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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. 
280 comments
Denise Tabor
Denise Tabor

Chip, love you and your family!!! I love watching the kids grow into adults and into  their own... keep up the great work!!

Jay Pope
Jay Pope

I am not Pita by any means, dad started me hunting at 8. However after tonight's episode I have to say something. Wanting Agnes and the kids to learn to hunt is wonderful, but the fundamentals are first and for most. Being a retired sniper and hunter all my life, there are times you just don't take the shot. Most of the time, that's when your not sure you have the shot in the first place. To let a animal suffer because of this is UN-called for. There have been shots taken in prior episodes with you claiming you missed "oh well," attitude. While I was not there and can't prove other wise because of camera pulling off the animal. Two times I know there was a hit, and just give up because of time. ( Another the shot should not have been taken.) After tonight  watched Agnes miss while the animal was laying down, then chase it (no telling how long,) instead of shooting and putting the animal out of suffering.


Please teach them Not to shoot unless they are confident in making the shot. (not bouncing up and down in a boat.) Most of all teach them how to shoot. 


Again I think what you guys are trying to accomplish is wonderful, and I'm not trying to be judgemental. I have yet to see a clean kill from you guys yet, and can't stand UN-necessary suffering.

Bert Loomis
Bert Loomis

You are an awesome family!!!  You exude "peacefulness" and teamwork!!!  I'm behind you all the way!

brasilian cutie
brasilian cutie

Get rid of the husband. I'm disgusted by seeing those woman make his way as he hides behind all he doesn't do!!!

He can't fish, he can't hunt. He has ill words to speak, as for being lazy to shut up and deal with the pain. He wouldnt exist without his wife and daughters sustaining him. He's a Cancer to.his family and to.the show. Can you PLEASE omit him asap.

It's amazing how all other non native men off grid have rights and abilities to provide, yet he worthless!!!

N. Wesner
N. Wesner

You all need to stop hating on Chip. None of you know the story let alone be hard enough to live in conditions like he does. I believe that some of the AST are crooked because there are crooked cops all over the country. Alaska is different because of the remote locations where cops are like its still wild west and the troopers can do whatever they want in these small comunities because its your word on theres. There is less of this in the lower 48 because the cops are often around more witnesses cameras and this gives them a "checks and Balance" mind set. In Alaska the cops know they are in remote areas and can do what they want knowing that its word for word. Now not all cops are rogue the majority truly do there job with integrity. This guy on here and I won't say his name is posting some hater stuff about chip. Its easy to sit on your couch eating snacks and talk trash behind your lap top. You don't know the story guy and don't believe everything you find on the internet. You live in a bubble guy and you wouldn't last a day in that life. I can tell because you spend all your energy finding trash on the internet to form your opinion on an issue you really know nothing about. I bet Chip can hunt better then most of these "sport" hunters in the lower 48 who are hyped up on testosterone and pay money to hunt big game in a fenced in area where they just use the head to mount on there wall throw the meat out with no respect for the animal. I think you should find out why you are so angry that you need to bash Chip on here not knowing the story. Maybe you are jealous because you wouldn't be able to make it in that life style or you have absolutely nothing better to do, or you are not respected in your life and know how much respect are given to people that live this way. Who knows I'm not a Dr nor do I have time to figure you out. I'm just saying to all the haters on here waiting for Chip to prove something. He needs to prove nothing to you. Living the way he is the love he has for his family along with fighting the wrong doing by crooked cops in the court shows me he stands for more then all the haters. Chip keep up the good fight and good luck with everything. To all the Haters keep hating because if it were not for you we would have no love.

D. Rand
D. Rand

Great show.  Love watching the kids take part in gathering food and building shelter.  Watching Agnes teach the kids how to make a seal skin vest or butcher an animal is awesome.  If every parent took the time to teach their kids respect of their heritage and respect of nature, but most of all respect of one another, this world would be one big Alaska.  Not perfect but a lot better than the violence we see on the news every night.  Get rid of the Xbox and get out and enjoy nature.

Be proud of what you're doing for your family.......Never apologize for defending them.

Edward Hailstone
Edward Hailstone

Why focus on Agnes? Because she is a Native Alaskan woman, and Im just the
5th white guy moved up on the show. If they followed me more, you'd
see less of her and think she's lazy......if you know Agnes, she wont
allow anyone to sit still when she's busy,
especcially me,~~LOL!!~~....but I LOVE seeing my wife and kids on the
show as much as I possibly can accommodate it. Do you want to see her
skin Seals or teach a daughter a tradional Inupiaq value or lesson? How
about do or make something "Eskimo"?? Well, I cant do any of that, nor
can anyone else on the show, 'cept Agnes and the kids.........but I did
homeschool them for 7 + years when we were free to roam, tent around and
live with the game. We laugh at the show sometimes allright, like
seeing Agnes Shoot a Moose, but not me skinning and butcheriing, and the
trecherous walk throut 50 yards of willo tangled along the rivers edge,
to the boat, Agnes parting Willows, me packing loads of meat right
behind here, working together.....but they just skip to the Kitchen and
makeing the meats meal sixed.....LOL!! Being born here and of
uncountable generations of family roots in this area, Agnes , being a
Kuvvanmuit Inupiaq is a shareholder to vast tracts of Native lands,
owned in common buy the Tribes here. I am not a shareholder. I cannot
dig fossils (mammoth and such) or dig minerals with out a permit. I can
watch the boat and walk below the high tide line, and watch the bank
for bears while we move along as well as the washed mud Im floating
over, as that is "public" being the Ocean, and legal for me to "tusk "
in , going along with everyone climbing and such, doing my
thing.......Because I have Native children and am married to a Native
wife, I can hunt , camp, fish and gather on their lands to support my
family properly. However, only Natives such as Agnes and my kids can
legally hunt Walrus, Polar Bears, Seals and such,

