We recently learned that History Channel has announced season six of their Ax Men show. It is set to return on Sunday, December 9th at 9pm EST.

Perhaps the biggest news is that Jimmy Smith, of S&S Aqua, was ill during the shooting of this season and subsequently passed away on November 1st. I hadn’t been paying a whole lot of attention to the Ax Men cast in recent months. Jimmy’s passing is very sad to hear about. I hope his son, James, is managing well.

Let’s take a look at who we can expect in season six. As I mentioned, S&S Aqua is returning. Jimmy is ill and James is taking over as the captain of Logzilla, hoping to show his old man he’s capable of handling business.

Florida’s rivers are getting crowded. Last year it was Uncle Buck and Swilley vs. Jimmy and James Smith. This year, S&S is striking out on a new river–but they quickly find that they’re not alone. Local hotshots the Dreadknots log the Withlacoochee River and its tributaries for sunken treasure. They claim to haul more logs in a week than S&S can pull in a season.

Rygaard Logging returns after being named “king of the mountain” last year. They’re riding high, but they’re in need of fresh blood. After years of Craig Rygaard and Dave Schroeder butting heads, Dave was fired at the end of last season. Now Gabe needs someone to take his place, but his choice is controversial.

On Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, the boys of Papac Alaska are back and ready to take down rivals Rygaard. But to do it, they’ve got to battle the toughest terrain in the country and keep their crew in line at the same time. It’s easier said than done for site boss Mike “Coatsy” Coats and yarder operator Joe Linderborg. The pressure to produce has rattled Joe in the past, and this year, it may just unseat him completely.

In the mountains of western Oregon, sophomores Big Gun Logging return. Last year, owner Levi Brown, his brother Luke and yarder operator Stacey Robeson made a name for themselves taking on the jobs that no one else wanted. This year, they’re out to compete with the big boys of Rygaard and Papac Alaska, but an internal power struggle may derail them before they get the chance.

Shelby Stanga is back with his eyes on one prize: finding the million-dollar sunken Bogalusa log raft. Last year, he got close. This year, he’s determined not to stop until he finds this ultimate payday. To help, he’s added cousin Belinda, niece Stephanie, wife Donna, friend Davi and many more.

One of Canada’s largest logging companies is back and this time, the stakes are higher than ever. Two years ago, the men of Lemare Lake Logging were sent running from the formidable Doc Creek job when an early winter brought mudslides. For site boss Gord Vaughn, it’s unfinished business that holds the key to his future at Lemare. Gord’s always been one of Lemare’s top guys, but ever since his crew got beat by the Canadian wilderness, Gord’s stock in the company has fallen.

On the banks of Lake Superior, there’s a multi-million dollar cache of antique old-growth pine. But this century-old timber isn’t buried under the water like it is down south–it stands in what was the third largest grain elevator in the world when it was built in the late 1800s.

Wisconsin Woodchuck’s job is to take apart this enormous, unstable structure one board at a time and sell the wood to high-end flooring companies. Using cherry pickers and cranes, this group cuts large sections of the building’s frame away while trying to keep the rest from collapsing. They’ve invested their retirement accounts into this project, but what started as a way for them to turn a quick profit has gone into about five years of overtime.