6.9
125 votes
Ax Men

Ax Men

History 2008

The History Channel presents the first non-fiction show about the lives of the Pacific Northwest timber cutters and the dangers they face. From the same team responsible for Ice Road Truckers, this new series will take a look at the legacy of the pioneers who laid the foundations for future generations of loggers.

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The 10 Worst Episodes of Ax Men

#1 - The Reckoning (2)

6.50

Season 2 - Episode 12

As the logging season winds to a close, the drama heats up. Conner fights off defeat, while the men of Pihl fight each other. Jimmy's barge refuses to budge, and for Browning and Rygaard, eleventh hour catastrophes send the competition down to the wire.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Ax Men from 2 votes.

#2 - Initiation Day

6.69

Season 2 - Episode 2

The battle has just begun–and already, men are bowing out of the race. Rygaard's greenhorn struggles to earn the respect of his crew, while Jay Browning's $30,000 gamble on new equipment craps out. Aqua logger, Jimmy Smith and his new deckhand, son James, try to reel in the log of their lives. And one of the mountain's most beloved Ax Men will hang up his saw for good.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Ax Men from 16 votes.

#3 - Cowboy Up

6.92

Season 5 - Episode 5

Start-up outfit Big Gun Logging hits a snag as their deadline approaches. In Florida, Buck & Swilley make a run for the lead in the Log-Off while Jimmy deals with a crew crisis. Shelby Stanga enlists the help of a voodoo team to get his cousin's ghost under wraps. In Washington, a string of accidents on Craig's watch threatens to shut down the site. And in the mountains Montana, a new company joins the ranks of the Ax Men, forcing everyone to "cowboy up!"

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Ax Men from 26 votes.

#4 - Deeper into the Swamp

7.00

Season 3 - Episode 2

As the summer heats up, so do the men of the mountain. Rygaard breaks in its greenhorns, while Jay Browning takes a gamble on a new yarder operator. At Pihl, dissension grows between Melvin and Leland. And in bayou country, Shelby heads deeper into the swamp than ever before, but the mission may cost him everything he owns.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Ax Men from 18 votes.

#5 - Hire Wire Act

7.00

Season 8 - Episode 5

In Louisiana, Shelby looks to repair his custom made two-ton swamp buggy. In Alaska, Coatsy returns to the Papac worksite. In the Pacific Northwest, the Rygaard crew must climb over a hundred feet in the air to top a new lift tree. In Wyoming, David Zitterkopf’s attempt at swinging between the trees could end in disaster. In Florida, with Katelyn back and the half-million dollar order on the line, the Dreadknots go night logging. And up in Canada, an injury to a key crew member leaves Triack stuck behind the eight ball.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Ax Men from 34 votes.

#6 - Log Runners

7.00

Season 8 - Episode 14

The battle for King of The Mountain rages on between the big boys of the Pacific Northwest. In Washington, the Rygaard crew has a problem with getting the wood to the mill, so Gabe’s bringing in a trucking ace to get the job done. While up in Alaska, Papac has to deal with a dangerous unpredictable downhill site and mother nature isn’t helping make it any easier. Down in the bayou, Shelby’s got his jetboat back and has enlisted a couple of assistants to pull big wood for his log buyer. Down on the St. Johns River in Central Florida, the Chapman crew is in a tight battle with the Dreadknots. But today they’ll have deal with their nemesis who’s back to poaching logs. And in Wyoming, the Zitterkopf crew is still going strong but in order to stay on schedule, it’s all hands on deck as David gambles by putting Ethan in the skidder for the first time.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Ax Men from 43 votes.

#7 - Getting a Leg Up

7.01

Season 9 - Episode 11

The Papac Crew is moving on to the most remote and dangerous site of their season. On the St. Johns River, Greg Chapman is losing money and desperately need to score big to get back into the black. Down on the Mississippi Delta, Gary and Eddie's new venture is becoming a nightmare. In the Bayou, Shelby is under the gun to fill his hundred thousand board foot order, but time is running out for the Swampman.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Ax Men from 67 votes.

#8 - Day from Hell

7.06

Season 4 - Episode 3

On the edge of America's final frontier, it's every logger's worst nightmare: one of Papac's men has disappeared into thin air. Logging country is rattled to its core when logger Van Huffman goes missing in Alaska's remote wilderness. But when Papac's crew braves the harsh terrain and weather that batters Suemez Island, they find many reasons for concern and few for hope. Down south, the mountain's newbies are in hot water. At Pihl, Leah creates an upender that threatens the entire crew and at Rygaard, Dave's "work ethic" meets Craig's wrath. In Louisiana, Shelby messes with a lethal dose of TNT that could sink him and his swamp friends for good, while the Collins crew lands on the wrong end of a runaway boat.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Ax Men from 16 votes.

