One of my little Vices is watching Dog The Bounty Hunter. I love that show, the characters, the hunt, even the Chapman family I just can’t get enough.

The show is a reality series that follows Duane “Dog” Chapman and his family of bounty hunters as they track down bail jumpers. In America when people are arrested they can often get out of jail until their trial by paying bail. (Read: My horrible surprise, there’s no bail in Japan!)  Those who can’t afford the bail go to bail bondsman who front the money under the condition that the person shows up for trial.  If the person bails and goes on the run (bail jumpers) then the state has a right to seize the money provided by the bail bondsman unless the bondsman or bounty hunter, in this case Dog, can track him down.

I started watching the show late in the game so I missed a lot of episodes of the first seasons but I’ve tried to get my hands on everything I could.  It’s amazing watching them change as a hunting unit, just in the couple of years that I’ve seen them on air.  Looking from the first season you can see their weapons and techniques evolve.

Dog doesn’t carry a gun with him and so relies on manpower and pepper spray.  At the beginning of the series they used hand held bear spray or mace.  Then they moved on to paint gun pellets fired from what looks like standard paint ball guns but in the latter seasons they’ve moved onto paint ball guns that look like actual weapons.   Watching them is like watching some sort of red-neck tactical unit storming a target house.

It’s not just the armament that has improved but their search techniques too.   In the first seasons they used maps, and personal knowledge of their communities.  In a lot of cases they didn’t know what was waiting for them but now they’re armed with iphones and ipads where they can use Google Maps’ Street View to find out exactly where the perp lives and what the neighborhood looks like.  I’ve even seen a couple of episodes where they use facebook to catch their prey.  Either the idiot bailjumper doesn’t have his privacy set to “friends only” or the Chapmans hack the bail jumpers facebook account to see personal communication.  It’s amazing watching the show seeing how technology has changed not just our lives but even the art of bounty hunting.

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