Shelby Stanga
image source

For so many years now, reality television has done a good job in bringing to the limelight, some unique personalities who may have remained obscure to the media despite possessing various rare qualities. Shelby Stanga happens to be one of the people who made it to the spotlight through reality TV. The man became famous for recovering abandoned logs from waterways on History Channel’s reality series, Ax Men. His passion and stunning dedication to his craft quickly endeared him to many people, with most of them wanting to know more about his life away from the screens.

Shelby Stanga’s Life Before Ax Men

Shelby Stanga is an American reality television actor born on the 1st of January 1960 in the United States. The exact town or city where he was born as well as the identity of his parents, has not been revealed as the man has been private with that aspect of his personal life. However, the circumstances that led him to logging have been established.

Shelby Stanga took interest in logging at a very young age. When he was just nine years old, his mother stopped him from going to school because of the extremely dangerous activities of the Ku Klux Klan in their area. She advised him to fill up his idle days by either playing with his cousins or hunting in the woods. Stanga settled for the latter and began exploring the woods of New Orleans. His interest soon shifted to the swamps where he began to log.

With time, Stanga’s interest in swamp logging grew into an obsession. He would spend a greater part of every day recovering abandoned logs from the waters, earning himself the nickname, Swamp Boy, in his local community. Shelby’s devotion to swamp adventure subsequently became a life-changing business for him as it gave him a sense of purpose, something to live for. People began to pay him to recover precious logs wedged deep inside the swamps. He proved very daring because he went to places other swamp loggers would not dream of going to. As a result, he became the favorite of many who often employ the services of swamp loggers.

How He Became a Part of The Show

By the time Shelby Stanga turned 16, he was already working with a dredging company. During this time, something happened which increased his visibility in the art of swamp logging. Someone challenged him with retrieving a cypress tree that had fallen into a swamp of murky water. Young Stanga accepted the challenge and set out with a boat, inner tubs, and some ropes to remove the cypress tree. Coming out successful in the daring venture, Shelby earned himself widespread fame as a highly-skilled swamp logger.

Subsequent years saw Shelby Stanga grow into a sought-after swamp logger. As his fame continued to spread, Discovery Channel discovered Stanga while they were looking for a local expert to help in the production of a post-Katrina episode of their then ongoing show, Man vs. Wild.

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Following his guest appearance on the show, Shelby caught the attention of History Channel who invited him to feature on their reality series, Ax Men. The show was created in 2008 to follow the life and work of a group of loggers and their crews. The series documented the day-to-day work and challenges of exceptionally skilled loggers in the forests and rivers of Washington, Northwestern Oregon, Montana, Florida, Louisiana, and some other areas across America.

Shelby Stanga on the set of Ax Men: image source

Shelby Stanga joined Ax Men in its third season. The show captured Stanga recovering abandoned logs from waterways with the help of his wife, dog, friends, cousins, and nieces. Owing to his exceptionally intriguing logging skills, Shelby garnered much popularity on the show. Viewers soon revived his local community nickname, The Swamp Boy. They however, upgraded it to The Swamp Man.

Shelby’s Whereabouts and Latest Ventures

At the end of season three of Ax Men, Shelby Stanga left the series to launch his reality show titled The Legend Of Shelby The Swamp Man. The show which began airing on History Channel on August 6, 2013, is a spin-off to the Ax Men series created because of Shelby’s outstanding popularity. It documented Stanga’s unusual lifestyle and what he does when he is not logging. The show however, ran for just two seasons, ending in April 2015. For the period it lasted, Shelby held many TV audiences intrigued with many of his weird escapades.

Following termination of Shelby’s show, the star went on a hiatus from television, sparking curiosity over his whereabouts. In 2018, however, the reality star launched yet another show titled The Return of Shelby The Swamp Man. The latest episode of the show aired in November 2018 and there is yet no news of a renewal or cancellation. The TV actor has since stayed away from the limelight, with less activity on his Facebook page and no recent media appearance.

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Living in southeastern Louisiana, on the bayou near Lake Pontchartrain, Shelby probably continues to busy himself with the logging business. He also runs a gift shop at Lee’s Landing called Shelby Stanga’s Treasures. The TV actor has so far, earned significant wealth from his endeavors, with wealth estimated at $2 million.

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What We Know About His Marital Life

Shelby Stanga is a married man; he is happily married to a woman simply identified as Donna. Although Shelby scarcely discusses his marital life, a statement he made on one of the 2013 episodes of Ax Men suggests he married Donna in 2009. Shelby had told his cousin Belinda that he needs to catch some crawfish for Donna as the next day was their 14th anniversary. But whether this statement is true or just a joke remains uncertain for now.

Apart from the fact that Donna is a Jehovah’s Witness, nothing else is known about her, at least for now. Stanga casually revealed this fact on the January 2012 episode of Ax Men, when he referred to Donna as his little Jehovah’s Witness wife. Unlike the 14th anniversary comment, a couple of viewers who know Donna confirmed she is a Jehovah’s Witness. One thing however, is very obvious; Shelby and his wife Donna make a very lovely couple. The two are said to be deeply in love with each other, with Donna showing great devotion to Shelby.

As earlier mentioned, Donna frequently featured alongside Shelby on the Ax Men show where she helped him with logging. She however, does not live permanently with Shelby on his swampy Louisiana home but comes over from a home in Mississippi only on the weekends. There are no records of the couple having any kids together. They only have a dog named Piss Willy with whom they usually appear on Shelby’s shows.

Shelby Stanga
Shelby Stanga and his wife Donna with their dog, Willy: Image Source

Donna hasn’t appeared on Stanga’s recent shows, leaving fans wondering if the two are still together or not. Fueling the curiosity is the fact that Shelby began appearing on his show with a new sidekick called Angela. While some sources claim they have broken up, none of the two have commented on it.

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