Call of the Wildman TV Poster Image

Call of the Wildman

Mild animal rescue show stars colorful Kentucky woodsman.
Parents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most animal removals are done to help the animal get to a safer environment. The removal/elimination of some pests are also done for the health and safety of the people and other animals living on the property.

Positive role models

Turtleman may remove critters, but he loves animals and does not want to harm them. The community has a lot of respect for what he does.


Turtleman carries a steel blade he calls "Thunder." He often wrestles with aggressive wildlife in order to capture them, and is sometimes bitten. Injuries sustained by cows and other animals from some of the animals being captured are also featured.

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Logos aren't prominently visible, but old Ford pick-up trucks are visible. Turtleman drives a Nissan truck with his name painted on the back of it. He is often paid in goods (like fresh milk) as well as cash. The series serves as a mild promotional vehicle for his animal rescue work.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series features animal rescues conducted in unique (but humane) ways by a lively character who lives in the Kentucky backwoods. It's pretty mild, but contains some scenes of aggressive animals fighting capture. Men are sometimes shown with their shirts off. The series sends strong messages about respecting and protecting animals.

What's the story?

CALL OF THE WILDMAN is a reality series about Ernie Brown, Jr., known to the community as \"Turtleman,\" as he helps people get rid of troublesome critters from their properties. Born and raised in the backwoods of Kentucky, Turtleman uses his wilderness savvy and his bare hands to capture potentially dangerous animals like snakes, big snapping turtles, and angry raccoons. Assistant Neal James and dog Lolly Turtleman usually accompany him. Whether placing snakes in a room to eliminate mice to diving into murky, gas-filled ponds, nothing stops him from doing what he has to do in order to find, capture, and if possible, remove animals humanely from the property. After a successful catch, Turtleman releases his trademark celebratory yell, and then transports the live animals to areas where they can be let go and live safely.

Is it any good?


Turtleman, who became a local celebrity after a YouTube video about his turtle hunting went viral, demonstrates his unique bond with the wild, as well as his flair for tracking, snaring, and wrestling various animals and reptiles native to the area. Throughout it all, he offers some humorous commentary about his genuine affection and concern for these animals.

Some folks may find the animal rescue work featured here interesting, but viewers will most likely find Turtleman's country lifestyle, which includes no running water and an outhouse, curiously entertaining. Overall, it's the kind of show that families can tune into and enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what the term "backwoods" means. What defines this kind of culture? How does the media present people who live deep in the woods without modern conveniences? What are some of the stereotypes about people who choose to live this way? Do you think these portrayals are accurate?

  • Why do you think Turtleman has agreed to do this show? What does he stand to gain or lose?

TV details

Premiere date:October 30, 2011
Cast:Ernie Brown Jr, Neal James
Network:Animal Planet
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:Streaming

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Parent Written bypaulgarling January 28, 2012

animal saver

Ernie Brown may be a backwoods hick BUT he is one good person and has a positive attitude that is needed in today's world.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old August 7, 2013

Ye Ye Ye!!!

This show is great! One of my family's favorites. Turtleman and the team are really funny and love animals. There is no violence and the only reason Ernie carry's "Thunder" around on to free animals in nets. NO language or anything else!!! Let your kids watch
Parent Written byCowser March 30, 2012

Great family show!

This is a great family show! My 6 and 9 years love the show (as do I) and Turtleman is a great role model. There is no swearing and Turtleman really loves and respects the animals he catches (and removes). Turtleman may come off as bit of a backwards, but he is clearly a lot smarter than what his simple image lets on. From what I have read on line, Turtleman is the real deal and not just a TV creation. He is a local legend in KY and really in this to spread his love for all animals. Great TV and I am looking forward to more episodes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models