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Ernie Brown, Jr. (Turtleman): A Truly Remarkable Man

Updated on April 9, 2015
Ernie Brown, Jr.
Ernie Brown, Jr. | Source

No portion of this work may be copied or used without sole, written permission of the representing talent agency, and the author. This article has been published with permission from the United Talent Agency.

Throughout your lifetime, there will be many people about whom you will form an opinion. Some opinions will be so-so, while others will be not so good. But, every once in a while, there will be a person who will surprise you. There ARE still kind, honest, hard-working, sincere, and passionate individuals out there in our great big world. These are the people that wake us from the slumber of our daily routines; good people doing good things. People that make us happy! Such is the story of Ernie Brown, Jr. (a.k.a. Turtleman).

Ernie was born and raised in Washington County, Kentucky. He was an avid animal lover and spent hours investigating the ways of the animals in the backwoods of his home state. By the age of 7, Ernie learned how to catch snapping turtles with his bare hands, as taught by his father and uncle. His very first snapper was 25 pounds, (Animal Planet online, 2011). He has caught thousands of snapping turtles ever since that day; hence the name “Turtleman.” During his outings in the woods Ernie’s love and respect of the animals grew. This is evident today in the way he “rescues” and releases the wild animals he is called upon to remove from residential homes and businesses (safely and with no harm to the animals). Ernie recently spent a year deep in the woods of Kentucky on a mission to fully immerse himself into the wild, so he could further study and learn the ways of the animals that live there. What passion! With his dog Lolly and his best friend Neal at his side, a catchy yell-“ya-ya-ya-ya-yay!” and a sparkle in his eyes, Ernie sets out every day on a new adventure.

These days, Ernie is very busy. His best friend, and right-hand-man, Neal James, takes phone calls at his home from the locals (and sometimes out of state folks), who put in a request for Ernie to come and rescue the wild animals that wander into their homes and businesses. Neal then travels to Ernie’s home and debriefs him on the requests, and then the two head off to save the day. Neal and Ernie have a great respect for one another, which is evident on the new T.V. hit show Call of the Wildman on Animal Planet (Sunday evenings). Neal is always concerned about Ernie during his rescues, and it is truly a pleasure to watch the two interact during the show. Fortunately, they have a few other wonderful folks to help them out on their calls; David Brady and Jake Ison. Rescuing wild animals is a very dangerous business, and everyone takes it seriously.

The residents of Kentucky are very fond of Ernie. Rather than kill them, he releases the rescued critters back into a safe location, in the wild. Ernie carefully studies their behavior before and during the “catch,” then thoughtfully chooses a name for each one. For instance, fairly recently, Neal received a call from a local, who had found animal droppings in the bottom of his well. This man had been down in the well investigating, and heard a growl, so he high-tailed it up a ladder and called Neal straight away. Because this was the man’s only water source, it was an urgent matter, so Neal drove to Ernie’s right away. The two then traveled to the home, and upon descending the well, Ernie found a treasure! An albino racoon is evidently quite rare. According to Neal, only 1 out of every 100,000 racoons is albino, so finding one is a rare experience indeed! Needless to say, after much screaming (yes, screaming, the little racoon put up quite a fuss during the rescue) Ernie caught the little guy with his bare hands (of course) and placed him in safe keeping. “Spirit” the Racoon was lucky to have been found by Ernie. He is now living happily in the woods, and far away from any wells. A long list of animals have good and proper names now; among the list are Poopy the Raccoon, as well as Tiger and Sneaky; both Snapping turtles.

Just yesterday, I had my first communication with Neal. “Ernie's grandparents called him Krushchev cause he was bald when he was a boy. He was visiting one day and a copy of the Rolling Stone magazine was laying on the table. He asked them who them people was and how did they get on that magazine. They told him that every one had a talent and the folks on the magazine's talent was making folks happy. Why do you ask this, Kruschev? He said I'm gonna make folks happy and get on that magazine!.....I believe he's almost there!!!”

I do believe Ernie is doing just that… he is making a lot of people happy. What a rare and wonderful thing, to be saving these animals from certain death at the hands of us humans. We are so privileged and lucky to have in our midst, such a strong man, with a gentle soul. How lucky are we, to be given the opportunity to watch and learn from this truly remarkable man!

Melinda Baker 12-23-11

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    • profile image

      cattana 2 years ago

      Love the Turtleman, gentle soul that rescues animals, I can honestly say he is the only celebrity I have ever had an interest in meeting other than Steve Irwin, the entire human race would be wise to take a lesson from Turtleman's life philosophy

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      For autographs and where to send letters, drawings, etc., (for autographs send a SASE large enough for an 8X10 photo - letter sized envelopes will work).

