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History to premiere the second season of 'Ax Men' on March 2

By John Bracchitta and Steve Rogers, 02/03/2009 

History has announced that the second season of Ax Men will premiere on Monday, March 2 at 10PM ET/PT.

Similar to the show's first season, Ax Men's 12 second season episodes will continue to follow the treacherous activities of Pacific Northwest loggers as they brave violent weather, mechanical problems, and unpredictable terrain to retrieve timber.

Unlike the first season which featured logging companies only located in Oregon, Ax Men's second season will also feature three new logging crews from Washington and Montana. 

While one of the new companies is a conventional logging operation similar to the crews featured on Ax Men's first season, the other two aren't.  One is an "underwater logging" company that salvages perfectly preserved timber that sunk in Washington's waterways on its way to the sawmill a century ago while the other is a family-run "helicopter logging" operation that airlifts its timber out of the woods of Montana.

As part of the changes, two of the four Oregon-based crews that were featured on Ax Men's initial 2008 season -- Stump Branch Logging and Gustafson Logging -- won't return for the new season.

Ax Men is produced by Original Productions -- the same production company responsible for other hazardous occupation reality series like Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch and History's Ice Road Truckers -- with Thom Beers and Philip Segal serving as executive producers.

The five teams that will be featured in Ax Men's second season -- along with their History supplied bios -- are:

- J.M. Browning Logging - Operating out of Astoria, Oregon, no-nonsense, all-business Jay Browning started his company from the ground-up. Logging is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, and Jay knows it.  He lost his hand in a logging accident and now wears a prosthetic, but prides himself on not accepting any of the workers compensation checks that followed the ordeal. Taking handouts isn't Jay’s style. This year, Browning Logging is looking for its next leader. Jay’s natural successor is his son Jesse, but he has yet to prove that he has what it takes to step into his old man’s boots. Jay is a tough boss and an even tougher dad, but it’s the expectation of perfection that’s earned him the respect of his crews, business partners and the logging community. As Jay’s career winds down and the market approaches its lowest point yet, will Jesse have what it takes to carry on the family torch?
- Pihl Logging - Pihl Logging has been the lifeblood of Vernonia, Oregon for almost 25 years. Almost everyone in town - all 2,300 of them - knows someone who relies on company owner Mike Pihl to keep their family fed. Pihl Logging is comprised of a group of men who like to trade jibes with each other almost as much as they like to cut timber. The real heart of the operation is 30-year veteran timber cutter Dwayne Dethlefs. Dwayne is the embodiment of old-school logging. Rounding out the crew is Dwayne's son Dustin, and a host of other colorful characters. The men at Pihl are like family -- at-times dysfunctional but always entertaining; men who fight like brothers but always have each others’ backs.
- S&S Aqua Logging - Retired logger, Jimmy Smith, started his Aberdeen, Washington underwater logging company because no one else was doing it and he hoped to make a quick buck. What he uncovered in the process was century-old perfectly preserved timber that his ancestors cut but was lost in Washington’s waterways along its journey to the mill. Now, Jimmy seeks to harvest this slice of history for today’s America to enjoy. He’s a colorful man with big dreams, big ideals and very little attention to detail. Try as they may, Jimmy, his son James and the revolving cast of friends-turned-deckhands struggle every day to keep the underwater logging operation afloat.
- R&R Conner Aviation - Based in Montana, R&R Conner Aviation is a family-run helicopter logging company owned and operated by Ryan Conner and wife Robin. Helicopter logging is one of the most dangerous and expensive forms of timber harvesting. The demands of working beneath a thundering helicopter and the severe weather are more than most can bargain for. Having an experienced team of pilots, mechanics and ground crew is crucial. R&R has been grounded for nine months after a hard landing destroyed their helicopter. Now, R&R is back with a rebuilt rig and Ryan is getting his company in the air and back in the woods of Montana. This is going to be a critical logging season for R&R and chief pilot, Bart Colantuono, will be a key factor in getting the business back to a place it was last year— making money.
- Rygaard Logging - Based in Port Angeles, Washington, Rygaard Logging is a family business consisting of father Craig and son, Gabe. Craig is a wild man with a big heart, sharp mind and a quick wit. These are hard working salt-of-the-earth men, risking everything they have to get the job done. Logging is in their blood. As Rygaard moves onto a downhill logging site - the most dangerous of all logging operations - gravity works against them on every turn. This is brutal work and one of the quickest ways for a logger to go broke or get hurt. Adding to the liability is greenhorn Brad Hewitt, who is stepping onto the mountain for the first time.

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