“Reality TV” bounty hunter shows like ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter,’ and YouTube sensations Patty Mayo and Bounty Hunter D would have you believe that bounty hunting is one long action movie. They chase suspects down in dangerous situations, stake out suspects before “taking them down” and encounter all sorts of exciting situations every single day.
The reality, though, is quite different. According to “real” bounty hunters, the majority of the job in fugitive recovery involves endless phone calls, online database searches, and talking to people associated with the fugitive until you finally figure out where they are. In the end, taking the arrestee into custody and returning them to the courts so that bail can be returned to the depositor can be an exciting moment, but it’s usually pretty routine.
In fact, according to real-life bounty hunters at Mr. Nice Guy Bail Bonds, “Most bounty hunting is done at a desk with endless calls, emails, and searching google maps. Then a few hours driving around. It's not so glamorous.”
Most bounty hunting reality shows aren’t “reality” at all. The events aren’t filmed in real time, but instead are re-enacted and edited, leaving out all of the dull moments and only including (and often over exaggerating) everything that is exciting and cool. As a form of entertainment, there’s not a thing wrong with it. However, it isn’t an accurate depiction of the realities of bounty hunting in the real world.
While it may not always be a day worthy of a YouTube video, the career of a bounty hunter can still be an exciting and rewarding one. The satisfaction of a job well done and knowing that you’ve done your part to help the cause of law and justice makes a career in bounty hunting one worth pursuing.
Bounty Hunting Attracts Thrill Seekers
Many people are attracted to the bounty hunting field by the promise of good pay and an exciting career choice. The realities of bounty hunting in California is often much less of an adrenaline rush than one might think, given the amount of publicity the industry gets.
“Reality” shows like ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter’ and YouTube sensation Matty Mayo would lead one to believe that a day in the life of a bounty hunter was one exciting take-down after another. But the reality of bounty hunting in California is much more mundane, though it can have its exciting moments.
Before you can get to the excitement, however, you have to first be trained and recognized by the state as a fugitive recovery agent, aka a bounty hunter.
How To Determine If A Bounty Hunting Career Is For You
If you’re considering a career in bounty hunting, you should take a good look at the reality of the job and your own skills and personality to determine if this is a good fit for you.
Bounty hunters must have:
Good analytical skills. You’ll be called on to evaluate all known information to determine what’s important, what isn’t important, and how to get the information you’re lacking.
Good people skills. A big part of bounty hunting is blending in, getting to know the people in your target’s life, and getting other people to open up to you. You’ll need them to share information with you, even when they don’t want to.
Good communication skills. You’ll have to work closely with law enforcement agents and those within the court system. You’ll be called on to submit reports on your process and results and it will be important that these reports accurately and clearly reflect the nature of your work.
Excellent self-control. You’ll face tense situations and work with people who are at low points in their life. Their ability to think clearly may be impaired and you’ll have to think clearly enough for everyone.
A command of technology. You’ll find yourself behind a computer and a telephone as much you’ll be on the road “hunting.” You’ll need to have a good understanding of how to use the information you have to find the information you need. Technology will become one of your best investigative tools.
Great investigative skills. All of these qualities combine to make you a good investigator. If you are good with people and communicate well, you can draw out a suspect or those close to them. You will be able to use your knowledge of technology to find the additional information that you need to locate your suspect. Your excellent self-control will allow you to bring the search to a successful conclusion where both you and the target are safe from harm.
If you think that a career in bounty hunting is right for you, you’ll want to pursue your educational opportunities and receive the training you need to make the dream a reality.
Becoming A California Bounty Hunter
As a California bounty hunter, you can provide invaluable service to your client’s and the community. If you have a passion for truth and justice, then a career in bounty hunting might be just the thing for you. Whatever you choose, however, think it through carefully and be certain that you’re making the decision for the right reasons. Bounty hunting can be rewarding and fulfilling when it’s the right fit for you and your skill set. But, if you choose a career in bounty hunting simply because you’ve watched some exciting TV and YouTube, you could end up bitterly disappointed.