Presumably every nature TV host has had that one early experience with nature that ends up shaping their career – the thrill of first glimpsing a rare species perhaps, or interacting with a wild animal for the first time. For Casey Anderson, host of National Geographic's 'America the Wild' and Kinect Nat Geo TV (an eight-episode series of interactive shows for the Xbox 360), it was a little more intense. While working at one of his first jobs at a Montana wildlife preserve, Anderson tried to intervene in a fight between wolves. He was then attacked by the entire pack, but was able to narrowly escape thanks to thick coveralls. "I'm standing there in what are now Carhartt Daisy Dukes, and I had to get right back on the horse," he recalls. "Now I look back and realize I had done everything wrong. This was my dream job and I nearly got killed." Thankfully, Anderson is still alive and well and able to tell us what to do when you bump into a mountain lion, why playing dead can get you killed, and why you should never try to win a shootout with a bear. Launch Gallery >>
Hire a guide.
A walk in the woods or a leisurely hike takes on a whole new meaning when you're in big game or predator country. While it may seem stuffy or even wussified, hiring a professional guide can take an otherwise ordinary visit and really maximize your experience. "I think guides are great, and going out into a new environment with them is a great jump-off point," Anderson says. "They understand the habitat, can find animal tracks, understand where they are during certain times of the day or what they're eating certain times of the year. You'll learn something and they'll keep you safe."