All of the Raney family members are expert hunters, but Matt is the specialist among them.
"I've had encounters with bears, wolves and run naked with the Caribou," says Matt. "Our family has embraced a lifestyle of subsistence. Through all the years our only objective has been to fill out freezer full of salmon, halibut, caribou, doll sheep and moose. We've had good years and bad, but I can't remember the last time I ate at a fast food place or bought meat from a market."
When he isn't working in the family homestead building business with his father, Marty, Matt hunts to keep the family's freezers full of meat all year, or teaches others how to do the same.
In the Summer of 2015 alone, Matt brought in over 1,000 pounds of fish, moose, caribou and sheep. This meat is shared between his parents, brother and sisters and kept the entire Raney family fed throughout the harsh Alaskan winter.
Matt hunts the largest game with Marty and a pair of pack mules, the best all-terrain vehicles out there. When fishing, his sister Misty join them. The Raneys' survival depends on their ability to harvest meat, so they hunt together, dress the kill together, transport the meat back home together, and share the proceeds.
Matt was born and grew up in the Alaskan wilderness and, at 32, already has a lifetime's worth of experience in how to build and run all aspects of a successful homestead.
As he grew up he learned farming and animal husbandry on his aunt and uncle's farm. He spent several Alaskan winters living in "dry" cabins (without direct water or heat) in the snow. And now he is the heir to the family homestead building business.
Matt lives with his new wife, Katie, on the family land near Marty's own home. With family plans to build a super-homestead nearby already in the pipeline, Matt decided to put together what is by Raney standards a temporary home. He bought a mechanic's shop, transported it to his father's 20-acres, and remodeled it into what now looks like a barn/house with wood-heat and running water from the nearby well.