Add to that sharks, cobras, crocodiles, jaguars, killer whales, wolves and elephants and you have a pretty good idea of the kind of wild creatures that endlessly fascinate and inspire yours truly.
Cute and cuddly critters are alright but I prefer those that bite, eat, kill, maim and stomp people into mud holes.
I call it Extreme Wildlife ™.
To this day I overflow with excitement encountering these kinds of creatures and spend hundreds of hours a year studying and photographing them. Fishing and hunting I love dearly but to a large extent is it my job so there is some pressure involved.
I relax by seeking out, photographing and studying everything from the great cats to sharks.
Between viewing many episodes of " Mutual of Omahas Wild Kingdom," various Jacques Cousteau specials, seeing "Jaws" and encountering some pretty amazing animals in the wild as a kid, I was hooked. Funny thing is my enthusiasm for these kinds of creatures runs even deeper now. In fact, this very subject makes up about 75 percent of Editor-In-Chief Don Zaidles and my phone conversations.
You can join me for a an exciting, educational day celebrating these kinds of wild creatures at Extreme Wildlife ™ Day Sat. June 30 at Bass Pro Shops in Pearland. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. we will have free seminars, live animals and educational displays pertaining to natures most intense creatures.
Seminars include Jerry Hestand of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) at 11 a.m. talking about "The Legend of Boggy Creek: The Souths Famous Bigfoot". Jerry is a wonderful guy and has lots of knowledge about the true story behind the famous film as well the Bigfoot phenomenon in the American South from a scientific (non paranormal) perspective.
At 1p.m. I ask the question "Cougars in the Houston Area?"
This seminar will talk about evidence for cougars roaming not only the Greater Houston Area but throughout the Pineywoods of East Texas. It will include never before seen game camera photos as well as the debut of new information on these great cats in the Lone Star State.
Closing out the day my cat research partner Terri Werner tells "The Truth about Texas Black Panther." Terri is facility director at Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge and has an incredible knowledge of the subject and she will share some of our theories as well as telling exactly what "black panther" is and is not.
Photo: Chester Moore
For the entire event we have some awesome booths and displays including Pets-A-Plenty: The Ultimate Reptile Shop with some of their super serpents and other creatures. The TWRC Wildlife Center will be on hand with some of their native Texas species to talk educate the public about some of our most important animals.
Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge will have all kinds of big cat educational pieces including an awesome replica skull and claws. I will debut the Extreme Wildlife ™ booth with everything from shark jaws to huge snakeskins, plus the TBRC will have some killer Bigfoot stuff for the crypto fans and the curious.
The event is free and open to the public and is perfect for kids to attend. In fact every kid that comes through gets a special prize. And every adult that comes through gets a print of the cougar photo you see with this column simply by mentioning they saw this in Texas Fish & Game (TF&G).
Terri Werner and I debut our new web radio program Extreme Wildlife Radio that night and will be working hand in hand with TF&G. We will offer an exclusive 10-minute bonus from our program as exclusive podcast for TF&G newsletter subscribers only. That means if you have not signed up for the newsletter go to www.fishgame.com/newsletter-signup.php and do it now. If you like wildlife, you will not want to miss the podcast.
I want to reach people on behalf of wildlife, especially the kids and I know extreme is the way to go. At least it is the most exciting.