When Rob and Mike, who typically goes by the name “Animal,” rode their motorcycles into the Flathead Valley last September, they were ready to go hunting.
It wasn’t wildlife they were after; Rob and Animal would be joining up with Moonlighting Bail Bonds in Kalispell to track down fugitives in Flathead County as part of a new show on Animal Planet called “Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters,” which premiered April 13.
The show follows two pairs of bounty hunters – Rob and Animal in Montana and Clint and Dayson in Colorado – as they get to work in the beautiful and scenic Rocky Mountains.
In Kalispell, Rob and Animal, who go by first names only for safety purposes given the nature of their work, helped find seven fugitives, six of whom will be shown on the six-part television series.
Rob and Animal said they had a great time filming and working in the Flathead, due to the great scenery and the fun they had with the crew at Moonlighting Bail Bonds.
“We’re bounty hunters, so any time somebody stops pointing a gun at us, we’re having a good time,” Animal said in an interview last week.
The pair, who spoke with the Beacon last week from Spokane, said it did get a little chilly for riding their motorcycles during their three-month stay from September to November.
“I’ve lived around (Washington, Idaho and Montana) my whole life,” Animal said. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Glacier and such; I just enjoyed myself.”
“It’s beautiful country,” Rob added.
Joining up with Charles Pesola, owner of Moonlighting Bail Bonds, was also fun, the bounty hunters said, because when the stress wasn’t on, they had time to get to know one another and realized they were all pretty similar.
Animal said the Kalispell business and its employees are very similar in nature and personality to an outfit he and a partner run in Coeur d’Alene.
“When we met with Charles and his guys it was like a mirror image,” Animal said.
Pesola said it took a little bit of time to get used to having a production crew filming during work, but eventually everyone fell into an easy rhythm.
“We had a good time together,” Pesola said. “It was a very good experience for us, particularly with the camera crews.”
Rob and Animal started the show after a twist of fate brought them in touch with ITV Studios America – a tattooist friend of Animal’s was approached about doing a show on the tattoo work, and the friend mentioned he had a bounty hunter friend as well.
“The woman said, ‘You’ve got a friend who’s a bounty hunter and his name is Animal?’” Animal recalled. “The rest of it is pretty much history.”
The bounty hunters said they feel this show is a more accurate representation of their line of work than other similarly themed shows, because there are few bells and whistles involved.
“It really isn’t the circus show; it’s a little bit more realistic than what (other shows) portray,” Rob said.
“One of the biggest differences is we don’t pray with our people when we get them in custody,” Animal said. “We figure they’ll get religion in jail.”
Pesola said he was contacted last September about being part of the show, and met Rob and Animal and the production crew not long after. It was a valuable experience to be in front of the camera, he said, and so far he’s gotten only positive reviews from the public.
“I think we’ve gotten pretty good results from the community,” Pesola said. “I haven’t heard anybody that hates us for it.”
Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters is on Animal Planet on Sundays, at 8 p.m. local time. For more information, visit www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/rocky-mountain-bounty-hunters. For more information on Moonlighting Bail Bonds, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Moonlighting-Bail-Bonds.
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