"He was kind of like a kid in a candy store, he just kept picking up teeth, " said Hancharick, who is executive director of Buena Vista Museum of Natural History.
Howser was the homespun host of public television's popular "California's Gold" series. He died at his home Sunday at the age of 67. The cause of death has not yet been released.
"California's Gold" and other similar programs hosted by Howser explored places all over California, taking viewers to some off-the-beaten-track spots, as well as the more familiar sights.
His style was simple, direct and effective in delivering insights in a distinctive twang from his native Tennessee.
"Was he an icon? You bet!" said Rick Davis, former executive director of the Kern County Board of Trade. Davis often worked with Howser when the host came to do stories about people or places in Kern County.
"Huell had a way of relating to everybody, he was truly a storyteller," said Davis.
Howser focused his camera lens on numerous places in Kern County, such as Wasco, Taft, Tejon Ranch, the Crystal Palace, Wool Growers restaurant, Dewar's Candy Shop, and, most recently, the Cesar Chavez Foundation in Keene.
"He was always up, always looking on the bright side," said Davis.
"That's how I will always remember him."