In the 1970s, this Chattanooga man spent five years living off the land in British Columbia. Now, he is a living legend.

Photo contributed by Jim Ledbetter / Design by Matt McClane

In Jim Ledbetter's opinion, wolverine meat was the worst.

And he tried it many ways: grilled, boiled, canned; ground into sausage.

"Even the dog wouldn't eat it," he remembers, describing its taste, 49 years later, as a cross between rot and urine.

But, he says, living in British Columbia's Coastal Mountains - where he was 60 miles from the nearest town and snowed in for months at a time - "it was meat, so you didn't waste it."

"I would have liked to stay there forever," Ledbetter then adds wistfully.

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In 1971, Ledbetter and his college sweetheart, Jackie, had just graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. She'd studied music; he'd studied art and had aspirations of becoming a jewelry-maker. But Ledbetter had another dream, too: to leave society and live off the land.

"I've always been fascinated by mountain people that were able to make a living off their ingenuity," he says.