Turtleman in Oldham County!
Granges Abbott lures
TV star to his home to rid pests
will feature Browns capture of skunk
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (December 2012) When Tony Abbotts
property was invaded by wild critters, he knew just who to call Ernie
Brown Jr., better known as Turtleman. Brown was on the scene
and bagged the pests before the sun went down.
Abbott knew he was in trouble when a skunk invaded a building on his
property and refused to leave. The skunk had a hole outside of
the building where he buried himself, he said.
recently filmed an
episode of his popular
Call of the Wildman
TV show in La Grange,
Ky., with local resident
Tony Abbott. The
episode is scheduled
to air soon on cable
TVs Animal Planet.
Abbott, a chainsaw artist, usually carves his artwork
under the shade of a tree on his property in Oldham County. When a rat
snake got into his log pile, he knew Turtleman could catch the varmints
and rid him of this nuisance.
Im a big fan, said Abbott of the Turtlemans
Call of the Wildman show, which airs weekly on cable TVs
Animal Planet channel. His coming to Oldham County was the best
day of my life, Abbott says. With his signature yell, Turtleman
dug around until he ousted the critters.
A Washington County, Ky., native, Brown gained fame for running full
speed and jumping into green or murky farm ponds to capture turtles
using a technique taught to him by his father and uncle. At age 7, he
began catching snapping turtles from ponds near his home, the largest
being a 25-pounder.
He was noticed by Animal Planet TV show producers when he was featured
on Kentucky Educational Televisions Kentucky Afield.
His bare-handed turtle catching technique in the backwoods of Kentucky
made for reality TV at its finest.
Brown is always accompanied by his dog, Lolly, and friend, Neal James,
a.k.a. Squirrel. Brown is known for catching wild animals
with his bare hands and without hurting them, and then releasing them
back into the wild. Many episodes are filmed in Kentucky.
Abbott had actually met Brown earlier this year in March. Abbott had
created a chainsaw carving of the popular critter hunter and took it
to Lebanon, located in Marion County, Ky., where the now-famous turtle
hunter lives. He entered it in a carving show and ended up being taped
for a segment of a show for Animal Planet.
While there, it took some time before Abbott found Brown. He tried going
through the local newspaper office and then the local tourism department
before bumping into a woman who said she was Turtlemans neighbor.
She contacted Brown immediately and introduced him to Abbott.
hams it up with
Tony Abbott of
La Grange, Ky.,
during a recent
filming of Call o
f the Wildman reality
TV show. Abbott
made a wood carvin
g for his famous guest
that is pictured above.
The pair struck up a friendship, so it was only natural
that Abbott contact Turtleman when he returned home and couldnt
get rid of the rat snake and skunk.
He really is like what you see on TV, said Abbott. Hes
so down to earth.
When Brown and his crew came to Oldham County and visited Abbott a few
months after initially meeting him to shoot footage for his show, it
was so exciting. Id never done anything like that before,
Abbott said. They filmed a lot of my carvings while they were
Squirrel, who is one of Turtlemans friends and sometimes appears
on the show, is someone Abbott sees a lot.
While Brown and his film crew were in town, they dined with Abbott at
As a token of his appreciation, Abbott has created a totem pole out
of a pine tree in Browns yard for him. Abbott will soon be moving
to Lebanon, where he will have the chance to visit more often with his
Brown catches an average of 300 turtles a year and has been injured
33 times. He has caught more than 12,000 turtles to date, plus many
more critters of the wild.
Quoting a phrase from the popular cable show, Abbott said Turtleman
was live action all the time.
More can be learned about Tony Abbott and the Turtlemans
visit on Facebook. Learn more about the show at www.Animal.Discovery.com.
It is not known yet when the Call of the Wildman program
on Abbott will air on Animal Planet but new episodes air each Sunday
at 8 p.m.
Back to December 2012