History Channel – “The Axemen”, Vernonia, OR

Original Productions, (the production company that produces “Deadliest Catch”), is shooting a new show based on a similar format. This time they are covering the lives of career loggers in the Pacific Northwest. “The Axemen” will be a 13 part series airing this spring on The History Channel. Four camera teams are covering four different companies. I’m covering Stump Branch Logging, based out of Vernonia, OR. This site is a salvage logging job that Stump Branch is doing for the State of Oregon cleaning up a huge blow down area from our severe windstorm of 2006.EJ logger camDue to mountainside scrambling that each camera crew has to do, as well as danger to equipment, the show is shot in HDV with Sony Z1-U and V1-U cameras in 30p format. Six wireless channels of audio are being run to my camera via the units in my waist packyoader and shovel loaderEJ shovel loaderThe “Yoader” is a combination yarder and loader that hauls logs up the hillside once the choke setter wraps the choker cable around each log. Once they are hauled up to the landing, a shovel loader uses huge clamping teeth to pick up the logs and place them in the staging area where they will be bucked, (de-branched) and cut into 40 foot lengthssunrise trees roundtopLoggers start before sunrise every dayrountop morning mistMorning mist from Roundtop Mountain<imgaxemen-066EJ and Ross capture a moment with Melvin and Michael of Stumpbranch Logging
Crummy to the starsLoggers affectionately call their work trucks “Crummies” as they are usually older 4 wheel drive pick ups they buy used for cheap. They get absolutely thrashed every day. Our crummy was a bit nicer, a new Ford F-150 on loan from Astoria


38 Responses to History Channel – “The Axemen”, Vernonia, OR

  1. Mario Vaden says:

    Just stumbled upon your page. This should be interesting. Even though I work more with urban trees, I enjoy logging history.

    I’m posting this show as a new topic on my website’s new “child” forum Turf to Trees


    In the Forest part.

    Will include a link to this page as well.

    Did you go far enough west to eat a big meal at Camp 18 logging museum style restaurant in Elsie?


    M. D. Vaden of Oregon

  2. chuck says:

    This show should be as good if not better than The Deadliest Catch- cannot wait to watch it!

  3. Mario Vaden says:

    Thanks for emailing back the other week.

    By any chance are you able to post any photos that might show how the cameras and camera crew position for filming?

    It would be interesting to see how simple or complex the operation is.


    M.D. Vaden

  4. TinMan says:

    I can’t wait for the show to start myself and the company I am with do a bit of logging and alot of maintence. This should prove to be a interesting show, but better yet help to serve as a learning tool for the rest of the world that has no real idea what we do day in an day out. Cant wait

  5. keith stokes says:

    I’ve been involved in hollywood production before and this story is an absolute favoriate of mine. I had this same idea after realizing that tree trimmers consistently have the number 1 mortality rate in the USA for most dangerous jobs, (above Alaskan Crab fishing). Anyway can I be involved in the next season on site? Or the continuation of this season ? Please let me know ASAP.

    Thank You!
    Keith Stokes

  6. Macie says:

    My boyfriend of 11 years spent a lot of time in the Oregon and Alaskan woods as a logger. I can honestly say it is one of the few things that still make his eyes twinkle when he talks about it. We weren’t together when he was a logger, I came along later… but I can’t wait to watch this with him and have him tell me stories. I can just see the twinkle in his eyes now! 🙂

    Thanks for what I hope will be a great trip down memory lane for him.

  7. Sam says:

    As an ex-logger turned forestry consultant here in the upper-midwest I say it’s about time a dedicated series has come out on this historical/noble profession. Upper mid-west terrian is obviously different than Oregon, but the commonality of various occupational up’s and down’s within the timber industry are relavent across the U.S.
    Looking forward to the series. Sam

  8. L. Wos says:

    Wait til the Tree Huggers start calling the station in protest. I can hear them now…..

  9. Andrew says:

    Axemen looks like it is going to be an incredible documentary on logging. My friend and I can’t wait for it to start.

