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Chip and Agnes Hailstone

Chip and Agnes Hailstone outside their home in Noorvik, Alaska.

Agnes and Chip Hailstone (View larger version)

Photograph by 2012 BBC Worldwide Ltd.

Published

Chip Hailstone and his native Inupiaq wife Agnes live with their seven children on the Kobuk River in the North West of Alaska. Chip came to visit Alaska 25 years ago from Kalispell, Montana and he never left. He did not plan to stay, but the opportunity to hunt appealed to Chip.

Chip could easily relate to this lifestyle because he grew up hunting and fishing. Chip is a skilled hunter and uses his antique rifle, a 12-gauge, .22, bow and arrow, and even rocks or his bare hands to make a kill. Chip calls guns his tools and hunting his way of life. The material he needs to make a living is in his surrounding environment.

For the past 20 years Chip has been hunting, fishing, and gathering raw material. Chip’s motto is, live for the day but plan for tomorrow. He goes into each day with his eyes wide open. Death is a large part of his life, but Chip says he is not afraid. Worrying is the first step to protecting himself. Everyday Chip takes a calculated risk. Part of living off the land is being ready, going with nature’s flow, weather, and available materials.

Chip’s family moves seasonally to track down the best hunt, setting up tents in the snow or on the ice, and each of them plays an active role in keeping the family alive: hunting, fishing, skinning, tanning, and crafting the animal remains to trade and barter. They hunt bear, caribou, bison, wolf, fox, wolverine, walrus, fish, waterfowl, even whale and seal. They use the entire animal that they harvest including skin, teeth and bones to make arts and crafts to sell. Chip is happy to have stumbled his way into this world. He first came as an outsider. Now, this is Chip’s home.

Dive Deeper:

Explore what it really takes to live off-grid in this interactive companion. 

Chip and Agnes Hailstone's Life Demands Resourcefulness

Explore what it really takes to live off-grid in this interactive companion. 
244 comments
Zippy Miller
Zippy Miller

I love love love the hailstones. While I generally abhor hunting for sheer sport as in African Safaris, hunting in Alaska is essential. ( lived in Barrow in the 80's). Joy in hunting is not a crime. Being Native, I am certain Agnes reveres animals and blesses the kill. So get off of it you anti- hunters. Everything is situational. I am also equally certain Chip is an excellent hunter but with a FELONY conviction one cannot possess a firearm , thus he cannot legally hunt. Of all the people on LBZ, Agnes is the one who should have interns, not Andy who never seems to finish a project. BTW, has anyone noticed all the junk an unmaintained stuff around Andy's yard! Hail to the Hailstones!!

Candace Noel
Candace Noel

Agnes is pretty. I like she paints her nails. cool seal vest she made too

Candace Noel
Candace Noel

how come you guys are complaining and confused? turn up the volume so you can hear what is going on.

Matthew OBrian
Matthew OBrian

If Chip is such a great Hunter/Provider, how come he never shoots anything ? There is no doubt about Agnese's fearsome accuracy, but Chip is apparently the throat cutter come Hailstones spokes person, and self promoter. How about less Chip and more Agnes.

Adam Martinez
Adam Martinez

I DON'T AGREE ON HOW THEY SHOOT THE CARIBOU FROM THEIR BOAT, WHEN THE CARIBOU ARE TRYING TO CROSS THE RIVER. IS UNSPORTSMANLIKE. I KNOW THEY HAVE TO GET MEAT TO SURVIVE, BUT THERE SHOULD BE SOME LAWS THAT PROTECT THE ANIMALS FROM BEING SLAUGHTERED LIKE THAT. IF EVERYONE HUNTED BY BOAT, LIKE THIS, THERE WOULDN'T BE BIG GAME LIKE THAT IN THIS COUNTRY. OTHER THAN THAT, I LOVE THE SHOW.