while I cannot, according to the Marine Mammals protection act. Read
that as "Federal Prison" for those who get caught doing such.Any
Ocean
dwelling mammle is open to hunting for her and any Native that resides
on or near the coast with customary and traditional ties can participate
in the Subsistence hunting of them. We have Seals swim right to the
village, here on Kobuk River Delta. I can hunt Caribou and most anything
on land, set traps, fish and such, but often they see what Im up to and
film, then Agnes shows them her way or a different way or what ever
were doing , and in the end, its what the editors show in convaying the
story. Its not reenactments, just action, and she does unique things, I
do long, boreing , mundane things, as well as drive the boat, drive the
nmachine and concenntrate on the drive (theres no trails or roads, its
ALL X country rideing,, just ride a motoX and youll see, at -20 its a
physical beating) and she rides comfortably behind looking for game and
not worrying about crashing, and thats an old team effort, just now she
does all the shooting insted of 1/2 or so.. Theres alot of time not
shown, traveling and wood cutting, cooking and cleaning nd building, so ,
belive me, we stay plenty busy.

Also, I was
framed for a felony "Purgery and False reports" when I got a restraining
order to protect my daughter when an ASST assaulted her and another
restrained and detained him.......when I complained, I was promptly
charged and convicted by Alaska State Troopers, who tampered with the
only evidence used against me in the court. I could not win the fake
evidence and also that the Off duty AST who testified on his time off
work brought a gun to the court, illegally, . The PD played the most
obvious cuts 3 or 4 times in front of the jury when my wife testified to
the attack, and he never denounced them as inadmissible, a felony and
illegal as hell. He didnt play my tape of my interview with the AST's
ABI either, as I couldn't testify because I didnt want to be shot. I
had the tapes analyzed by two audio forensic specialists, Sand Castles
recordings in Fairbanks, and Brite Solutions in Anchorage and both
scientifically prove that the audio tapes the Alaska State Troopers used
against me was tampered with. The Judge was given the results at my
sentencing and became rather upset I saw (I was given 7 years, 3 months
total (3yrsX2 + 15 months)and he let me out untill retrial, and thats
been more than 2 years now. Agnes and my daughters were present and saw
what happened and know I was doing it for them and that I didn't lie,
and that this was done to me by criminal Alaska State Troopers and those
who cover up for them. Agnes has my back!! Damn right on that one, by
Nat Geo also does a Troopers show, so they avoided the issue, but now
that they are not on Nat Geo, we think this needs attention as it is a
part of my life,.......so for two years now, I cant carry a gun, not
touch one, or freely roam, so I stay busy and she does too. Do you wann
see me remodel our house , now that were done with the adition? or cut
more wood for daily heat, or cook? Ha, its crazy, but the best story is
the true one, one I can prove with court/public record, and thats the
story above. The two perpetrator AST, their StG, who was present a the
court and at the sentanceing yet lets these felons run freely, and the
LT from the ABI all have full knowledge of the felony evidence tampering
and yet stilll do nothing. It was even in the news paper, evidence
tapering and all.

Patrick O'Byrne
Patrick O'Byrne

OK National Geo quick question...I watched the show for an hour, how come I see the same old commercials about 10 times. The same ones over & over again. Who is doing the commercial selling in your dept.? Just wondering. 

Patrick O'Byrne
Patrick O'Byrne

Chip likes to hear the girls tell hunting stories. Does that mean Chip don't have any?

Don Lynch
Don Lynch

Hello Chip and Agnes,  Just watched your first show for the season. Wanted to say my wife and I really enjoy. Keep it up and Godspeed. 

  My best to you and yours,

Don, Pennsylvania

M M
M M

Great team as usual!

Charles Vann
Charles Vann

My question is just a native knowledge kind.  On another show about arctic native peoples the segment was filmed about a practice of saving some walrus meat by burying it for later consumption.  The non-native show host was eager to try the walrus meat but because it was partially decomposed the native peoples warned the host not to eat it because there was a possibility that he would become sick so they offered him another kind of food.  I was wondering if the subject of that show was in anyway a true traditional practice or not.  Either of you can field that one if you have any similar experience of that kind?  Thank you

Dan Crocker
Dan Crocker

Anyone know why Chip never seems to have a firearm in his possession?  Odd......