  10. Dan From Brookings says:

    This is very cool. I lived in Vernonia for 9 years and survived the 1996 Flood. They called it a “100 Yr Flood”. Very recently Vernonia endured another “100 Yr Flood” but this time residents that escaped flooding in ’96 found themselves under 3 feet and more of water. It’s a true “small town”. And I think its fantastic that the History Channel will bring them a bit of attention. Can’t wait to see the series! BTW- one of the locals you hired to help the production, K.K. was one of the victims in the flood. She and her family are all safe but their home will need a huge amount of remodeling- think Katrina and you can figure out how bad it was.

  11. […] in Vernonia, Oregon on some large blow-down jobs in the Oregon northwest. Here is a peak at it: History Channel – “The Axemen”, Vernonia, OR Frontside Productions News __________________ So few saws, so many trees… Stihls: 210/250-/025/290/361/FS85 Echo: CS-3000, […]

  12. Camron Falter from Castle Rock says:

    I cannot wait to see ‘Axemen’ this year. I have one question though, and I dont mean any disrespect. But as a Logger on my days off of school, I know excactly what its like out there. There is a deffinate brotherhood shared amongst loggers, and a deffinate pride that comes with it. So my question is did they make fun of you guys at all? Did you get a chance on the Riggin’ ? When are you guys going to Castle Rock, WA to film?

  13. I come from small town oregon and logging has been the way of life for many people in northeastern oregon where im from. My family logged Northeastern Oregon for years an only moved to weswten oregon to benefit from the long logging season. back home(union) we could only log for about 9 to 10 months where here we go all year round. I (as a logger myself) am going to watch this show. So in compliments to the History channel I am proud to watch this show. You know what they say, Earth first an we’ll log the other planets later!

  14. Dan from Grants Pass says:

    I can’t wait to watch this.

    “Crummy to the Stars” is priceless.

  15. Chelsea D. says:

    Super stoked to see this show! My dad(and practically all males on his side) are lifetime loggers, and all live in Vernonia. I am going into the natural resources field, and I am very interested in forestry. This will be a great look at how hard loggers work, and how dangerous conditions can be.

  16. i had lived in vernonia for a number of years and logged for about every company in oregon;washington and alaska.and it was my pleasure to work for the companys featured in the special

  17. ryan wagner says:

    its about time a show came out about logging and the life we have, the dangers of the job. i’ve logged since i got out of school and have enjoyed every minute of it. were else can you have a job that you get to see all the wild life, enjoy the out doors, and make enviromentals mad all day long. i’ve seen deadliest catch and ice road truckers and hope this show will be as good as them.

  18. Bruce says:

    It is about f#####g time that the rest f the world sees what I and many other men have done all our lives! I love my job, falling timber. I worked the Midwest, Intermountian, West Coast and Alaska. And I’ll be damned if I ever had a bad thoughts or any bad thing to say about the jobs or the people I come to know. We are a different breed than anyone else in this world. I am hoping this will open the eyes of the urban ignorence that seems to prevail. So hold your heads high and have a drink on me………….Because now they can see why we love the lives we live!


    Loved having your crew in town … You all are some of the most awsome people around and fit into out quaint little town. Cant wait until you come back to film more. Hopefully, it will be soon ( in time for Jamboree !!!!! )

  20. bill says:

    I watched this show for the first time last week. Its like cops for an industry that is irresponsible at best. These men work really hard its too bad the corporations benefiting aren’t doing more to replant the woods they(the corporations) destroy and to take care of the men risking their lives in a dangerous profession. I am disturbed that the History channel isn’t discussing that large fact.

  21. Joseph says:

    My Father-in-Law was an axeman to earn money for college. He got me hooked on the show. I am curious about the equipment that they use. What brand chain saw is that. I see the Oregon name on some of the Bars.

