Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People is not canceled. Why?

Alaskan Bush People Ryan Berenz

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

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

NEW! Is Alaskan Bush People Fake? Does It Matter?

Alaskan Bush People
There were a lot of things about Discovery Channel’s unscripted series Alaskan Bush People that didn’t pass the smell test. Now there’s more foul air surrounding the Brown family, and it’s very likely we’ve seen the last of them on TV.


Commenter Talkeetnachris tipped us to this:

Billy brown was just charged with stealing over $13000 filing fraudulent PFD claims in Alaska. His near life will be in prison. A few other family members were also charged. This guy and his family are frauds. I have lived off the road system for years and these people won’t last a year. You have to be self sufficient. Hell, I even had to stitch a band cut on my leg once. Many of these shows only have entertainment value with no real practical lessons on what really living on your own is about.

Many commenters doubted that the Browns were actually living off the land, as the show depicted. Instead, it appears the Browns may have been living off of fraudulent Alaskan Permanent Fund Dividend applications. According to Anchorage’s KTUU, patriarch “Billy Brown alone faces 24 felony counts and is accused of illegally obtaining $13,080 in dividend cash for himself and others. The charges do not describe why investigators believe the Brown family was not eligible for the dividends that some members received between 2010 and 2013.” Also indicted were five of Billy’s seven children: Amora Jean Snowbird, Joshua “Bam Bam,” Gabriel “Gabe,” Solomon “Bear” and Noah.

This will come as disappointing news to the many fans of the show who appreciated the Browns’ family values and the off-the-grid lifestyle that they claimed to represent. The credibility of Discovery Channel and Park Slope Productions has to be questioned, as they apparently weren’t diligent about checking the Browns’ backgrounds (even before these indictments came to light) and then aired a special episode with the family defending their authenticity. And personally, recapping Alaskan Bush People has been great fun, and I’m going to miss writing about it and reading all of your comments.

I’m so mad, I could punch a fish.

Update: Get this. Discovery Channel says they are “currently filming new episodes.” From the Alaska Dispatch News:

Stair said that between October 2009 and August 2012, the family did not meet the “physical presence requirement” to receive PFDs. This means the state believes the family spent more than 180 days a year living outside of Alaska and lied about it on their applications, Stair said.

Sean Martin, director of communications at Discovery Channel, wrote in an email Thursday that “we don’t divulge our actual shoot dates, so cannot let you know when filming concluded on season one, but can confirm that we are currently filming new episodes, but have not announced those air dates yet.”

I don’t even…



  1. I have been watching the Browns from the beginning. I think they are for real. I just found out about the state dividend and the charges. I wondered why Matt was not charged and also the girls. I found out you only need to live a year in the state and an infant can receive the dividend. I understand how the charges happened. If they lived on federal land that is not part of the state. Similar when I fished in Rocky Mountain Park you do not need a state fishing license. If those boys are hard up for income they could easily join the National Guard and get government pay.

    • birdie was charged , lol in national guard they would have to shave n clean up nicer than what they r now . however there are probably a few more ppl that need to run around saying smell me smell me before meeting the opposite sex … smile love that show !

  2. I am so tired of watching this farce. I quit watching it for a while but then decided just to watch it as a scripted show like Law & Order. The boys are using ‘modern expressions’ of speech that they wouldn’t know about if they truly were raised out in the bush. I think it is an insult to the real Alaskans that try to live like that. And another thing, a comment made by another disgruntled person, their clothes wouldn’t ‘cut it’ really out there- come on! a leather jacket?? & that boy that goes around ‘howling’?? gimme a break! & they look awful pristine clean for people who don not have running water! It is just a farce. and we are all duped. But if you take it as a ‘joke’ then it can be fun to watch, but not a REAL way of life for them.

    • caroleena , not a law n order kind of show . no law no order except theirs on their property. a leather jacket ? they barter for everything they get . also if history is true , they get od to live in the state of alaska , so that gives them SOME. money to buy luxuries as leather jackets, dishes, a tent , of course they could barter for any of that , if u think this show is a farse , they by all means turn the dang channel n dont come back to it while the show is on ! no one forcing u to . my husband doesnt like the show either vut it sure dont keep me from watching it in another rm. they have running water, in a creek . mind u it might not b a hot shower like u n i have , but its their way of life n if they r hot natured guys , maybe cold water feels good to them . however updated version is noah built them a shower , walaaaaa, running water . watch the show from beginning without missing an episode or dont , either way, dont mouth about them til u walked a mile n their shoes

  3. Sad to say but The Discovery Channel is eating up all these comments and controversy. Its causing interest, even if its negative interest, because lets face it, interest to them is money. So, lets keep commenting, which piques peoples interest ad grabs their attention, they watch the show, (and maybe become disgusted), and in turn Discovery Chanel reaps the profits, and then the Brown’s do too.

