Mountain Man Back In Jail, Supporters Want to Arrest Judge


Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Natural living mountain man, Ernie Tertelgte of Manhattan, Montana has become an Internet favorite for his tenacious defense of sovereignty and strict adherence to original court system procedures, even acting as his own defense.

Last year, we showcased his breathtaking speech to a judge that made her walk out of the room. In November he was at it again, not so much as physically standing up to be detained by bailiffs because even that would be acknowledging kangaroo court mandates. When we left off he was awaiting a sentencing and received a $1500 fine. All of this, you may recall, surrounded Ernie attempting to catch a fish and eat without having a fishing licence and a charge of resisting arrest.

The escalation continues as the court system will not concede. Tertelgte was rushed through another trial on January 27 without his many supporters allowed presence. When they were finally allowed in he was being hauled away again for contempt of court – for not removing his well-recognized three-corner hat.

This time his friends want more justice.

You won’t catch any footage of his latest courtroom protest, as not only were friends kept waiting outside the courtroom, but all photos and video recording attempts were banned. Also missing from this interplay was the original judge, Wanda Drusch.

Justice of the Peace, Rick West started the hearing by asking Tertelgte to remove his hat. When that prompted another speech by Tertelgte he was taken away for contempt of court, fined $500, and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Almost as many law enforcement officers were guarding the courthouse as Mr. Tertelgte’s friends – officers were upped to 20 in number at this trial. (source)

A supporter said:

Taking off your hat is not illegal, it’s not immoral, it’s not unethical and if the judge makes a law that somebody has to take it off, all that’s doing is forcing his will upon a man who has his own alienable [sic?] rights and it’s unjust.

Here is the latest development that involves his friends and their reaction to Ernie’s latest detainment:

The news report is calling them an unorganized militia that is threatening the judge with arrest.

Ernie’s friend William Wolf says:

This is not about arresting a judge per Se, this is about holding him and every law agency to the same standards that they hold you and I to. This isn’t about vengeance; this is about justice.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin, catching the remark and worried about threats that affect the judge’s family, said:

When you start talking about arresting people and kidnapping people, and that’s unacceptable and nothing good comes from that.

Like we explained to Wolf, that’s unacceptable. For someone in the family to live in fear, that’s not the way things work. (source)

You don’t say, Sheriff? What of the family of a man who went fishing and didn’t offer his name to law enforcement? How is a citizen’s arrest suddenly kidnapping but repeatedly jailing a man who objects in court is considered just? What about citizens living in fear of aggressive confrontations by law enforcement in every area of life – driving, fishing, sleeping, getting ready in the morning

Interestingly, Sheriff Gootkin compares the group of supporters to the Freemen group and ultimately, to him, a disease. Is the Whirling disease he is referring to the same kind that comes from a parasite that affects fish? Something to think about … Meanwhile, the court refuses to hear Ernie’s protests or consider dropping the original charge, so the court system has used untold amounts of taxpayer money. Clearly this is not just about the “justice” regarding a fishing license. Perhaps there is something else caught up on the hook and line…

Gootkin says they are willing to listen to their side, but obviously, Tertelgte and his friends are not actually being heard. Throughout all the “hearings,” the judges have yet to address his legitimate points about the courtroom procedures.

Wolf has responded to the original report via a Facebook comment. Here is one excerpt from his lengthy response:

I am tired of the agents of the law attempting to paint the exercise of a citizens arrest as a vigilante, Freeman type event. When the citizens have only the government to rely upon to investigate their own, we have a serious problem where the citizen of this nation are denied their fundamentally protected rights.

They can smear and detract from the issue at heart all they want, but the Internet is still watching to see WWMMD – What Would Mountain Man Do?


Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

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14 Comments on "Mountain Man Back In Jail, Supporters Want to Arrest Judge"

  1. sheltomlee . | March 23, 2016 at 3:18 am | Reply

    Subsistence fishing and hunting is not illegal.

    • Paul Scheppe | June 29, 2016 at 6:58 pm | Reply

      For a man that was trying to get out of court in a 50,000 dollar SUV I don’t think subsistence fishing/hunting is going to fly…

      • What’s that mean? Are you saying he’s really a rich guy in stinky disguise?

        • Paul Scheppe | July 1, 2016 at 5:38 am | Reply

          I don’t know about stinky, though if he is really trying to follow the mountain man persona…. I don’t know about rich, though I cannot afford such a nice ride… Yet , I can pay my fishing license fees. I just think he is one of those anti government people that has taken on this persona to try and disassociate himself with the the laws of the United States. Unfortunate for him he will have his 15 minutes of fame or infamy that will ultimately end badly. The sad thing though is we will have those who try to follow his misguided logic and add to the courts problems.

          • Maybe he just caught a ride from someone with a nice car.

          • Paul Scheppe | July 3, 2016 at 6:58 am |

            Possibly but it does call into question the whole mountain man persona he has adopted. If he wants us to believe that he is living by the standards of the mountain man era shouldn’t he have picked up his walking stick and hiked away?

    • If that were true he should have just made a motion to dismiss due to failure to allege a crime. It would have gone a lot better than all this “living man” and “legal fiction” and “where’s your bond” crap.

      • I agree. What he did was just antagonizing the judge. I should also point out that my original statement might not be true depending on what state you are in. My state allows a starving person to catch a fish and eat it without having a fishing license. No idea about that state, though.

  2. Paul Scheppe | June 29, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Reply

    yes he is free, to leave if he does not like the laws of this country and the state…

    • Actually it costs $2,350 to give up your citizenship. lol… If it’s worth so much, to be a US citizen, why do you have to pay them to take it back lol

  3. Paul Scheppe | June 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Reply

    Run for office… change the law!

  4. Paul Scheppe | June 29, 2016 at 7:07 pm | Reply

    The people vote, the people agree with the court. pay the fine and buy a license, live within the laws. disappear back into obscurity.

  5. Daniel Smith | July 28, 2016 at 1:45 am | Reply

    The supporter who says “refusing to take off a hat isn’t immoral” is completely wrong. The judiciary protects him. It protects all of us. You can’t just tell the court to go **** itself.

  6. It would be respectful to leave someone who isn’t bothering anybody alone. Instead of forcing your will upon them. The tax/license aspect is another tool to force everyone to have job, and fall in line like lemmings.

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