Fugitives in the Four Corners could see lights, camera, action if they skip bail on the turf of the “Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters,” a new reality TV show featuring two tough locals.
Clint Simmons, of Cortez, and Dayson Goetz, of Durango, have lead roles in the Animal Planet series, which has been renewed for a second season.
On Thursday, the bail bondsmen were spotted in Cortez, guns drawn and wearing flak jackets entering a house on Sligo Street while a production crew filmed.
“It was a bum address, not here,” said Simmons. “He lied on his bail paperwork, imagine that.”
The show is based in Rocky Mountain states and is attracting good ratings. After a pilot was shot, it launched last year with six episodes. The 2015 season will feature 10 more, which are produced by ITV Studios America.
The adrenaline of sneaking up on paranoid, violent criminals trying to escape justice makes it exciting for viewers and the bounty hunters. The man they were looking for Thursday is charged with assault and attempted second-degree murder.
“The chase can get rowdy and involves a lot of trickery,” Goetz said. “We’ve been shot at and had some take-downs, but usually our physical presence is enough for them to give up.”
The renegade outlaws are re-arrested then transported back to jail for skipping court.
All people caught up in the filming sign a waiver to be in the show, including the criminals and bystanders. Once the scofflaws realize they are going to get their 15 minutes of infamy, they almost always sign.
“It’s amazing how many criminals want to be on TV,” Simmons said. “If they’re active, we continue filming them in custody. They like to carry on for the drive back to jail.”
Goetz and Simmons are seasoned bail bondsmen with fugitive recovery credentials and military backgrounds, but they’re just regular guys as well. Simmons grew up in Cortez, and Goetz is also a firefighter in the Upper Pine River District.
“Animal Planet called the office one day asked if we were interested,” Goetz said. “We interviewed a bunch and had some tryouts. We fit the profile they wanted.”
Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters features the men during their day-to-day professional lives. But now they have a glint of Hollywood in their eyes, and a bigger audience. Season 1’s six episodes averaged 766,000 viewers.
“Having a film crew on scene can be a challenge at times, but it’s been pretty fun doing the show,” Goetz. “Check it out, I guarantee you’ll love it.”
Past shows are available for viewing for $2 on YouTube.