  4. I have watched, or at least listened, to the shows because my husband has them on all the time. I’m not impressed. Personal hygiene is a must for a healthy life. I’m hoping a Dentist is watching and offers his/her services to the family. They definitely need some help. I’m just not convinced that the whole show isn’t a huge fake. I don’t tolerate a liar, or being lied too.

    • i couldnt agree with u more …. to some degree .. your husband has good taste, and personel hygene is a must for a healthy life. they have running water n now a shower . might not b your fine home kind of hot shower but a shower .

    • no proof of inbreeding as u call it … correct word is incest vut no proof of that either . if its such a painful mess why r u watching it ? u must b a painful mess to watch it !

  5. This show is a fake and the discovery channel should be ashamed of it self. These people have no experience and no clue on how to make it in the bush. The log cabin incident says it all, and the creepy way half of them talk … especially the one in the duster coat. What the heck is this network thinking ?

  6. i love the bush people – i am jealous of their freedom of living on a 24/7 campsite. why did an earlier post say bird isnt going to be on season 2? makes me worry for her. i hope their charges against them are dropped and let them live their life. i read alot of bittness in the posts before me – so much sour grapes – why dont you go watch the housewives – now I am SURE you think THAT is real..

    • Too funny. I can get in my truck and be down at their fake build site in 20 minutes. Want me to send you a picture of it? These people don’t like telling the truth. They besmirched our community by claiming they were shot at. Their fraud caught up to them and for that I have a bit of schadenfreude.

      Oh yeah, that scene where they are all shooting their firearms and climbing around on gravel piles that is directly behind one of the area’s public schools, they had to pass the community well and CREMS ambulance barn to get into there (about 10 minutes from their build site.)

    • the housewives amen to that . in reality the browns would not last a year but its a good fantasy don’t dissect it,( I don’t where I could get a flatbed load of lumber for the price of an elk.)

    • birdie is in season 2 , n i too am jealous of the 24/7 campsight i bet all those hipocrits out there love housewives or soap operas of some sort . i also bet they all live that life every day on housewives .

  7. I liked the show. Granted the felony charges arn’t good. But I’ll still enjoy watching them living in the wild regardless, because face it it’s much differnet than what I know living in the city my whole life.

  8. Update: Discovery Channel BigWigs were in Hoonah last weekend/early this week. Rumor has it they are going to film another “season” here, as they are almost done filming the current one. A locally hired construction crew is almost done building their cabin for them. “Ami” is reportedly headed to Juneau to see a dentist for her abcessed tooth – and probably another court date for their PFD fraud…

    • well horay for discovery channel . im glad they r filming another season , just hope they dont wait too long about airing it . love me some alaskan bush people !

  9. It was easy to locate their homestead in the bush. Surprisingly, google maps.sure made it look like they were right off of a main road 🙂
    If Billy wasn’t such a lying, phony snake oil salesman the show would be more fun. We all know its fake but Billy acting all “Jeremiah Johnson” is a real turn off

    • I live in Alaska and I have never seen such a totally fake show you cant just read a couple books and become a bush person you can tell just by how there dressed they haven’t spent any time in the bush when they where in the bush they couldn’t take it and somebody shot at them so they had to go get warm down south there is lots of bush between chitna and where ever they had the apartment with no one shooting so why did they go as far south as possible to stay dividend eligible they are nothing but poaching squatters that live off the working people and break the law on tv their way of fishing is not legal in any state spawning salmon are protected and not good to eat anyway they would know this if they were really from here its a joke to have these guys running around saying there from here im surprised there all still alive after sinking keep it up youll kill em all

  10. First, they paid $5,000 for the wood for their house and bartered their work against the remainder. What happened to that deal when they left town? Secondly, haven’t they learned their dental lessons by now? How about scrubbing placque with a small branch like they do on Survivor?
    Third, for people who have no use for money or jobs, they certainly are finding ways to “cash in” with Discovery and the state of Alaska.

    • Why don’t they have the kids teeth fixed from the monies their getting from the show That is gross

    • i dont have all the answers as to why or why not. but i have to ask u do u have perfect teeth all your life ? or have u done like some of us have done n let one or more teeth gone til u absolutely had to go to dentist ? also maybe birdie thinks shes cute with the broken tooth. lol

  11. Here’s their appeal:

    They are scraping by in life, lower on the scale, living hand to mouth, just like a lot of Americans. The only difference is not that they live “off the grid,” but that they live in Alaska, a very different place than Illinois or Florida.

    I loved watching them. They’re characters.

    It’s no surprise that in real life they clod hop around and get into trouble.

    It was no surprise that Dog the Bounty Hunter used the N word and almost lost his show.

    We love the veneer of charm and act offended when real, slightly more complicated people emerge.

    I’ll miss the show!

