The Turtle Man: ‘Kentucky’s best kept secret’
With apologies to my old Kentucky home for setting back its effort to overcome hillbilly stereotypes, we present Ernie Brown Jr., the Turtle Man — snagger of snapping turtles.
“I try not to smile cause I got my teeth knocked out by a chain saw,” he explains to the photographer in this piece for Kentucky Afield TV.
Brown, from Lebanon, Ky., calls himself “Kentucky’s best-kept secret” and “the poorest famous guy around.” Brown travels to farms and rids ponds of turtles causing problems such as biting horses and cows.
You can also find an excellent story and video about Brown in the Lexington Herald.
Brown, unlike most other turtle eradicators, works only with his hands. As for the shrill yell he emits with each catch, that’s not hillbilly — not purely a rebel yell, he explains — but half native American, as he says he is.
Though he says the turtles make for “good eatin’,” Brown insists he takes the turtles to ponds where they won’t cause problems. “I’m kind of like a warrior, like Robin Hood,” he says. “I bring a turtle out of this pond, put him in another where he won’t do no violence.”
“I don’t kill it,” says The Turtle Man. “I only catch it. Don’t never torture nothing. That’s my name of the game. That’s how you stay into it. Keep people liking you.”
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, catch, ernie brown, hillbilly, kentucky, livestock, ponds, rebel yell, removal, snag, snapping, snapping turtles, swamp, the turtle man, turtleman, turtles, wildlife