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. I love the Brown show . Because it bring back the hole family life that I miss in the worst way. If 1 out of 10 family’s were like the browns then maybe there would not be half the bull shit that goes on. The family’s are not like they were back in the 70’s that’s a fact. I love to see brothers and sisters back each other like the Browns do. You can call them names but I would do anything to have the family morals that the parents have pasted on to there kids. The father is a very big book writer he has written over 70 books. That’s one thing you don’t do is call that family is stupid do a little reading on them. Boy will you be surprised all of them are supper smart and I take my hat off to all of them just for trying to put some family life back in this world that needs it in the worst way. The story is the best part of the show how the family works TOGETHER ,,,,,, that’s the most important part. I really don’t know if the Browns are getting paid or not. But love all the shows on Discovery channel. I really don’t think that they need the money there doing it because they love to do it and live like that. I would be right along them if I could God Bless the hole Brown family amen.

  2. The commenter claims they were lifting 600lb. fuel drums. 55 gallon barrels do not weigh that much.
    I never trust a man who volunteers his truthfulness or religious beliefs.
    Volunteered information is almost always compensating bullshit.
    Poor men wear their wealth around their neck and brag about their money. Rich men hide their wealth so no one will try to steal it.
    Cowards pick fights and bark like little dogs. Beware of the dogs that don’t bark.

    information that his word is his bond and adds that God is looking out for his family.

    • The browns are fascinating.
      I think Bear should try-out for American Ninja Warrior. Really! He should do great.

  3. This is the best show on TV. I cant believe People actually live this way. It is fascinating to see the injunity that each one uses in doing their own thing, Do they Get Paid for doing the show. I don’t want to know how much,but if they do , it isn’t enough..

  4. Love this show! My favorite right now. I find the family interesting and refreshing!

    • There is a website that you can send him a message that I found once but cant remember the link,you may can find it with some surfing of the web.good luck!

    • DOES ANYONE know if they ever paid for the lumber that they promised caribou meat and labor for barter?

    • Pfffffft! Ok just because they’re (different) because they live a different lifestyle doesnt make them “moochers” or “weirdo’s”! They are just trying to carve out a decent living by being off the grid and should be commended by their efforts instead of being bashed by people like you that dont understand their way of life.Its absolutely the best show on tv and most people will agree! Do your research before you say mean things about people!

    • Have you ever watched the show? The boys work their butts off honouring their end of the barter. So, yes they do appear to honour their debts-the boys anyway. Bill does a lot of ordering around and talking. My only problem-having to watch Bear beat fish to death and claiming his motive is only to make sure the fish have a humane death. I really really hope some education finds him in the middle of that bush -it is hard to watch that. AND … I hope Discovery pays them well. . . their show is one of the highest rated shows on the network.
      Just because they are removed from mainstream social interaction, they shouldn’t be taken advantage of . I’ve never watched an episode of those vain vapid girls and their mom tut they have clearly been rewarded for their infront of the camera and their place on the ratings chart. Discovery PAY the Brown Family.

  5. I just discovered the show and I LOVE IT. I really hope the show survives and I get to be a part of their, lives all be it throw reality t.v. Just to see a family have that strong love and respect for one another is a rare oddity in our fast paced world.

    • I just love the hole brown bunch ther an address to be able to write to them?

    • My family loves this show. We watch it every night if possible. Most of the time we watch the same episode two or three times. We love it. Thanks Steve

  6. I love the show but I think it’s bullshit that they don’t get paid more where they can build a house for the boys in the house for the girls in the house for Billy & Ami.

    • Good comment! Totally agree! “TDC” is probably making millions off of them,and from what I understand,they dont pay ABP anything for their appearance on the show which is just wrong! Especially when people like (DuckDynasty) receive $250,000 for each and every episode that is aired! Maybe the browns can get a manager or someone to negotiate with TDC so they can be paid for what they do! Come on Discovery! Pay these people what they deserve! You know you are making money off of the show so…SHARE THE WEALTH WITH THEM!!


  8. How anyone could even start to believe this family is for real is way out there. You see two minutes of them lifting a few boards. Discovery actually paid local people to build that cabin. Actually, both cabins. Anyway, the Browns are going to jail in June, so whatever is already filmed is all you will ever see of this freeloading clan of clowns.

