National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Meet The Experts

The Animal Tracking Experts.


Cory Valdes
Cory is driven by the adventure and danger of the job. He is also in the USCG Reserves where he is a Tactical Boat Driver, Boarding Officer, and High Speed Vessel Pursuit Operator. His background and training makes him a natural when it comes to researching, evaluating, and guarding high-risk sites. Cory travels the world, putting his life on the line to protect humans and animals alike.

Jason Lesmeister
Jason is an avid guide, huntsmen and survivalist. He was born and raised in the wilderness of Alaska and is no stranger to adventure. With 25 years experience enduring the frontier, beast nor element intimidates Jason as he continues to maintain his home in the wild. Jason embraces the fact that there is no such thing as a routine day on the job. One day he can be in the tundra tracking wild cats and the next he could be helicoptered a remote Alaskan island to assets an encroaching bear population. There is no set way to deal with hostile situations between humans and animals, but Jason will do anything to maintain peace among the two.

Rob Hardy and Puma Ghostwalker
These two are survival experts and naturalists that have a combined 50 years of experience. Puma is a robust character, capable of attacking problems from an unorthodox, and at times reckless angle. Rob on the other hand has a much more methodical way of approaching survival and tracking. Rob and Puma balance each other out but do have many conflicting opinions when it comes to remaining alive in the wild.

Dave Vann
Dave Vann

As a firearms instructor for more than 35 years would someone, ANYONE, please teach Rob Hardy proper muzzle control so he doesn't have the muzzle of his rifle pointed at his partner half a dozen times every single episode? PLEASE?