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Erik Salitan

Erik Salitan

Erik Salitan

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Erik Salitan lives 67 miles north of the Arctic Circle. For his first two years in Alaska, Erik lived in a primitive tent with no floor. It was simply shelter from the weather. There, Erik lived out the real definition of subsistence, and those memories remain his favorite. Erik is an unlikely entrepreneur who owns his own hunting and guiding business. During the off-season, Erik hunts, fly-fishes, and traps in the Alaskan bush. He also joins safari and hunting clubs in the lower 48 while building his business for the upcoming season.

Erik is a professional hunter and registered guide in Alaska. Fully self-sufficient, he personally kills every piece of meat he eats and will use the rest of the animal for clothing and tools. Erik came to Alaska at the age of 18 because he did not want to get stuck in a factory job. Although not born there, Erik believes Alaska is where he will die. Erik lives a modest life, but his backyard is a million dollar view. Alaska presents real challenges, but Erik is living his dream.

A successful day to Erik is a day spent doing his favorite things: walking around, looking at animals, climbing a hill, sitting on the edge of a mountain, and taking in the beautiful scenery. He enjoys being alone with no interruptions or distractions from his thoughts. This is his church; this is where he comes to think. Erik feels fortunate to be able to live as close to nature as he does. He is comfortable and believes he lives a plush lifestyle. Now the dangerous wilds of the North Slope are his playground, and he braves harsh elements and deadly wildlife every day. So long as he has his rifle by his side, Erik fears nothing.

Dive Deeper:

Living alone in a land of peril, Erik's heightened awareness helps him survive.

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

Erik's Life Below Zero Demands Awareness

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

152 comments
Jeanie Piecara
Jeanie Piecara

I do like this show but it is full of killing, which I have to fast-forward over. Erik seems to be proud of his trapping a gorgeous lynx, torturing him in a trap for who knows how many hours and then killing the cat--for his fur. Not for food. For his fur, for money. I can only hope that one day he gets his hand or foot caught in his own trap and suffers the consequences. Likewise, the family in Noorvik--snaring bunnies to beat them to death. Is this really necessary??! And the children--thinking it's a funny game to club a bunny to death. Disgusting. Again, perhaps if they saw a child snared in a net and then clubbed to death, they would appreciate the needless brutality of such a death. Also, why slit the throat of an already fatally wounded, terrified caribou? You don't want to waste a bullet on a shot to the head so you both stand there and watch and wait, minute after excruciating minute, while this innocent animal slowly chokes to death on her own blood?  This kind of thing makes me loathe human beings. If you HAVE to kill an animal in order to live the way you do, do it humanely, for god's sake. 

Andrea Samuels-Robinson
Andrea Samuels-Robinson

I never appreciated hunting, it always seemed violent and sad. I have found that I appreciate Eric's way of living. He is a great hunter because he loves nature in a deep way. He has heart and he's a good teacher. Glad to see him again.

Susan B.
Susan B.

I'm so glad the new shows are on now. I am also really glad Erik is back on the show. I like them all but I find Erik's adventures are my favorite and I am fascinated with his life. I also admire his choice to move to Alaska and making it on his own at such a young age. Sue is a hoot. I really like all the people on the show. They work so hard while I watch them  lying on my bed, eating pizza, and either the nice heat or AC is on. :) 


Saundra Trouslot
Saundra Trouslot

i wish National Geographic would not have this gentleman on the show.  I love everything about this show, but hate this man.  Being from Colorado hunting and trapping is nothing new to me and something I myself believe in and do, but he is cruel, unforgiving and just not a nice guy.  I think overall this show is a great example for my children, but I do not want him as an example.  A point  of my frustration with him was the unapologetic way he chased down and stomped on the muskrats, holding them face down to asphyxiation. I think his methods and attitude are not something we should emulate or encourage.  I am sad that this is who Nat Geo decided to add to this wonderful show....   

Ella Preuninger
Ella Preuninger

Erik is doing a great job, we love the show and admire Erik for his ethics and efforts. We look forward to the new season and seeing more of Erik, and LESS of Glenn (what a jerk). You are a great role model, Erik , keep up the great work!

PATRICK BURKE
PATRICK BURKE

AND WHERE IS HE?  IS ANYONE FROM NATGEO READING THE COMMENTS?

PATRICK BURKE
PATRICK BURKE

To Mr. Wise, I believe the Lynx are counted by the DNR in Alaska and the reason  is probably something to do with population and for lack of food for the Lynx populist to survive.. If you listen to Erik carefully you would come to know that he is very in tune not only with the law and abiding by it he is also very in tune with the nature he is surrounded by.  If you saw the episode where he trapped a Wolverine and he not only talked about why he traps the animal, he was crying at the very trapping of the Wolverine. So, with that said I don't believe he does it just for the money, but also for survival of the species.. I to am a Veteran and a combat Veteran at that of a different war, I believe in  Erik and his way of life and yes he is a little out there but he is wired tight and would like to see more of his generation like him, WOW what a school of hard knocks he put him self through.

Josh H.
Josh H.

