Why did Erik Salitan leave ‘Life Below Zero’? What happened?

In one of the most interesting bits in reality TV, Life Below Zero featured hunters living in the sub-zero temperatures of Alaska. The series, which first aired on the 19th of May 2013, is one of the highest-rated series of National Geographic. In its run time of 21 seasons, the series has managed to win numerous awards including a Prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program. Fans not only enjoyed the concept of the series but also took to the vibrant cast members. The series is currently airing its 21st season but Erik Salitan no longer is part and it seems a distant memory since he last appeared on the series. Erik was one of the original stars of the series who last made appearance in 2016. So, what happened? Why did he leave the show?

Wiki/Bio Facts

Full nameErik Salitan
Date of birthFebruary 9, 1984
Place of birthNew York City, USA
Zodiac signAquarius
Marital statusMarried
EducationFinger Lakes Community College (high school), University of Alaska Fairbanks (graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied science)
OccupationHunting guide, pilot, registered guide, businessman, former reality TV personality
Net worthEstimated over $450,000
Famous forAppearing on the National Geographic show “Life Below Zero” with his wife Martha Mae Salitan
Current residenceWiseman, Alaska
SkillsHunting, fishing, trapping, flying planes, surviving in harsh conditions
HobbiesExploring nature, spending time with family and friends
WifeMartha Mae Salitan (fishing operator and businesswoman)
SonLucas Salitan
Marriage proposalErik proposed to Martha by attaching an engagement ring to the end of a fishing rod during a fly fishing trip
BusinessesBushwhack Alaska Guiding & Outfitting (a hunting tour company), and Talarik Creek Lodge
Reason for leaving “Life Below Zero”Erik and Martha decided to focus on their family and businesses after appearing on the show for four seasons
Social media presenceNone (Erik prefers to keep a low profile and does not have any official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
Former cast member of Life Below Zero: Erik Salitan
Former cast member of Life Below Zero: Erik Salitan

Who is Erik Salitan?

Erik Salitan was born on the February 9,1984 in New York City. Born and raised in New York, Erik finished his high school from the Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua. In the same year, he moved to Alaska and got enrolled at the University of Alaska. He graduated from college in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in applied science. After graduating from college, Erik decided to quit the urban cities in favor of nature and decided to live in a cabin with his then-girlfriend, Martha.

A career as a reality star

When Erik moved to the cabin with his girlfriend, he had nothing and no one to rely on for survival. So, in the years that followed, Erik became an expert in trapping, hunting, tracking and navigating the wilderness of Alaska. He also established his own company entitled Bushwhack Alaska Guiding and Outfitting and also worked as a local guide.Erik is also involved in several hunting groups of Alaska, such as the Northwest Sportsman Club and Alaska Professional Hunters Association.

In the year 2013, Erik was approached by the producers of Life Below Zero to star in a brand new reality series. Tempted by the offer, he joined the vibrant cast of Life Below Zero, which kicked off his career as a reality star. Erik and Martha appeared on the series for a total of three years (2013 to 2016) before leaving the set.

Life Below Zero Exit

In 2016, Erik and Martha suddenly ceased to appear on Life Below Zero. This raised questions from several fans who wanted to know what happened to their favorite stars. In a Q&A session with fans, Sue Aikens explained that Erik would return to the show. Both Erik and Martha were seen back on set for the seventh season. The pair appeared in three episodes, Under the Gun, Lost in the wild, and Renegades of the attic. Renegades of the Attic, which premiered on the 27th of December 2016, became their final episode.

Controversies and Rumors

There are not many controversies or rumors surrounding Erik Salitan, as he is a very private and low-profile person who does not have any social media accounts. The only major speculation about him is why he left the show “Life Below Zero” after appearing for four seasons. Some netizens say that he left the show because of dissatisfaction with the show’s producers. However, the real reason why Erik and Martha left the show was because of privacy concerns. They decided to focus on their family and businesses, and did not want to be in the limelight anymore. They are still living in Alaska, and are happy with their simple and adventurous lifestyle.

Through thick and thin

Erik and Martha met when Erik was in his sophomore year of University. They soon began dating and before they got married in 2010, Erik proposed to Martha in really romantic way while they were on ice fishing. The pair are living a happy life in Wiseman, which lies 67 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The pair have a lovely boy, Lucas Salitan who was born in 2010. Lucas is currently studying at the Wood River Elementary School.

 Erik Salitan and his beloved wife Martha
Erik Salitan and his beloved wife Martha

Net Worth

Erik Salitan has an estimated net worth of over $450,000, which he earned from his various sources of income. He owns and operates two businesses: Bushwhack Alaska Guiding & Outfitting, a hunting tour company that offers guided hunts for big game animals such as moose, caribou, and bears ; and Talarik Creek Lodge, an Alaska lodge that provides accommodation, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities for guests . He also appeared on the National Geographic show “Life Below Zero” with his wife Martha Mae Salitan for four seasons, which also contribute to his net worth.

Physical Traits

Physical traitDescription
HeightAbout 5 feet 9 inches
WeightAbout 80 kilograms
Hair colorDark brown
Eye colorBrown
Skin toneLight with freckles
Body typeAverage build
Facial featuresOval face, straight nose, thin lips, prominent eyebrows
Clothing styleCasual and practical, often wears jackets, hats, gloves, boots, and sunglasses
AccessoriesSometimes wears a watch, a necklace, or a ring
TattoosNone visible
ScarsNone visible
PiercingsNone visible
Distinguishing marksNone visible
PostureStraight and confident
GesturesOften uses his hands to point or gesture when talking or instructing


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