OLYMPIA, Wash. — Daniel Boone — yes that's his real name and yes he's related to the real Daniel Boone — is in Capitol Forest near Olympia.
He’s wearing a bright orange hard hat, logs are being yarded up a steep slope, and the sound of chainsaws and whistles punctuate the action. He’s about to go to work, but he’s not cutting trees. He’s here to record 'Logger Interview number 44' and 'Logger Interview number 45'.
More than ten thousand people subscribe to Daniel Boone’s Logging Videos on YouTube, following Boone onto logging sites all over the Pacific Northwest to hear the stories he collects. It’s the side hustle he was destined for.
"Loggers have always had a special place in my heart since I was a kid,” said Boone who grew up in Brinnon, and still lives there. "I was ten years old and I got a subscription to a publication called Logger's World.”
Boone became a logger, and was working in Australia — where he learned their loggers think our loggers are nuts, thanks to television.
"I got such a hard time from people down there about the American timber industry because of what they saw on 'Axmen',” he said.
So Boone decided to do his own interviews with local loggers while they’re still around to tell their tales.
“These older people they're close to passing on. I just want to get some of the local history before it's gone.”
92-year-old John Boulton was Logger Interview #38. He passed away in the spring of 2022.
But his stories live on thanks to Boone.
Today he’s interviewing younger, working loggers Mark Broderson and Charlie Johnson on the job. Boone says there's only one reason loggers let him on the logging site to work with his iPhone instead of a chainsaw.
"I spent 14 years in the timber industry so I kind of know where to be and where not to be.” Boone added, "Pretty much everything on the yarder can kill you if something breaks."
The yarder is the system of cables that hauls logs weighing thousands of pounds up the steep slope and onto the landing, where they're stripped of branches and loaded onto trucks.
Most of the loggers he talks to have deep roots in the timber industry.
"I'm the fourth generation now, we've been logging on the Peninsula, our family now, since 1864” said Johnson during Logger Interview #45.
And they occasionally share logger wisdom:
"You've gotta have fun at work or there's no point in even going,” declared Broderson, Logger Interview #44.
Doing this work is clearly fun for Boone. But it's not the only thing that keeps him coming back to collect more logger's stories.
"The smell of fir pitch, the fresh mountain air, and just seeing all of the effort that these people put into scratching out living," he said. "I just love seeing this."