#9 - Great Logs of Fire

7.08

Season 8 - Episode 18

With only three weeks to go, the Ax Men are shifting into high gear. Down in Louisiana, Shelby realizes he may be short on wood for his log buyer, so he rounds up his troops to hunt for some last minute logs. On the high plains of Wyoming, Zitterkopf and Sons are firing on all cylinders, but when their skidder is lost to a mechanical breakdown, their season may be over. Down in Florida, with the new diver the Dreadknots added to up production, they hit on a honey hole that may put them over the top. But at Chapman logging, Greg needs to swallow his pride and Swilley gets an offer he couldn’t refuse to rejoin the crew. In Washington, Gabe and Jason leave the work to the crew as they visit their dad and check on his condition after his devastating injury. And at Triack Resources, Dave is running his crew and machines at full-throttle, but with the excessive heat and extreme dry conditions, one spark could ignite a fire-storm.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Ax Men from 39 votes.

#10 - End of the Line

7.09

Season 3 - Episode 11

Dave persuades Gabe to give him one last chance at Rygaard, but a careless error puts Craig on the verge of firing him; Jimmy's desperate decision to snatch a log already marked by the other Collins crew has Joe questioning his ethics; Swamp Man tries to pull a massive log from Lake Pontchartrain and stay ahead of both a fierce storm and a buyer's deadline; Josh and Kevin get their first practice at dropping cargo to the Conner ground crew; as Browning pulls in the last loads from its current job, Jay tells the crew that he has no new work lined up and must send them home.

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Ax Men from 11 votes.

#11 - Father Knows Best
7.09
Season 7 - Episode 7

In Washington, Gabe Rygaard is in over his head when a logging legend bails him out of trouble and gets him back in the race for King Of the Mountain. Down in Louisiana, Shelby and old friend Mike Chatellier use brute force to pull two of the biggest logs they have ever seen. With the Kraken injured, the Dreadknots bring in a new diver to brave the muddy waters of the Withlacoochee, but she soon finds out river logging isn't easy. Down on the Saint John's River, the Chapman team is pulling ahead, but a log poacher needs to be caught and Jeter is just the guy to do it.

The episode was rated #1 Worst episode of Ax Men from 32 votes.

#12 - The Final Haul
7.10
Season 1 - Episode 14

Logging's toughest season winds down but the battle is far from over. Jesse questions the future of his family's business as J.M. Browning continues to fall from glory. The Gustafson crew returns to the Challenge, but rumors of a final pullout abound. The Pihl crew wraps Beaver and celebrates a successful year. A member of the Stump Branch crew announces that he will not return.

The episode was rated #2 Worst episode of Ax Men from 10 votes.

#13 - Every Log Has Its Day
7.11
Season 9 - Episode 10

Papac Alaska pushes deeper into their seven thousand acre site, while Joe and Coasty head out into the wilderness to think up a plan of attack for the next section of their massive project. Down in Washington, Aidan is slowly filling his family's cork boots which is causing the wood to get out more slowly. Rygaard Logging may be on its last legs. On the Mississippi Delta, Gary and Eddie need to pick up the pace before their venture goes belly under. Greg Chapman is forced to go back to his roots, because of a mutiny on his crew and has to pull some logs to keep his company alive, but he may have lost his touch. The Swampman gets a huge log order just in the nick of time.

The episode was rated #3 Worst episode of Ax Men from 82 votes.

#14 - Sink or Swim
7.13
Season 4 - Episode 2

Rygaard tries to tame two monsters at the same time--the super-juiced Mean Bean and the downhill site on which it's deployed. Pihl's greenhorn must prove herself to the crew but a deadly mistake could cost her everything. Jimmy encounters trouble on his way to the river. Shelby and his new assistant take drastic measures to unearth a monster log. And at Papac, tempers boil over, sending one man running for the hills.

The episode was rated #4 Worst episode of Ax Men from 16 votes.

#15 - Crash and Burn
7.13
Season 3 - Episode 9

Shelby's desperate dash for cash is halted when he crashes in the swamp. A monster gator stalks the S&S boys, pushing Jimmy to his breaking point. At Rygaard, Gabe competes against his own team and at Browning, Jay recruits DJ and Cody for a dangerous environmental mission. At Conner, a giant load breaks the belly hook off the chopper, grounding the heli-loggers.