I guess people did not read Eriks bio. This last season was filmed over Summer and Fall.  Erik has a job as a Guide during that period and I am pretty sure I heard him say that he rents out his cabin to hunters during that period. So I would only assume that these episodes have been without him. 

Thomas Wise
Thomas Wise

Now I can appreciate the life that Eric is living, even admire and at the same time envy Eric. I can grasp the concept of sustinence living killing to survive. Where I draw the line is when he came upon the Lynx struggling to free itself from the trap, trying to chew off it's own leg to get free. Eric comments on how magnificent an animal the Lynx is, then kills it for it's fur. That is not killing to survive, that is killing a beautiful wild predator for money. I am a Vietnam USMC veteran, but I broke into tears watching that Lynx die unnecessarily. Who is the end user of that fur? Why is there even a market for it? When will man evolve enough to eliminate this sensless waste of our natural resources. I can understand the killing of Deer, Elk, Moose, etc. to put food on the table, but trapping is a horrific occupation. No telling how long that Lynx struggled to free himself, you could see the fear in his eyes. Eric, please stick to guiding for your income. Otherwise I think that this is the best of the Alaska shows flooding the airwaves. I find Sue's situation quite fascinating and would like to attempt to walk in her shoes for a while.

S W
S W

A lot of people hating on this guy and I can't say I don't find him unsettling either. The way the show is shot and edited and the heavy use of flies for Erik's segments and showing the skinned frozen corpse pile and killing. You guys have to understand it's a show shot at a certain time of year. You can only legally hunt certain things for brief times of the year. Hunters will also not harm pregnant females or mothers caring for young (that's bad business). It's off putting only because it's such a different life than the ones we live. His portrayal in the show is not indicative of who he is in real life. The show makes him look like the angel of animal death but he isn't killing everything that crosses his field of view. He seems happy when he kills something because he gets to have dinner, power generators, afford fuel for his snow machine, have money for any curve balls that come his way. It's a life that only works well if the number of people living like that stays few. None of them had much trouble finding animals so you can assume their isn't a huge shortage of said animals.


If we all quit are crappy lives to be hunter/trappers, yea then I'd have a problem with it. There would be nothing to hunt or trap. The Beluga blubber in the Hailstones' segments should bother you more than a few rats.

Michael Solstice
Michael Solstice

When is this show coming back with NEW episodes and will they include Eric?

Joseph Lincoln
Joseph Lincoln

I like the segments with Erik much better than Glens His are interesting just in a much different way.. . Not sure why it changed part way through the season and we stopped seeing Erik's  path in life.

 .. Erik's way of life was cool to watch, Catching the Lynx was pretty amazing to watch. . Some of my family lives up in Fairbanks area and my brother traps. I trap down here on the East coast not really the same but  I know the work and time that goes into a trap line..  Great job Erik.. 

A. Thibado
A. Thibado

I greatly enjoyed Erik on the show and I am very disappointed that he is not on this season. I bet he got tried of having the cameras follow him around, which I can understand but I will miss seeing him and the show is just not the same without him :-(

Peter Guidry
Peter Guidry

I started watching late and saw some repeats with Eric.  I agree bring him back.  I like Glenn, he's a good guy.  They all have there +'s & -'s.


when will the new season begin?

Octavio Manduley
Octavio Manduley

I'm a big fan of Erik's. His independence, intelligence and manner remind me a great deal of one of my sons. I find him to be a great representation of a young adult who has found success on his own terms. I suppose that's ultimately what your show is about. You guys have a great show, with an excellent cast, but I'd love to know when and if he will return as part of the show? Please find a way to bring this fine young man back!

Wichie R
Wichie R

HELLO EVERYONE! Regarding Erik this season! ... we asked the NatGeo Production @LifeBelowZeroPT (on twiiter) ...and told us he will be back on the show! below is the short conversation with NatGeo Production. Thanks hope this helps :))


  1. #LifeBelowZero Prod. ‏@LifeBelowZeroPT3 Dec

    Clubbin'tv ‏@clubbintv

  2. @LifeBelowZeroPT @SueAikens We love Sue & Eric (pls bring Eric back! ) Their narrative, courage and humor keep the show interesting :))

  3. @clubbintv @SueAikens Eric will be back! #lifebelowzero

Jorge Di Salvo
Jorge Di Salvo

Please get rid of Sue and bring back Erik at any price!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Moore
Chris Moore

I admire and respect your spirit, Erik.  I hope to see you back in the future - that is, if I don't sell everything and head to Alaska myself first.

Ralph R
Ralph R

Eric,

Just read a few of the posts on this page and have to say, WOW !!! some people are so blind and ignorant. Don't let them get you down. We both know they would not survive one winter night on there own in your world. Hell most wouldn't even survive a summer night.

Anyway my reason for this post was to get info on the weapons, there calibers, and bullet wieght  you use. Also if you are in contact with the other cast members ask them. I am also a hunter and feel the outdoors, being in the mountains, is my church.

Surviving off the land is a skill that only a few possess.

