Atz Lee Kilcher

Atz's Son

Atz Lee Kilcher
DCL

Atz Lee, Atz's son, has always considered himself the "black sheep" of the family. Twenty years ago he left the subsistence life on the homestead looking for a bigger and better life, such as his grandfather Yule had done when leaving Europe. Driven by his passion for music he roamed the country with his guitar until he one day realized that the homestead where he was raised truly was the last frontier. He returned to his roots on the homestead, built a cabin by hand and hasn't left since.

Unlike his uncle Otto, he relies solely on hunting to supply his family with meat. Atz Lee admits that there are huge risks to this lifestyle, but not having livestock gives him the extra time he needs before winter in order to hunt. He would have it no other way. He understands that the hardship he goes through in the wilderness is the trade-off — never again wanting to experience the life he once experienced in the lower 48.

"The wilderness is where I belong," he explains. No matter how much the outside world tries to lure him in, he'll always end up back in the woods leading a subsistence lifestyle the best he can. He feels that he's in a constant race against the clock in order to provide his family with enough food for the winter months, and has been close enough to failure to understand the absolute importance of success. These near failures, however, make him a better hunter and provider than before. "Surviving a single Alaskan winter is a huge challenge, surviving a life time of winters tho becomes the ultimate test," he explains.

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