Watching Jessi crawl into bear dens last night on the Season Finale of “Yukon Men,” mixed feelings arose. On the one hand, someone going into the den was her suggestion in the first place–she just assumed the one going in would be Chris. That was clear on her face when he said it would have to be her, because, unlike him, she could not pull him out if he got in trouble and needed immediate removal.
On the other hand, they needed food, whatever way they could get it. Chris had lost 40 pounds, and they were tearing thru their emergency stock of food–and winter was just getting started. Every attempt to find big game had been a failure. Heck, every attempt to find small game had been a failure, except for an immediate meal that night. One beaver here, a fish or two there, it just does not work in an area with the harsh weather conditions of Alaska and the high calorie expenditures one has when living in the bush. They needed big game, and it looked like their only option was going into a bear den.
The original bear hole was empty; whatever had lived there had moved on; major disappointment. But, one thing you have to give Chris and Jessi: They never seem to give up. They went looking for another bear den–apparently when they move out of one, they often move to a new one nearby–and found it. The frost on the outside indicated something was breathing on the inside. And, when Jessi crawled into it, she knew there was something to face on the inside.
Turns out, she is pretty good bear bait.
Watching them lure the bear out via Jessi still results in mixed emotions. It’s hard to deem it a good idea in any way; on the other hand, they were in a position few of us in the U.S. ever really are these days (just look around you, you’ll see that’s true). They were not going to have enough food to get thru the winter if they did not kill something substantial, and watching them drag that bear in the snow and butcher it when they got home made it a little easier to give the couple a cautionary “thumbs up” for their success.
Plus, Jessi really faced her fears, and it seemed to empower her; it’s hard to argue with that result, as well.
If Chris and Jessi can do all of that, then we think they have what it takes to live a long and happy life in the bush of Alaska, if they so choose. What do you think? Regardless of the positive outcome, was poking around in a bear den a mistake? Or do you give the duo a thumbs-up, as well? Let us know in the comment section below.
Image: Courtesy of Discovery Channel, Used with Permission