    • They build a house in the middle of nowhere? Don’t you need permission? How did they buy the land? They mooch off of everyone. The boys don’t know how to act normal. They are embarrassing to watch.

      • Yes,they built a house in the middle of no where because thats what they wanted! Thats the whole POINT of the show! They bought or leased the land with a thing called MONEY! You dont need “permission” to buy land,only MONEY! And if you think they dont know how to act or are embarrassing to watch then here’s a bit of advice to you….DONT WATCH!!

    • Oh yea? What proof do you have to backup your bs theroy?? They’ve mentioned several times that they are the real deal so just because YOU dont believe it doesnt mean everyone else is going to agree with you! If you think its fake or dont like them then…DONT WATCH IT!

  9. I love this show! They seem like a real genuine family and they all work together for the good of the family. I hope they are getting paid, they deserve it. Watch this show every week and can’t wait until next season.

  10. I dont think the Brown family should get paid. What do they ever pay for? They’re squatting off the land and living off other free handouts and the mom and dad sure do treat their sons like slaves. Thats why they probly had them to begin with. The slave owner dad even said when their first daughter was born,they didnt know what to do with her and the dad,mom and the youngest daughter rarely does any work. Its always the sons and its always,”Hurry and get it done” QUICK!! Lets Go!!! I would be telling him,Hey pops,what the heck are you ever going to do to help except bark orders?? I thaught slavery was illegal. Every time Billy Boy barters something,its always “I got 4 strong sons that will work it off”. And when Billy fakes his injury and sickness then miraculously gets better when the work is done? How funny.

    • That is how our forefathers lived, before Big government stepped in and realy screwed things up. Watch and learn how real people use to live before they got spoiled…


  11. Most of the people running these people down probably haven’t raised their children to understand that we are programmed to work for what we have, and I personaly admire the hard rewarding work efforts these parents have taught their children…that’s what’s wrong with the youth of today ” our future tomorrow ” we need more parenting like this in order to make a stronger future… I love the show, clean, respectful, hard working people.. God Bless them All!!!

  12. I love the show, it is amazing what they can do, love the parents, hope they get paid, do the boys end up with forever mates.. please keep the show on the air. it is nice to watch something that is not sex or violence

  13. I love this show. I think the boys are really interesting, polite, hard working and fun to watch!! Ami and Billy have done a remarkable job of raising all their kids.

  14. I eally dig this family. They have more energy and guts than all of you put together. Would you go out into the winderness and do this.? Not me!! But I admire those who try. I was just looking to see if the got some decent money for doing what they would anyway. I want the to finally build the vilagge they want for ALL the kids and prospect in-laws. Daughters and sones would be nice. A really wood stove would be nice!!
    Good luck to you my wood-ling friends. I sure admire you. Skip those who make fin of ya’ll


    • I really love this show and really would love to see it continue.Its nice to see something on t.v that doesn,t have fowl language and nudity and is family oriented.This show is awesome and shows how a family bonds together something you don,t see today in our society.Please continue it as I would love to see how Billy and Ami decorate their house and if the kids find their significant mates and start their own families.Please continue this show.Thankyou

  15. It seems you are jealous of the browns. The show is entertainment. Look at their ratings and I’m sure you don’t have the readers of this rag you put out. They have millions of fans, I’m sure you don’t have many.

      • Sorry for the typo error. I do hope the show returns. I enjoy the show and the Brown family. I would love to see the family progress after they start the interior of the home. They did a amazing job building their life long dream. I wants to see Brownsville continue.

    • I see that accusation a lot especially when someone does not like the ABP. That accusation seems to have a rather large following.

      Have you not wondered how much someone is earning? I’m sure you have. That does not mean one is jealous. It’s called being curious!

  16. Seen the question asked many times how much money does the Brown family get per episode?

    • Who really cares. If they had to endure all that they did and lost. They deserve to get paid. Shots being fired, having to relocate and losing the majority of their belongings. I hope they did get paid…

    • Whatever it is it’s too much! I read on one blog that someone said between $10,000 & $25,000. Reality tvs lowest is $750 week and with popularity it goes upwards.

      I am bored with the show. It’s the same old stuff! They call the writers segment producers instead of writers so that they can pay them less money and we are getting what they are paying for!

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About Ryan Berenz 2105 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