troy bryant
troy bryant

hey chip what t hell is you story you cant have a gun and why in the hell would you not invest in a modern rifle instead of an m1 Garand 30-06 instead of a 400 k new sled to provide meat for family I don't buy it are you a felon I could kill more meat than you could cut given the resources you have instead of your wife shooting hail marrys at a herd wounding more than you kill I don't trust you Boy

Greg Villers
Greg Villers

chip my name is Greg and i have hunted all my life and i wood love to come up and have you and your family show me how to survive there i am ex army and wood love to live like you and your family 

James Oliver
James Oliver

would like to talk to them about buying or trading ,I make knives and i'm sure we could trade  james oliver   Georgetown,Tn

Candace Noel
Candace Noel

I love you beautiful family *big hugz*

Blessings and Kind Regards

Peggy Hall
Peggy Hall

yes What is the Tattoo on Agnes chin? does your kids have any  and it looks like it is inside  your lip also please tell the meaning of it and more about your  tribal culture

thanks

Ken Zmyslo
Ken Zmyslo

Does Agnes have an older, unmarried sister? :-)

Ken Zmyslo
Ken Zmyslo

Do these people own the land they live on? How do they earn money to buy fuel and equipment?

Patrick Macy
Patrick Macy

I love to hear Agnes speak and laugh. Chip is a very lucky man. I watch the show because of Agnes.

Hänna Stine
Hänna Stine

Agnes and Chip Hailstone:

I want to thank you guys (and your family) for being on this show! As a disabled veteran who tries to take care of my elderly parents and myself, but I will actually say that one of the joys (and guilty pleasures), I have is watching the show, and seeing you (and the others residents/people, on this show), showing the rest of us (in the lower 48), if you want to survive and if you have the strong will...there is always a way." I hope that Nat Geo will keep this show on for as long as you and the others want to do this; we here in Tampa, Florida will keep on watching. God bless and keep you guys, too!   

ivan menore
ivan menore

chip and agnes hailstone are bada^^.awesome show.

Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter

Don't think that the kids should be handling those traps! They're too dangerous!

Other than that, great show!

Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter

Don't think that kids should be handling those traps! Too dangerous, and their to young. Other than that, great show!

Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy

Agnes is an inspiration!!..... I wish they would show more scenes with her & her family instead of the chronic whiner Sue!! If things are that tough then she should leave Alaska... I'm getting  very tired of hearing about her guns & the bear attack!! That's all she ever has to talk about...she's depressing!! Agnes Hailstone in an integral part of this show & is setting a great example for her children...I'm sure her Mother would be very proud of her!! Her girls are all so pretty & so grateful for everything!!!! Let's see more of there family in the show!! Looking very forward to the new season...I'm a huge fan of the show!!! 

Brenda Jordan
Brenda Jordan

I really enjoy this show what do the marks on Agnes face mean? Are they a part of her tribal culture?

Robin Ward
Robin Ward

Visit a slaughterhouse some day. Another idiot who can't live without supermarkets. Jeeze!

Terry Brown
Terry Brown

Everyone can't hunt like that (by law) so you can stop worrying. By the way, using all caps means you are yelling, and it's rude. I suggest you take your nancy boy self to another show. "Knitting with Nancy" leaps to mind.

Terry Brown
Terry Brown

Troy you're a dolt. Look it up. While you're at it see if you can teach yourself to write a coherent sentence. She got 5 kills and wounded none. Try paying attention.

Terry Brown
Terry Brown

Clarence, good thing they don't need your "nanny state" approval. Also worth learning is the difference between there (a place), their (belonging) and they're (contraction combining they are) Good grammar/spelling/punctuation is the difference between "I helped my Uncle Jack, off a horse." Or... i helped my uncle jack off a horse.

Margaret Swartz
Margaret Swartz

@Clarence Carter 

She is of age and they as a family need the 5 Caribou that each hunter can kill a day.  Also by their standards and needs to be taught survival as well because life is not always that long when your life is on the ice and have not been taught all that is required of you and your learned lessons on living may be the reason you survive!

