Time is running out for Life Below Zero‘s sub-zero survivalists. With winter’s grip weeks away, the five crews are scrambling to secure their essential preparations: food, water, heat, shelter, protection. For Kate and Andy, the window of opportunity for hunting beavers is closing quickly as the Yukon River freezes over.
On an all-new episode of LBZ, Andy stakes out several nearby beaver ponds to hunt. With the season’s first snowfall coming weeks early, time is running out for him to stockpile a season’s worth of provisions.
Unlike the other animals he’s used to hunting, beavers keep strange hours – coming out in the early mornings and late evenings – and have an excellent sense of smell, which warns them when intruders are approaching. On his first trip, he finds a promising beaver pond, and disturbs the waters to see if any will surface.
However, Andy arrives too late – the beavers are hiding, and he comes up empty-handed.
For Andy, Alaska’s varied wildlife is one of his favorite aspects of the terrain. “The beauty of living up here is seeing the interaction of all the different types of wildlife,” he says. “Plants, animals, how they all interact, how they all depend on each other and feed off of each other. And that’s fascinating to me.”
Part of living in the tundra, however, is abiding by the predator-or-prey rule of the wilderness. Andy knows if he’s not hunting, he’s being hunted. With that in mind, he heads out again at the end of the day to the beaver ponds, hoping to return with some provisions. The second time’s the charm for Andy, as he lines up a perfect shot at an unlucky beaver.
The most difficult aspect of hunting for beavers? Making sure they don’t sink after they’ve been shot. Andy learns this lesson the hard way, almost losing his prize beaver to the depths of the lake, but luckily, he goes home with a 50-pound prize to add to his winter stockpile.
Catch up with the rest of the Alaskans on an all-new Life Below Zero this Thursday at 9P.