  22. Ruby says:

    GREAT SHOW!!! But you should have told more on the first loggers. Most used horses Like Melvins grandfather Rex Normand . And the reality of life and death and crippling accidents.. These men worked very hard in very bad conditions and paved the way for the new breed.

  23. Ryan B. says:

    I grew up in Forest Grove and Cornelius (not far from Vernonia, Banks and the coastial highways where the show is taped; my wife is from Banks) and I’ve been fascinated with this show. I’m a computer guy, but maybe in another life I’d be a logger. I hope this shows up next season!!! I love it!! Most people in this country don’t even know where Oregon is located, let alone how to properly pronounce it (“OR-REEE-GUUUNN” !!!! )

  24. Duke Snyder says:

    I cut firewood for 30 years for myself and to help others, I own 190 acres in Wisc. and
    spent many hours logging fire wood and clear cutting trees for land management. I also worked as a wildland firefighter with the D.N.R. for several years.
    I just watched the final show of AxeMen and it all was great, PLEASE do another season, this show is great and brings back memories of working in the woods.
    Thanks !
    Duke Snyder
    Grantsburg, WI

  25. Jim Lewis says:

    Love the show. Have watched several episodes. I always enjoy watching the green horns on their first day.

  26. I worked for a logger as a young man in Vermont. 1st job was skidding w/ a horse – then as a cutter & skidding with a JD 40 crawler. Got cut pretty with a saw – my own fault – decided to go to college – GI bill – worked for I-H- helping dealers selling crawlers to loggers in Maine. Still selling farm machinery in my own dealership since 1964. Can honestly say- I have never done anything I like better than being in the woods – cutting – skidding -enjoying the comaeraderie of other loggers. They are a special breed. Love the show

  27. Jim Belknap says:

    I enjoy the axe men series and do not mean to take anything away from the men and dangerous profession these men and women are doing.
    The dangers of the removing logs from under the water are real, the character Jimmy is a joke. He has no business on the water between his inability to operate a small barge and boat.
    Logging is dangerous enough – doing it on or under the water when you don’t know what your doing as far as running the barge/boat is just plain foolish.
    Get someone who knows about running a barge and boat before you hurt someone. Nuff said !!!

  28. jw says:

    I enjoy the history channel and thank them for taking us in to the many different jobs we would not get the chance to experience.
    My respect for the ax men is high – I don’t think I could of done it even when I was younger.
    What I do not understand is Jimmy from S&S loggers. I respect his choice to get these lost logs. Jimmy would be wise to ask someone who knows what is required to run a barge before someone gets hurt or killed. Please Jimmy – get someone that knows what there doing to help you out until your comfortable handling the barge. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your son before you lose him or he loses his dad.

  29. Have you ever thought about shooting heavy equipment in the State of Alaska probobally the bussiest state in the union. We support construction mining and oil. The second largest shovel in the world is still at work near Fairbanks. If you have any interest feel free to call Gene 907-347-1782

  30. Shannon Hood says:

    I love this show but I really want to punch the dad from S&S Aqua Logging in the face. He is so mean to his son and it really leaves me feeling sympathetic and disturbed. How does the son put up with it? It has gone from a reality t.v. show about people who work hard for their living to a father/son drama series. Jimmy, you are clueless about so many things…

  31. Jessica Target says:

    I watched part of this show one night on fox eight. Are they plantations they are logging or are they forests? Because they cut down this huge tree that almost broke their equipment and I’m no expert in the logging field but I can’t imagine that was part of a plantation. It made me feel sick. To do this documentary they need to acknowledge the environment their logging.

  32. And the show goes into another season. Wonder if all the episodes are already recorded, or if driving to the coast something this autumn, I may stumble across a crew while filming.

    They ever get any tree-hugger types trying to haggle the film or logging crews during the show?


  33. JoAnn Frates says:

    You people who complain about cutting down the trees,do you relise they replant again.wake up. The show is great we love them all but Browning is the one we like the most.watch those bees. People when you watch the show listen to what they are saying and you will know what is going on.

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