The episode was rated #5 Worst episode of Ax Men from 16 votes.

#16 - Hell Hole
7.14
Season 5 - Episode 4

At Papac Alaska, the site is turned upside down when the yarder operator walks off in the middle of the day. In Florida, Swilley's determination to beat S&S in the Suwannee River Log Off leads to a life threatening mistake. With their leader still in the hospital, Big Gun Logging loses control of the Ole Keasy site. At Rygaard, the rigging crew is learning safety lessons the hard way. And in the swamp, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

The episode was rated #6 Worst episode of Ax Men from 29 votes.

#17 - Black Friday
7.15
Season 1 - Episode 10

Thanksgiving is over, but the return to work brings more trouble for the Ax Men. The Gustafson crew now faces a nearly impossible deadline after returning from a devastating two-week layoff. Pig Farm is close to its deadline, but half of the Pihl crew skips work, leaving greenhorn Cody to pick up the slack. Mistakes and inexperience at Stump Branch put profits and lives at risk. Jay Browning makes a troubling discovery about his next job.

The episode was rated #7 Worst episode of Ax Men from 20 votes.

#18 - Out of Control
7.15
Season 5 - Episode 8

When a back injury puts Danny out of action on Big Gun's new job, Levi starts trying out two greenhorns, Josh and Ryan; turns of massive logs bring a widow maker down on the Papac camera crew and threaten to rip out the new tail hold; Shelby and another cousin fight bumblebees and underwater wildlife in search of valuable timber for Swamp Man's latest order; after Rygaard's heavy-duty carriage breaks loose and hurtles all the way down the skyline, Gabe gets in an argument with Craig and storms off the site; Jimmy kicks James off the S&S boat again and works alone while dodging speedboating locals; as Uncle Buck chases down the pieces of a 300-year-old sunken raft, Swilley gets pinned at the bottom of the Suwannee.

The episode was rated #8 Worst episode of Ax Men from 20 votes.

#19 - Back in Black
7.15
Season 9 - Episode 14

With only two weeks remaining in the season, the Ax Men are sprinting to the finish line. The Rygaards are back in full force with all three generations of loggers on the site, fighting to regain the King of the Mountain crown. Papac Alaska is moving on to their final section, dubbed "The Mother Lode", but will this be the ultimate test for the worn out crew? Down in Louisiana, Gary and Eddie are about to see if their gamble to try swamp logging has paid off. Just across the swamp, Shelby is trying to finish his hundred thousand board foot order, but only has a few hours left. He must call in reinforcements to come up with his plan of attack. Meanwhile, David Zitterkopf must come up with a unique plan to hit the bullseye and finish his job. Down in Florida, Greg Chapman is not ready to call it a day and is back on the hunt for the Lost Logging Train.

The episode was rated #9 Worst episode of Ax Men from 66 votes.

#20 - Cuts Like a Knife
7.16
Season 8 - Episode 15

The race for logs is heating up as Papac heads onto their most daunting site yet. Loggers fall through ten-foot holes in the brush and high stumps smash as the crew pulls some of the biggest, most dangerous turns of the season. At Rygaard, the crew attempts to string a road over a steep draw using a device called a knife—but Jeremy can’t seem to figure it out, inciting Gabe’s rage. At Zitterkopf, Ethan is out to prove that he’s a valuable member of the crew, but after a near-miss while falling trees, he questions his place on the team. Up in Canada, Dave’s son Cory shows up to help out and his first job– just turning a truck around—puts his brother in mortal danger. And down in the swamp, Shelby and his niece Stephanie run into Shelby’s uncle Bobby on Lake Ponchartrain, who has some inside scoop on where to find some massive logs—but they may be too big for the Go-Devil to pull!

The episode was rated #10 Worst episode of Ax Men from 43 votes.

Last updated: mar 29, 2021

Comments

avatar

This show is far too "reality" TV now. It was better when it was closer to a documentary style, like the earlier Deadliest Catch seasons. In recent seasons, there is a distorting influence on the contrived "Log Off" competition that saps all the realism and authenticity out of the show. The bottom line (should be) that these are real people doing real work to fill real logging contracts. That ought to be enough. Some of the crews (esp. the river logging, and maybe some situations with Shelby) work might be totally contrived by the show production (i.e. not logging for any real customer). You can tell the done-for-TV fakery all around the edges if you watch closely: sweetened audio, etc.

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