  12. The Discovery Channel should be ashamed to have allowed this show to air. They insulted the viewer’s intelligence and reached an all-time low. To say nothing of the gaggle of inbred dunces who actually graced the screen. I will personally miss being able to catch up with my favorite characters, including, the kid who “instinctively climbs trees whenever he gets the chance”, and, the kid who “runs everywhere” and is “intense”. Amazing. Canceling the show is a good step for Discovery Channel, but all is not lost on the degenerate Faux-Alaskan charlatans (a.k.a. The Bowns). Being in prison will allow them to have sex with someone other than their sister.

    • You Sir are one self righteous, nasty, and down right boring individual. Let your hair down you panty waist. Nobody ever claimed the something titled “Bush People” would be entertaining for all…especially those of such higher ilk or intelligence as you. Not everyone can be like you.

    • The whole family is a nasty joke. I always knew they were hiding something slso these grown men should want a family if their own instead of running around wild. And the mother needs to fix her mouth

    • shows what u know about the show , first of all the boy that climbs trees n runs everywhere are one of the same . catxh up on the boy ? why would u want to catch up on a show u definately dont like . inbred duces ,? whered u get thise words ? how do u know that ? u been there peeping ? pervert . no where have i read or learned on the shows history has there been incest . YOU R RIGHT , ALL IS NOT LOST WITH THE BROWNS , WRONG ON , … THEY R CURRENTLY FILMING ANOTHER SEASON ! show wont b cancelled , sorry for your disappointment . cant figure out tho if this is your opinion , why do u watch it ? turn the channel !

  13. My comment is that Billy makes the comment that “We don’t need the outside/modern world but………..they are not exactly wearing bear skins

    On a recent episode Billy said “We don’t need the outside/modern world”but what he should have said is “We don’t need the outside/modern world but we will use it when we want to. I.E. earning money to buy everything we need including clothing(no bear clothes there) and all the stuff they jammed into the 2 boats they just bought(all made by the modern world.)Hypocrites……….

    • They don’t claim to not like or need some modern/civilized items; they just don’t want to live in big cities, and live in the wild and feel the freedom and not the rat race of cities. That doesn’t mean they are uncivilized and should wear bearskin, etc. They are just starting out like the pilgrims did many years ago building their own little living area.

      • Yeah, they lived in the middle of a subdivision. When “Bear” climbs the hill he looks towards Chitina but you can’t see town from where he was (even though it is less than 5 miles away). Driving an hour to get a tire? Try 5 minutes. Grizzly Pizza (where they met the locals) is 10 minutes walk from where they “lived”. In order to get to Uncle Tom’s in Chitina they had to pass Wenger’s Store (where they could have bought lumber) and Sapa who operated a lumber mill (about 30 miles nearer to their build site than Chitina.

        This show started lying out of the gate and only got worse as the minutes went by. An insult to the people who actually live in the Copper Basin. But at least it wasn’t our intelligence they were insulting. It was yours.

    • they dont wear bear skins cause they dont like killing the bears unless necessary . but dear skins , one is soaking now to b able to get the hair off , for clothes . sometimes they just have to do what cha have to do til they get their place established .

  14. Fun show to watch but also frustrating at times with how poor they make the Browns out to be. Come on, your on a reality show making thousands every episode your not so broke that you cannot afford to buy lumber or generator to build your homestead. I read where the guys on Gold Rush another Discovery show were getting $22,000 a episode. I doubt the Browns get that much but still they are not so broke that they cannot afford to buy building materials to get there homestead started.
    I like the Brown family and their live off the land lifestyle but the whole “poor us” attitude is getting annoying. This family needs to take lessons from another Discovery channel family from Alaska the Kilcher family from Alaska the Last Frontier. All right you want to live in the “Bush” then buy some land build a cabin/house, raise some livestalk and plant some crops. Stop living in tents freezing, struggling and complaining. Yes living in the wild comes a lot of freedom, but like the Kilcher family has shown it also takes a lot of work, time to get to work.
    Oh and by the way I understand family unity and all but 4 boys in there 20s/30s at home with mom and dad is just weird. Dont they want to meet a nice girl and start a family of their own? They are not going to meet any girls in a tent in the bush with mom and dad. They need to get out meet a girl and then they can come back to the bush and start their homstead next to mom and dad if they want to be close to family.

  15. I find it very odd that they would barter Dental work with “spawned” salmon! Everyone knows you leave spawned salmon alone and let them live out their lives and finish the cycle and replenish the stocks plus the meat is no where near as good as salmon that has not spawned. If I was the Dentist I would have been absolutely insulted that I bartered dental work for somebody’s loved one and then they bring me spawned salmon! Ridiculous! But I will keep watching just to laugh and pick it apart off my DVR so I don’t have to watch the commercials which is what Discovery would rather I do anyway!

    • The caribou trade was a farce too. You can’t hunt them unless you are a local or have a very difficult to obtain Tier 2 permit. You can’t trade the meat for lumber. Nobody would take it. All of their “barters” were a total joke.

      Hey Billy Williams? I need a few cords of firewood and I’ve got a box of old DVD’s, willing to trade? You deliver?

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About Ryan Berenz 2052 Articles
Some thing 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