After three years off the air, the popular History Channel series Ax Men is back for a brand-new season. The docuseries focuses on logging companies competing in the oversaturated market, while battling mechanical issues and extreme weather conditions. One familiar crew fans can look forward to seeing is father-and-son team Craig and Jason Rygaard. Yes, Rygaard Logging is still in business.
In Season 10, audiences will watch as the family duo tries to keep their company afloat after a tragic accident in September 2016 took the life of Craig’s oldest son and company owner, Gabe Rygaard. “Gabe was the heart and soul of the crew, as well as the man who kept the bottom line in check. Without him, they have no leader,” the show bio states. Now, the torch has been passed to Gabe’s little brother Jason, but keeping the business in the black may be harder than it looks.
It appears Rygaard Logging is still in business.
If you go to the logging company’s website, the domain is up for sale. Though it seems these lumberjacks may be out of work, we can assume they are still very much in business after filming the hit History Channel reality series. However, reestablishing a footprint in the logging industry may prove difficult for Jason, who has no experience managing the financial side of the business.
According to the show synopsis, “As Jason’s getting his feet wet and making mistakes, he’s risking not only his family’s livelihood, but the livelihoods of the committed crew members who have remained loyal to Rygaard Logging after Gabe’s passing.” Concluding, “Their hard-working veteran team is what’s keeping the company going—now Jason just needs to land enough jobs to keep them all employed.”
Gabe Rygaard’s death was a shock to everyone.
The fan-favorite reality star sadly passed away on September 16, 2017 after colliding with another vehicle. The 45-year-old was driving down Highway 101 in his hometown of Port Angeles, when he lost control of his vehicle. Swerving to avoid the car in front of him, Gabe reportedly went into oncoming traffic and hit another car head-on. He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and passed away from injuries sustained during the car crash.
Gabe’s wife Katy released a statement via her Facebook after the accident. “He was a faithful husband, devoted father, brother & son. He loved the Lord Jesus Christ, logging and life,” she wrote. “He will be missed. We are thankful for your concern and prayers, but ask you to please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
At the time, Gabe was the third Ax Men cast member to pass away. S&S Aqua Logging member, Jimmy Smith, died at the age of 56 from cancer in 2012. Bart Colantuono passed away in 2013 after he was involved in a helicopter crash. He was 53 years old. Our hearts continue to go out to these fallen cast members.
Catch the Season 10 premiere of Ax Men at 9 p.m. ET on July 11 on the History Channel.