      P.O. Box 1190

      Lebanon, KY 40033

    • profile image

      breeanap 4 years ago

      What's the turtlemans address

    • profile image

      JulieG 4 years ago

      I have searched the Internet trying to find Turtleman and Neal's address. I have two little boys who can't wait to send a fan letter. This show is the best! Thank u!

    • profile image

      Tootie2 4 years ago

      Ernie is a precious man. I have prayed that he will ask Jesus into his heart, and that Jesus will bring hima Christian wife. Bless him!

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      My thoughts on a faux hub account: please do us all a favor and actually write your own, original work so we can all enjoy!

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      I just wanted to say, I appreciate everyone taking the time to read this hub. More importantly, please watch the show!

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Dona Taylor,

      It really is a fantastic show. Family friendly. The guys are so sincere both on TV and in person. The whole Turtleman crew is great!

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      donna taylor 6 hours ago

      call of a wildman show is a blessing to have on tv not often you come across a show that the entire family can watch -kids- and the message within the show is a loss amongst american's neighbor helping neighbors. this is the best show since little house on the prairie

    • profile image

      donna taylor 4 years ago

      call of a wildman show is a blessing to have on tv not often you come across a show that the entire family can watch -kids- and the message within the show is a loss amongst american's neighbor helping neighbors. this is the best show since little house on the prairie

    • profile image

      lisachapmwn 4 years ago

      i like turtleman,wonder what steve irwin would thought of him?

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      You can write Neal directly at:

      Neal James aka Banjo Neal

      P.O. Box 133

      Stanford, KY 40484

      Guaranteed, he reads his own fan mail so he will read what you send him.

    • profile image

      UrSistah 4 years ago

      What can I say? I am incredibly impressed by your passion . . . that this man, his life, his philosophy, and his actions (which are wonderful) so moved you that you made your feelings known to others and went out of your way to engage in personal contact!! KUDOS to the TurtleMan and KUDOS to you for following your heart.

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Turtlefan- please email me via the link provided in my hubpages profile. Thanks

    • profile image

      turtlefan 4 years ago

      is it possible for turtleman to come to northwest tn to catch turtles out of a cow and fishing pond

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks everyone for watching the show. They all are the most sincere bunch of folks you'll ever meet.

    • profile image

      ashjuin 4 years ago

      i am a huge fan of the turtleman i watch all of his episodes i look at

    • donotfear profile image

      donotfear 4 years ago from The Boondocks

      I'm a total Ernie Brown "Turtle Man" fan. I just love the guy, he's hysterical. A natural comedian! Glad you wrote about him. yeh!

    • profile image

      jringding 4 years ago

      He does seem like a humble and amazing guy.

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'll have to let Neal know to pass along your comments to Turtleman. Thanks so much for checking out this article. Please be sure to catch the episodes on Animal Planet. FANTASTIC television!

    • profile image

      round man 4 years ago

      Just wanted to say hi friend. Saw u on tv. Could not beleave it. Remember me in edgefield leather shop. It was good seeing u . I have thought of u a lot

    • profile image

      Digger 4 years ago

      Ye ye ye ... Live action. Turtle and fill

    • profile image

      Michelle 4 years ago

      I enjoy watching The Turtleman rescuing animals from certain situations and relocating them safely.

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      The wildman is pretty cool for doing what he does. :-)

    • profile image

      candy 5 years ago

      i love the wild nam

    • profile image

      ginger brown 5 years ago

      just wondering if turtle man is single and wants a girlfriend

    • profile image

      KYGIRL 5 years ago

      True Kentucky Gusto

    • profile image

      Cheyenne 5 years ago

      I think that Ernie the turtleman is awesome and wonderful, I was wondering if he and the animals are okay, after the tornado that they had in his state, I just love him and I am praying for him and the animals.

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you all for your enthusiastic approval of this hub. I think that Ernie is just awesome!

    • profile image

      MalloryJ77 5 years ago

      I am a big fan! And that was a beautifully written article; thank you Melinda ;]

    • profile image

      Parker 5 years ago

      I can say from spending time with them in Marion County.....they truly are "good, good" folks! Ernie is a role model we can be proud of.....no drinking, drugs, smoking, etc....and he is so full of life! His fans are his #1 priority and he goes out of his busy way to embrace them whole-heartily!

    • profile image

      Fellow NWCO 5 years ago

      A great Kentuckian indeed!!

    • profile image

      Rodney Parsons (Call of the Wildman Facebook) 5 years ago

      This is very nice of you.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Wow! He is a great man to save the animals. Vote up and Awesome.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I applaud anyone who works to save rather than destroy animals. I have always thought that we are supposed to be caretakers and guardians of this planet and all the animals residing thereon. Thanks for writing this great Hub!

    • smarter4ever profile image
      Author

      smarter4ever 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks! I enjoyed writing it!

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 5 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      Sounds like a down-to-Earth, great guy to me! Wish everybody would be that straight forward!

      Great article!

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