S. Lawrence
S. Lawrence

I think since there's so many comments about where is Erik and he was a very liked person on the show NatGeo should do some explaining regarding what's happened to Erik to us…the viewer.

Michael Solstice
Michael Solstice

I still watch the show, but it's not anywhere as good as when Erik is part of the cast. I was so disappointed when he wasn't included in the most recent season. Any idea when he will return?

Mark Ryalls
Mark Ryalls

I would think he is busy guiding and he and his clients do not want to be filmed.  Come on back when you can Erik.

Glen Boyer
Glen Boyer

Erik was the only real reason to watch this show.  It is easy to admire a guy who can sustain himself the way he does and get to enjoy nature the way he does.  I really doubt natgeo booted him off the show in favor of Glenn.  Having watched every episode so far multiple times I think it more likely that Erik left the show as his choice. 

Shawn Patenaude
Shawn Patenaude

Lot's of questions about where Erik went...  Read through the comments below there's plenty of explanation as to why.  By all accounts he'll be back once he's done with his "day job" guiding/operating Bushwhack Alaska.  As for the criticism about his trapping practices. Spend some time on Alaska's Fish & Game website and become familiar with the rules and regulations.  Trapping, hunting and fishing are highly regulated and the wildlife is a well protected, renewable resource.  Erik has to be very careful with his practices.  If he runs afoul of the regs he'll lose his guiding license and hence his livelihood, especially since everything is video'd. Speak not of things you do not know.

Joseph Villate
Joseph Villate

I wondered what happened to Eric. I'm glad to read below that he is ok.  After a couple shows I wondered is something ate him or something similarly as terrible happened to him since there was no mention of him on the show.

I'd also like to tell you I love the show and ask you to please make more episodes, so there'd be two to three new episodes a week. I imagine that is easier said than done, but the show is really refreshing. Who knew living even near the Artic Circle is even possible?  Love the show.

darrin coffee
darrin coffee

You have a plane, nice truck, and all these toys. You are doing real well with your ventures. I love to hunt and fish myself but I don't see how you can justify killing these animals just for fur. Kill a links for thirty dollars when the world don't even really use fur anymore is jacked. Show some respect for a place that's been so good to you.  

LoLo F.
LoLo F.

Why isn't he on the show? He was great. Get rid of Andy & bring Erik back.

James Raven
James Raven

I had the amazing opportunity to recently speak with Erik directly regarding his guide service http://www.bushwhackalaska.com/ and a possible future hunt.  That being said, I've seen several posts online regarding his .22 sidearm so I asked him about it.  It is a Ruger Mark II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruger_mark_II.  Also, as a prior poster mentioned since he owns and operates Bushwhack Alaska he was busy running his guide business during the summer and is still part of the cast for Life Below Zero and shooting episodes during the off season.  We should be seeing new episodes including him after the summer episodes have run their course.

David Shea
David Shea

I was wondering is the name of the .22 cal pistol Erik uses for hunting? Any help would be great.!  I love that show!!!

April M.
April M.

I don't care too much for the new guy, Glenn. He's no Erik! Just sayin'

JEANNE MARTIN
JEANNE MARTIN

I SURE HOPE THAT ERIK IS STILL PART OF THE CAST HE IS AN INCREDIBLY INTERESTING PERSON. I LIKE THE OTHER FOLKS BUY HE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES. WILL HE BE COMMING BACK/

Addum Cable
Addum Cable

@Jeanie Piecara Where do you get your food? the supermarket?  For talking so much trash i hope you're a vegan or something along those lines cause all the meat that is delivered to your supermarket for the most part is killed more brutally then what you mentioned and on a much grander scale. 

Wichie R
Wichie R

@A. Thibado Maybe you should move up there with him.. and follow him around in his exciting adventures! he would prolly appreciate that someone special to rock his lonely wild world~! if you know what i mean... Haha! :)+

Snarlz Barkley
Snarlz Barkley

@Wichie R Awesome! I really missed Erik this season. Get rid of that amateur, Glenn. The Hailstones, Erik, and Sue are the reasons I love this show. Andy stresses me out. Kate is a Saint. I couldn't handle him flying off the handle like he does. 

peggy piercy
peggy piercy

@Jorge Di Salvo no way is Erik more interesting to listen to the Sue. She has personality and Erik, well blah to say the least.

chuck linehan
chuck linehan

@darrin coffee Get a life. Who are you to lecture? Eric shows appreciation for everything he kills. He hunts and fishes for subsistence, or do you not comprehend that? Sounds like envy to me.

Angela Chambliess
Angela Chambliess

@James Raven  thank you so much!! my husband is 76 and I am 55. we live in Austin,Texas. we love Eric the Wiseman!! so happy to hear that we will see more of him.Happy Holidays

Steve King
Steve King

@Wichie R @Jorge Di Salvo  I could die any moment from too much ice cream and potato chips!!  My remote batteries could die any moment!! If I don't have ice my bourbon could taste bad!! Every minute in Georgia is potentially life or death. Sue is overly dramatic and annoying.All of them live extremely harder lives than I do but some, Agnes and Erik, display a better attitude/personality IMHO.