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…

10 Questions with Chad Brown

10 Questions with Chad Brown

By Scott Wesley

Chad Brown is a former all-pro linebacker in the NFL and is the owner of Pro ExoticsShip Your Reptilesand The Reptile Report. Chad and Robyn have done some amazing things for the reptile industry through the years, and continue to this day with their newest venture – The Reptile Report. Check it out and bookmark it!

1. What was the very first reptile you owned?

The first reptile I owned was a beautiful boa that I named Fear. I named her that because everyone in my dorm was afraid of her. I got her my freshman year at the U. of Colorado. By that time in my life, I had caught 100’s of snakes and lizards around my home in southern California, but that boa was the first snake I bought and owned.

2. Is Robyn your “Brofriend”, “Man Crush” or “BFF” and how long have you known each other?

I met Robyn when I was a junior at U of Colorado. I guess that was 1991? He got his first snakes from me, a baby boa I produced and a ball python I took in as a rescue and nursed back to health. We have worked together at PE for almost 20 years. We have a great business relationship, and a great out of the office friendship as well. But none of that “Man Crush” stuff. ok :)?

3. What is your greatest accomplishment – on or off the field besides your family?

Playing in the NFL for 15 years was pretty special. Being married almost 20 years is pretty special too. But to answer the question, I’m hoping I haven’t had my greatest accomplishment yet. I’m only 41, too much life to live to have already to the high point.

4. Where did you go on your last vacation?

I just got back from Marco Island, FL. The NFL retired players union have their annual meetings there. I’m a beach kind of guy, so hanging out with great football players, my family and getting in some body surfing is always a great time! I’m hoping to go to west Africa soon with a film crew to do a special on ball pythons! Be on the look out of this sometime next year

5. What was the first reptile company / big breeder you can recall back when PE started?

Before I started PE I was friends with Kamuran Tepedelen of Bushmaster Reptiles. He was and still is a great inspiration to me as far as reptiles go. To have the chance to go to his house and see and hold reptilesthat I had read about in books was truly awesome.

6. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

The last Twilight movie. I’m not a fan but I try my best to be a good Dad, so I took the kids when it came out. I’m much more of a watch a movie at home kind of guy. Comedies seem to be my first choice.

7. Who hit harder – you, Hines Ward or Bill Cowher? 

I’ve tackled Hines a few times but I’ve never been hit by him. I guess lucky me, right? I have been spit on a number of times by Bill Cowher. He is a very close talker, and like the saying goes, “say it, don’t spray it”!

8. One thing you could change about the reptile world / community?

Each time I go to a show or a reptile event, I’m saddened by the bad feelings some folks in the community have towards each other. Our reptile world is pretty small and it’s too bad we all can’t get along. It makes dinner plans at the shows tricky! Can’t have these guys together, or that guy doesn’t want to go because this guy is going. So my one change to the reptile world would be somehow get all my reptile friends to be friends.

9. What is the coolest reptile you have hatched at PE in your opinion?

Wow, tough question. I still get a thrill from hatching Leopard Geckos! Over the years at PE we have hatched everything from super high end ball pythons, to our own line of striped blood python, to Gilas, to Arizona banded geckos. But the coolest reptile we have hatched are Green Tree monitors. It took us a longtime to get babies hatching, but man, the wait has been well worth it!

10. If you could live somewhere else besides Colorado – where would it be and why?

San Diego has always been a place I’ve talked about moving when my kids are older. I love the ocean, and LLLReptile is there!