Jason Runge
Jason Runge

Wow Chip and Agnes .... you are both the perfect match ...strong happy people ... that compliment each other to perfection!  I love the moment when you went fishing on the ice and you caught a pretty good fish (Chip), then Agnes catches such a big fish it almost pulled her back into the whole in the ice ...My Mrs and I had such big smiles on our faces watching that scene ... All our love and respect!!!  All best wishes to you and your family .... stay strong and happy!!!

Jason and Sarah United Kingdon Basingstoke

Gail Braxton
Gail Braxton

Chip and Anges!!  Just love this family, Agnes displays such great respect of her traditions, we've learned so much of how useful everything they kill goes to use.  Chip is a great dad and husband, very patient and very supportive.  Beautiful family, good hearts and family values. 

Kathy Candler
Kathy Candler

I love you guys and your family. Does Agnes hunt caribou and seal due to being a Native and your not Chip? I love Agnes, your a true woman's libber!

vinny goombada
vinny goombada

Doesn't chip know how to shoot? Its always his wife shooting.

Dirk Harvey
Dirk Harvey

Just started watching the show.  What is the significance of Agnes's marks on the chin?

Michael Crossley
Michael Crossley

Chip!!! and AGNES!!!!  guys .. you are a lot of fun to watch.. i love this show....   AGNES... !!!  you are my favorite .. you are my favorite person on any tv show ... ever...  im not like a crazy stalker guy.. i just like tv.. and i think you are sooo cool ... everything you say is so genuine and just funny and kind of majorly badass..  yea ... u r my fav...   keep bein on tv lady!!! hoping you are well !!  haha so cool

Terri R.
Terri R.

I want to know the brand name of Agnes's ULU? PLEASE??? I've written 3 times now, no response... Am getting ready for Elk hunting here in Colorado, and I GOTTA have one. (I know to stay away from "Alaskan Brand"? not good knives

Terri R.
Terri R.

Where can I get your Ulu Agnes? LOVE IT!!! I'm a female hunter of 18 years in Colorado, and fell in love with your family and knife, lol please let me know... If you make them I would absolutely probably purchase one with sheath

Terri R.
Terri R.

I so much love and respect your family, I am in total awe... Agnes you definitely need a new gun as I am a woman hunter in Colorado and shoot a Remington 7mag with scope. What I do want to know if WHERE CAN I GET A REPLICA OF YOUR ULU???? I love it!!

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.

Bert Loomis
Bert Loomis

@brasilian cutie You obviously don't know Chip's full story...and to say he does nothing is laughable!  Research before you speak next time!

Edward Hailstone
Edward Hailstone

@Patrick O'Byrne It means I listten to my children and spend time with them. I actually have alot of storys, and I have written quite a few over the years, pictures and all. I let my kids participate , they dont sit at a desk and learn, they learn bu doing, so sometimes I take my hands off what Im doing and let them. I did it with my sons as they grew up and both are keen Hunters with their own familys. letting them do something and not doing it forthemis proper for a proper learning experiance. Besides storys after a hunt are also a learning experiance, and when my Court issues are over, I shall show you just what I can do. Untill then, try look at the link, thers alot to see and watch.


Edward Hailstone
Edward Hailstone

@Charles Vann If you havent previously eaten fermented Walrus, Whale, Seal flipper, your probably gonna puke.  Why ruin the meal at the start? It is possible they may have noticed tell take smells that the fermentation had gone wrong or rasncid (oils do that)and no one was eating that chunk.

McIntosh McIntosh
McIntosh McIntosh

@Matthew OBrian  This show was filmed a long time ago so Stuffy's accusations can't be the reason. In our area Native people have special unrestricted hunting rights.  I believe Agnes is the one with the gun all the time because she has aboriginal rights that Chip doesn't have.  This makes more sense than Stuffy's comment. 

Edward Hailstone
Edward Hailstone

@Edward Hailstone This was published almost two yeras ago, so the evidence tampering is old news paper, and the courts/sentanceing and yet no charges are pressed nor are the AST involved fired, they continue, as far as I know, to be among the public. The cover up isnt going to last


Edward Hailstone
Edward Hailstone

http://s53.photobucket.com/user/edwardhailstone/media/AlaskaStateTrooperYoungevidencetampering.mp4.html?sort=3&o=55

Listen and hear one of the obvious cuts in the Alaska State Troopers Audio, made and kept by them and scientific proven to be tampered with..... felonious evidence tampering was done to conceal the crimes I reported and got the protective order for.  this was played in court, and so were the cuts, so the AST has full knowledge of the felonies that their Troopers commit to cover up for their fellow criminals. This is public knowledge, a matter of court record. No one starts a conversation "sooooo tell me about....this is something unrelated,..." without a conversation not to be related too....He basically cut out the threats and he made. Theres many other alterations too, but those will be coming out in Federal court as the lady's have a case being put together to clean up the AST.

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.

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.

McIntosh McIntosh
McIntosh McIntosh

@Stuff McBudley @Matthew OBrian  Agnes has aboriginal hunting rights, Chip doesn't.  Your link is interesting but I doubt Chip's right to carry a gun will be taken away, even if he doesn't win his appeal because you cant survive in the Alaskan wilderness without some kind of protection.

.

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.