The colder the climate, the scarcer the population. You would expect the inhabitants of these colder climates to be bundled in artificial heating with gallons of hot water. Rich Lewis decimates this common perception, not just in the cold of the Montana Mountains, but in a home without basic amenities like running water. While this would usually be a sign of an unfavorable life, Rich Lewis rose to fame when he starred in the History Channel’s docuseries “Mountain Men” for six seasons. Its life of survival, hunting for food and tracking predators such as mountain lions is an object of intense fascination for the general population, who sit cozy and warm in their homes.
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Badlands spotted in the wild! We saw Rich Lewis of History Channel’s “Mountain Men” with a Badlands pack and the…
Early life and family
Apart from knowing that Empire used to be born in January 1954, in Idaho, USA, most of his life is shrouded in mystery. He spent most of his childhood in Idaho, always drawn to nature and the outdoors. He loved exploring and wandering in nature, a lifestyle he didn’t have to give up when he started taking care of himself.
A real mountain man
After moving to the Ruby Valley, Montana, Rich took the mantle of local protector and vigilante. He quickly gained a reputation as a lion hunter and was dubbed “The Houndsman” for his pack of hunting dogs.
While many would be wary of the morality of hunting the beautiful mountain lion, Rich does so out of necessity and rarely kills the lion unless there is no other alternative.
The community recognizes his prowess and he often does odd jobs for the locals for a fee. It helps put out fires, move livestock and protect livestock from predators such as lions. Lion hunting has become necessary as they prey on livestock and moose, leaving the community with very few food sources.
In 2007, a lion behaved abnormally, slaughtering two dogs and sniffing around densely populated areas, so the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks decided the lion should be hunted and killed.
Rich Lewis got their permission to settle the matter and hunted the lion. He lost one of his hunting dogs, Roxie, who fell prey to the lion, but he managed to remove the threat.
“Mountain Men” premiered on May 31, 2012. The show is produced by the History Channel and follows multiple humans surviving in the cold wilderness of locations such as Montana and California. History channel describes the show as a testament to the tenacity and ingenuity needed to survive.
Each of the characters has a compelling story and an immersive lifestyle that allows the viewers to invest emotionally in the show.
Fellow cast members
Apart from documenting Empire and spent his life protecting his community and preparing for savage winters, “Mountain Men” also portrays the lives of other men with similar ideals and lifestyles to Lewis. One such man in Eustace Conway, who lives in Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he uses unique techniques to harvest firewood for profit, and also trains people in survival skills.
Marty Meierotto spends a significant part of the year traveling between his home in Wisconsin’s Two Rivers and the mountains of Alaska, where he has fur traps and small, unheated cabins. Although these men all use different means of survival, the common thread between them is a love of nature and the ability and desire to live a minimalist life.
What happened to Rich Lewis?
Despite being a much-loved character on the show since 2013, Rich disappeared from the show without explanation after its sixth season in 2017. Many feared this didn’t bode well for his health, but these concerns were allayed when Rich assured the audience that he was safe and sound.
Rich explained that he had voluntarily decided to leave the show because his age made it incredibly difficult to maintain the level of activity he had previously. Despite virulent speculation, there was no animosity between Rich and the producers of “Mountain Men”; he was not fired from the show. As for what he’s doing now, Rich has never been one for social media, and it’s unlikely that will change now. He probably still lives his life in the mountains, but away from the camera lens.
Rich Lewis married Diane in 1992. Instead of his eclectic lifestyle destroying the relationship, Diane seems to share his ideals and support this way of life. It is not known if the couple has children, or if Rich was involved in previous relationships.
Rich has a thick beard and a full head of hair, all colored light brown-grey. He has pale eyes and displays an attitude that is always ready for action. Living in the wilderness for years has allowed him to stay active and healthy and this is evident in his facial features. He is 1.7 m tall and weighs about 63 kg.
Net worth and salary
Money may not mean much in the mountains – certainly not as much as food, isolation and security – but sometimes it can mean the difference between life and death. Despite a minimalist lifestyle, money is still needed to obtain certain resources and purchase the best equipment. For example, living off the land the way Rich does doesn’t mean he’s above using a vehicle for transportation. Despite the brevity of his position on “Mountain Men,” Rich has accumulated a net worth estimated at $300,000 — far from a paltry sum for a survivalist.