She needed to learn to kill and probably we won't see how they process all the different kinds of food for winter.  But this last weeks show showed you what they were able to pick to eat from the foods laying on the table near the stove for their evening meal as Chip identified each item as well as it's use/reason (like the seal oil) for their way of living.  He even identified what fish and showed their look after dried that they had gathered in the summer at the other camp.   .

Matthew OBrian
Matthew OBrian

@Stuff McBudley @Matthew OBrian 

Yeah thanks for the link Stuff. I must say it's not like he stuck up a liquor store, or stole an old lady's purse. He cares about his kids and made an error. The law in small towns can be a bit iffy.

Mickey Esham
Mickey Esham

@Terry Brown i suggest you get off your knees at the bus station and  get with reality! chip is a convicted LIAR and FELON! do you understand what that means in your blind state!

Mickey Esham
Mickey Esham

@Terry Brown you are a loser as much as chip the felon! she crippled a seal which was lost and had to shoot a moose three times! IDIOT!

Terry Brown
Terry Brown

She can hunt things he can't legally hunt.

Stuff McBudley
Stuff McBudley

@Terry Brown  I believe you did the later Terry, granted you could have done both.


The web is not really the time or place to try and teach proper grammar. (Unless you are in TexAss, that state needs all the help they can get).

Matthew OBrian
Matthew OBrian

@Candace Noel @Matthew OBrian 

You sure are pretty Candace...... The tiger is not really me.


                            @)----------------


                A yellow Texas Rose for sweet Candace.

Stuff McBudley
Stuff McBudley

@Matthew OBrian @Stuff McBudley  Not so sure about that Mathew... He lied about a peace officer (which are stretched really thin in AK), and tried to get that officer in hot water via false claims and tried to get a restraining order against that officer. He lied to a judge under oath and if he had a stitch of intelligence, would have been a real man and been honest. He wasted the time of a lot of people that had far better things to do than waste time sorting out Chip's issues and stupidity. He made his bed, and now he gets to sleep in it and look like a schmuck on TV. Any real man would have told the truth and would have never tried to get the restraining order. The one who should be really pissed at him is Agnes, now she has to make up for his stupidity and do ALL the shooting for their bread and butter. Basically, Chip is no longer a man, Agnes is more of a man than Chip currently is. Perjury is a Felony and is prosecuted only when it affects the outcome of a case. That was no white lie Chip told, it was some serious lying with some serious consequences. Chip still has some growing up to do and owning his mistakes would be a step in the right direction, being honest would be another step.

Stuff McBudley
Stuff McBudley

@Terry Brown Grow a brain terry, Chip can't hunt anything, he is a recent Felon, he's just too ashamed to say it on TV. 

Matthew OBrian
Matthew OBrian

@Stuff McBudley @Matthew OBrian 

Hi stuff, We don't have the big picture so, I will reserve further comment other than this, I do think he should have been up front with the viewers as to why it is his terrific wife who in fact is the "provider"  I guess it's causing him some upset.

 If you care to live that lifestyle wouldn't Agnes be the perfect spouse.She really is so hard working, and knows exactly what she is doing. What a little sweetheart. I love to hear her gentle accent. She makes the show worth watching. Take care Stuff and enjoy your weekend.

Stuff McBudley
Stuff McBudley

@Matthew OBrian @Stuff McBudley I agree 100 percent about your observations of Agnes... She is awesome and chip is extremely lucky to have her. 


Back to chip, like I said, Chip still has some growing up to do and owning his mistakes would be a step in the right direction, being honest would be another step. It seems like there is a lot of shame in a lot of those clips of chip talking about how he gets to be moral support while Agnes does all the hunting/shooting. Being upfront with the viewers would have been a good step towards both traits that make a man a real man, but for all we know, Chip might have done so and it got cut courtesy of NatGeo. If I were in chips shoes, I would have been upfront with the viewers and if NatGeo cut it, I would have some serious words with NatGeo.