, but other than being pissed off at his brothers, he’s perfectly fine. The deadly mistake resulted in nothing. Already the show is lying to us.

With the trapper shack built, they can finally start working on the foundation of their permanent shack. But it turns out that the trees in the area ain’t no damned good and are too scrawny for cabin construction. Billy now needs lumber, and is forced to go into the nearest town, Chitina, to try and find someone with wood who is willing to barter. (BTW, everyone in these parts has guns, and they spend most of their free time shooting at street signs.)

Billy and one of the boys head to Uncle Tom’s Tavern, which looks like it might be the Mos Eisley of Alaska, and meet a few of the locals. Billy explains his situation. The locals laugh at him, telling him that it gets really cold out there and he’d better get his house built soon, because that’s the kind of local wit and wisdom you can only get at Uncle Tom’s Tavern in Chitina. The barkeep knows a lumber guy, but the lumber guy’s price is $10,000 (lumber guy has acting lessons to pay for). Billy barters with lumber guy, offering caribou and the indentured servitude of his five male offspring. Lumber guy eventually accepts, probably because the show’s producers told him to, and because the death of nine people is not something you want on your conscience.

And so, what do you think of Alaskan Bush People? Are the Browns rugged individualists or nutjobs? And, more importantly, do you care enough to keep watching this show to see if winter comes and they’re forced to eat the camera crew?

Alaskan Bush People

Photo: Credit: Discovery Channel


  1. seeing the question asked many times and not answered what amount do the Brown family get per episode

  2. They are as fake as a three-dollar bill. I am so disappointed in Discovery, first Mermaids, then this and Snake Eating many. What’s even scarier! People believe it – all of it

    • The Browns did not purchase any land, the Discovery Channel leased the land from a local family for the filming of the show. This has been documented on several websites. There is 3 small towns on the island the land is on and the Browns are staying in the town of Hoonah which is closest to the land where they film the show.

      • Maybe I’m nieave but I was suprised to find out that the Browns were not what they seem to be.I really like this show,now I have to do rethinking about my interpretation of this show.I feel kind of cheated.I’ll still watch but not with the enthusiasm I watched in the past.

        • I can’t believe that the show is a sham. I was really starting to like the show I’m kind of upset that I even now know the real truth. .now that we know that they do live in town where there is civilization there should be no excuse that they are not married or is that a lie as well.

      • It is still a great program I enjoy it very much, I lived with the yupic eskimoes for four years, you tender feet couldn,t make it. not all fun an games I broke through the the ice two times, lost in a blizzard three times washed away on an ice berg, washed away in my house during a storm. don,t knock until you have lived it.

  3. I just found out that Discovery Channel leased this new land for them to film the show and a construction crew from the nearest town of Hoonah is actually building the cabin. The Browns do not actually stay on the land but are shuttled by boat to the land to film scenes and actually are currently staying in Hoonah at the Icy Straight Lodge with the rest of the Discovery film crew. Its sad I really wanted to like this family and the show but it is just way to fake. I’ll stick with Yukon Men on Animal planet an alaskan show that seems more authentic to real alaskan people.

  4. We love the Bush ppl! We watch every Friday and would love to trade lives with them. Seem to be very good ppl…

  5. hi; I seen all of the shows it one of the best one discovery put on” I would love to live like the Brown Family they are alright!!

  6. I like the browns..theres not enough money for me to freeze my a– off all day and night more power to them be free..I hope the boys find some wives .and the sisters get men

    • Me and my wife watch the show every firday night and we like it we kinda wish we could join ya all up there lol but i am 73 and she is 70 been married 51 years its a very exciting show

  7. Do the browns file income tax like the rest of us also are the all being fined for not having medical ins /why so hard to find out what their being paid by discovery

  8. love the comment, ” you in the lower 48… about giving someone a gift tradition/family, that we don`t know anything of that. Fuck you brown. you are from the “lower 48”. family values mean the same down here…. and think about it douche… lower 49……

    • Hey Scooter,
      I’m sick of him with the lower 48 comment.He’s a phonyif it wasn’t for the lower 48 he’d be nothing…..o wait a minute he is a nothing “a Felon” I read all about him on stooped housewives

  9. I just watched “The Browns” today and I enjoy every episode. I am a woman, 64 yo and I watch them and think of what a way to live. If I were younger, this would be my dream life. This is the life the Brown’s want and if they can live it, God Bless them. Doing this show allows them some benefits I am sure. So What?? Everyone on a reality show enjoys the same benefits. The life and times of Mick……….he is the survivalist in the woods of Washington. I watch him too. I think the Brown’s life is closer to what I would like.
    As for the boys……they will have to find women that are of the same mind set. I feel this show will help them find those women.
    I have a feeling that the show will end when there is no more going on. Could be a year maybe two, so until then I will keep watching. I would rather watch their show than ‘keeping up with the kardashians’. Other than Kloe…….the show is dead to me.
    I wish the Browns many more shows!

  10. A lot of people on here seem to be hating on them and I think it’s out of envy. And please tell me where in the hell do they spend their “foodstamps” and Government Aid ?

    • I’m sure he would! If his mom and pop and all his brothers are sentenced to do time he will need someone to take care of him and the girls. Go for it!

  11. Why did the old man change there last name? and where did they get all of the money to0 buy an island, Boats, and guns and clothes? I was raised poor and we could not afford all this, and we worked for a living! And they say they don’t need thye outside world, and nobody going to run them off, they already have with a boat between there legs.

    • they didn’t buy an island, but they did buy a number of acres on the island. The way they bought it is from the money they got paid for doing the show last season. Those boats were junk boats.
      I wonder how much they each got for each episode, anyone know?

  12. I would love to speak to one of the shows producers and get to meet Matt, the oldest son. I would like to make him my future husband. Well, after we fish!

  13. Ive watched the show. There are many people like this family. They are really bad survivalist bt what ever. In Alaska they each get Alaskan oil kick backs. Since they don’t work legally they get food stamps…
    Its unfortunate they are leading the kids in a way that they don’t get to identify with their own lives… I know lots of people like them they are not unique

  14. I also think they bring trouble onto themselves somewhat. Their ” Bartering ways ” are often lopsided towards the Browns. The guy who gave them all that lumber to build their North home gave away a LOT OF PRIME LUMBER. Heavy 6×8 Headers n etc. Isn’t cheap. For what ?? Fish ?? I think the locals helped em finish the xabin then ran em out of town. Even in Alaska people still like CASH $$$ for stuff/Goods. NOT fish

    • They didn’t trade for fish. They traded for their best of two boats… Why all of the negative reviews…. They are good people. They are very unique. God bless them….

    • Well that dentist sure took fish! But I hear you. Ppl like money in their pocket. Discovery has to have a show and I think that the show is paying for the stuff.

      • What a bunch of dummies! Bartering is exactly what built this and every other country. Bartering is as old as humanity and will be here to the very end. Gee, what would you all do tomorrow if the dollar plunged into the sea? You would barter your asses off and wish to hell you had a talent that someone would be willing to exchange something you need to survive for. give it a rest.

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About Ryan Berenz 2096 Articles
Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife