Step into the captivating world of Ricko DeWilde, the Native American rights activist, entrepreneur, and reality television sensation.

Known for his remarkable journey on the National Geographic Channel’s hit show, “Life Below Zero,” DeWilde brings an awe-inspiring perspective to the screen. Moreover, with a heritage deeply rooted in Alaskan Athabaskan traditions, he showcases his expertise in hunting, survival skills, and the preservation of ancient rituals.

From battling the elements to embracing his powerful physique honed by years of carrying animals out of the woods, DeWilde’s enthralling story of resilience and cultural heritage will leave you spellbound. Get ready to be mesmerized by the extraordinary life of DeWilde, where reality surpasses your wildest imagination.

Unveiling Ricko DeWilde’s Early Life

Step into the remarkable beginnings of Ricko, the renowned star of “Life Below Zero” and a force to be reckoned with. Born on July 4, 1976, Ricko experienced a childhood immersed in the traditional subsistence-hunting lifestyle. Growing up in a remote cabin located 100 miles from Huslia, he shared this rugged upbringing with his 13 brothers and sisters.

Ricko DeWilde's parents.
Ricko DeWilde’s parents. Source: Instgaram/@reeky_reeks

Ricko’s lineage is a fascinating blend of his Welsh-descent father, Lloyd, who ventured to Alaska in search of a new path, and his mother, Amelia, a proud Koyukon Athabaskan native from the North Fork of the Huslia River. Educated by his parents, Ricko learned the ways of the Koyukon Athabaskan people, as they homeschooled him and imparted their deep-rooted traditions.

Central to his early years were lessons in hunting, an essential skill that Ricko’s mother instilled in him from a young age, teaching him the art of trapping rabbits. The family thrived by constructing multiple cabins along the rivers, moving between them with the seasons to make the most of the bountiful land. Though now residing in Fairbanks, Ricko holds Huslia close to his heart, forever cherishing it as his hometown.

Is He Married? Who Is His Wife?

Step into the untamed world of Ricko DeWilde, the captivating star of “Life Below Zero,” as we delve into the mystery surrounding his love life. Ricko is happily married for a long time. Moreover, he shares a profound connection with his lovely wife named Rona Vent.

Ricko DeWilde with his wife.
Ricko DeWilde with his wife. Source: Instgaram/@reeky_reeks

Rona, a fellow Koyukon Athabascan like Ricko, has been an integral part of his life, accompanying him on their shared journey of wilderness exploration. As devoted parents, Ricko and Rona are proud to call themselves the guardians of five beautiful children: daughters Simone, Skarlett, and Maya, and sons Skyler and Keenan.

Their family bonds run deep, as their children actively participate in hunts and assist with winter preparations alongside their adventurous parents. While recent public appearances of Rona and Ricko together have been scarce, their unwavering commitment to family remains evident.

The DeWilde family currently resides in the vibrant city of Fairbanks, Alaska.

DeWilde’s Earnings: Life Below Zero Paycheck and Net Worth Revealed

Though specific details about Ricko DeWilde’s earnings from “Life Below Zero” are not officially disclosed. According to The Richest, he receives an estimated annual income of around $150,000 from National Geographic for documenting his life in the harsh wilderness.

Considering his involvement in the series and potential additional revenue streams such as his apparel line, it is reasonable to assume that DeWilde is on a path to financial success. Also, know about the net worth of Sofia Kappel.

While an exact figure for Ricko’s net worth is not available, it is likely that his wealth falls somewhere above hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly below seven figures. With his continued success and growing popularity, DeWilde has the potential to accumulate a considerable fortune in the near future.

Ricko DeWilde’s Clothing Line

Beyond his adventures in the Alaskan wilderness and his role in “Life Below Zero,” Ricko is also making waves in the fashion world with his own clothing line called HYDZ. The concept for HYDZ was born out of a meaningful experience when Ricko had to give away some hoodies and sweaters at a traditional Athabascan memorial known as a potlatch.

Dewilde's children.
Dewilde’s children. Source: Instgaram/@reeky_reeks

The donated clothes, adorned with artwork depicting beauty and strength, received an overwhelmingly positive response. Inspired by this, Ricko seized the opportunity and launched HYDZ, creating a platform to share the Native American lifestyle’s resilience and elegance.

HYDZ, which stands for “animal hides,” pays homage to the clothing worn by our ancestors and serves as a powerful symbol of connection to heritage and tradition. Ricko’s vision extends beyond fashion; he aims to merge his clothing line with his activism and personal journey, showcasing the strength and beauty of Native American culture.


Ricko DeWilde’s journey to becoming a star on “Life Below Zero” began when his captivating adventures in the Alaskan wilderness caught the attention of television producers at BBC Studios in Los Angeles. They discovered him through the video postings he had submitted to YouTube, showcasing his remarkable experiences in the wild.

In November 2018, Ricko officially joined the cast of “Life Below Zero,” bringing his unique perspective and Athabaskan traditions to the show. A significant part of his on-screen presence revolves around his hunting expeditions, particularly his pursuit of moose. Also, know about Hasan Piker, a rights activist and television personality.

Ricko DeWilde with the bear he haunted.
Ricko DeWilde with the bear he haunted. Source: Instgaram/@reeky_reeks

As a modern-day frontiersman, Ricko often embarks on solitary journeys, venturing hundreds of miles from Fairbanks into the indigenous lands of Huslia, Alaska. Equipped with various firearms, including a .22 for small game, a shotgun for waterfowl, a .308 for open-area big game, and a .375 Ruger for encounters with dangerous moose and bears, he navigates the rugged terrain.

Two of DeWilde’s Siblings Died

The DeWilde family has endured profound tragedies, marked by the untimely deaths of his two siblings. One of Ricko’s brothers, Alan, met a tragic end in the wilderness, which he opened up about in a September 2020 episode of “Life Below Zero.”

In another heart-wrenching incident, Ricko’s sister, Riba, fell victim to a horrifying act of violence in late 2016. Sadly, it was her own son, Eli, who took her life in a tragic homicide. Riba, known for her artistic talent in creating exquisite Athabascan art, had been receiving treatment for mental illness prior to the incident.

Ricko DeWilde with his sister Selina.
Ricko DeWilde with his sister Selina. Source: Instgaram/@reeky_reeks

The circumstances leading to the tragedy involved a heated argument between Riba and her son Eli, who had been living with her to offer support during the fall months. Eli later confessed to shooting his mother with a Winchester .338 rifle, claiming self-defense and alleging years of emotional abuse and even sexual abuse from his late mother.

While Eli made these disturbing allegations, Riba’s other son, Brian, disputed them, stating that the family had been closely monitoring Riba’s mental health and the situation leading up to the tragedy.

DeWilde’s Battle with Addiction

Ricko’s journey has not been without its share of struggles. In his youth, he grappled with a deep sense of loneliness, which led to the development of a substance-abuse problem. Specifically, Ricko became entangled in the grip of oxycodone, a potent painkiller, and felt trapped in a cycle of addiction.

Describing his battle with addiction in January 2019, Ricko candidly expressed the profound sense of defeat that consumed him. However, he also acknowledged that the death of his brother, Alan, had played a role in pushing him further towards addiction.

The turning point in Ricko’s life came when he found himself serving a two-year prison sentence on cocaine possession charges. Surprisingly, he considers this experience to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

It was during his time behind bars that Ricko made the life-altering decision to break free from the clutches of drugs. Since then, he has remained clean for more than 15 years and has dedicated himself to turning his life around.

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