10 Questions with Ton Jones – November 2012

The Reptile Times

Ton Jones

By Scott Wesley

Clinton “Ton” Jones has run a reptile and exotic rescue for years, but is now best known for his starring role on the show “Auction Hunters” on Spike TV.  He is a man of many parts as we will discuss in some of these questions!

1. Let’s stick with reptiles for just a bit before we expand the conversation. What got you into reptiles in the first place and why?

What got me into reptiles was growing up in the desert and after school going out flipping boards chasing snakes and lizards ..great memories of my youth.

2. Besides working with reptiles – I hear you also work with exotics like big cats.  How did you get experience with those guys, and what is your favorite one to work with?

While working with snakes I have met a lot of people in the exotic animal world and I hung out with them and helped out at there sanctuaries after time I learned how to work with a lot of exotics including big cats. My favorite is a black leopard named Zoro .

3. After IMDb’ing you – you have done some weird stuff.  How did you end up on Dr. 90210 in a show called “Boobs, Dogs & Snakes” ?  That is more of a rhetorical question, but expand anyhow….

LMAO lets just say one of my friends was the Dr and another friend was the  producer and after a long night of BBQ and drinks a bet was made and I lost ….

4. Rumor has it you are coming out with a line of Rum bearing your name…  What input do you get to have on a project like this and what will the name be?  Any release date so we can look for it?

I have final say on this project but I do take the advice from my partners on just about everything. The rum will be called TON’s Trading co. Drunken Sailor  It’s a spiced rum. Looking to be released early next year.

5. Besides your TV show schedule – you travel the country doing many of the reptile industry shows as I am sure many of our readers know.  Is it harder to find time to do some of the things you use to do, or do you still manage to do the side stuff that you enjoy?

I have had to learn to manage my time very carefully but I don’t get to go camping and fishing as much as I would like but I’m going to make more time next year.

6. Something I found really interesting in talking to you was where the “stuff” ended up going from Auction Hunters and how much you actually help out a variety of charitable organizations.  Can you give that run-down again for our readers?

We donate to a lot of items such as clothes, dishes, unopened toys and other items to organizations and we recycle a lot of paper and electronics trying to limit our waste to a minimum keeping our carbon foot print as small as possible.

7. You have an amazing rattlesnake collection including Albino Speckled Rattlesnakes. How did you come across those, and what got you into keeping rattlers to begin with?

Over the years I have been lucky enough to work with Joel at Forever Wild exotic animal sanctuary in Phelan and he has the permits to keep hots so I have worked with Joel over the years putting together an impressive collection including a lot of albino rattlesnakes for display in there learning center where we can teach people about them and help get rid of some of the untrue rumors about them.

8. Having known you for years, I found it purely entertaining to watch customers walk by and get almost flustered when talking to you (especially those two girls at the show). Does anyone ever get “too in-your-face”, or do you still enjoy every fan that comes up to you?

It is mostly fun but there is moments where it’s too much.  I have been drenched in beer at ball games from happy drunk fans trying to hug me and I get the random drunk guy that will sit down at my table when I’m trying to eat with friends telling me how much he loves my show while spitting and drooling on my food the whole time 2 inches from my face.

9. Have you made TMZ yet or anything like that?  If not – do you consciously think about what you are doing all the time, or do you just ignore that stuff and live your life like you always have?

I figure it takes too much effort trying to be something other than what I am. I’m still a big kid at heart and love to hangout with friends camping fishing and chasing snakes at night …if people don’t like what I do or how I live my life they can kiss my ass…lol

10. I heard your show was picked up for another 26 episodes (congrats by the way!).  For the fans of your show – do you see yourself doing this for at least a few more years and do you still enjoy it like it was day 1 ?

I still enjoy doing this and I hope for more years of the show and every box I open is as fun as the first  that is what makes my job fun…