Andrew Stanley, N.W.T. trapper on YouTube, gets reality TV show
Life-long trapper started posting videos on YouTube and attracted thousands of views
Canadian trapper Andrew Stanley harvests lynx, wolverine, marten, wolf, coyote and other animals whose pelts fetch top price at auction.
Now, after becoming a YouTube sensation with videos that caught the eye of a producer in Yellowknife, Stanley is turning to reality television to help Canadians get a behind-the-scenes look at the daily life of a trapper.
Fur Harvesters NWT will begin airing this fall on Wild TV, NWTel Cable and Vimeo On Demand.
"A lot of people say, ‘Oh, that animal is suffering in that trap for days on end,’ and it's not like that," Stanley says. "I think people think that because people aren't educated on trapping."
Stanley, 31, started trapping rabbits with his grandfather when he was about six years old.
Outside of a couple of years working in the diamond mines, he has spent most of his life on the trapline.
"I live in the bush, I eat moose every day and my income is from trapping fur-bearing animals," he told the CBC in 2011.
Videos got thousands of views
Stanley has a cabin about 60 kilometres outside Hay River, close to the Alberta border.
Three years ago. he started posting a series of videos on YouTube called The Wild North, some of which have drawn tens of thousands of views.
A typical video has him narrating the process of setting a trap for beaver on an ice-choked river. The next day, he returns to finds a beaver in the trap, then films the multiday process of skinning the animal, smoking the meat in his own smokehouse and preparing bannock (using 100 per cent whole grain flour) and beans to make a full meal.
"I like the cheek parts," he says, sharing some of the dish with his dog.
The show is the first reality TV series to be produced entirely by northerners, through Artless Collective and Maximum Limit Productions.
Production is sponsored by the Fur Harvesters Auction, Canada's primary wild fur auction, in North Bay, Ont.
Producer Maxim Bloudov says: "This is our sort of backyard, and we're a very small percentage of the population that lives up here, but I want the rest of Canada to see that this is theirs also."