CoffeeHangover

Snapping Turtle Harvesting

Rate this topic

38 posts in this topic

Had no idea it takes them that long to grow. Regularly free them from the knuckleheads that leave the chicken legs tided to the rail at a brackish pond. They swallow the leg whole.Most of these are 20”+.

Same place. i was fishing when I got the feeling I was being watched. Look around no one. Looking at the bank and overgrowth I see a tree limb. Then it winked at me! Turtles neck and head was 2 feet out of the water. It then dove and swam past me. Was easily 4 feet long. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 4:56 PM, jhndoe said:

In the late 80s I knew a guy that caught them and sold them to a guy who owned a Chinese restaurant.  I don’t know if he served them or kept them for personal use. But I remember seeing a picture of about ten he had lined up. And the guy bought all that were brought to him.  

I have been to a place in Asia where they tease the snapper out with an ice pick. When snapper grabs ice pick, they twist point down thru bottom of jaw and stretch neck out. 

That gives them a good slice to bleed turtle from. They crack the shell and mix shots of rice wine, turtle balls and cobra venom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 6:36 PM, clambellies said:

I wouldn't eat a snapping turtle if I was starving to death.  You might as well eat rat poison.   They live a very long time and the waters they live in have been polluted a very long time.

That’s what they make turtle soil with. Snapping turtles

mention of turtle soup. Heck, you’ll probably find several mentions. This noble stew (and its mock counterpart) was served at presidential inaugurations, on the first transcontinental trains and in crowded boardinghouses across the growing country. 

Taft’s favorite food, and given that the White House had to custom-build a bathtub to accommodate his girth, you’ve got to respect the man’s opinion.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, ccb said:

That’s what they make turtle soil with. Snapping turtles

mention of turtle soup. Heck, you’ll probably find several mentions. This noble stew (and its mock counterpart) was served at presidential inaugurations, on the first transcontinental trains and in crowded boardinghouses across the growing country. 

Taft’s favorite food, and given that the White House had to custom-build a bathtub to accommodate his girth, you’ve got to respect the man’s opinion.

 

I believe diamondback terrapin is actually the turtle used in the luxury soups and stews of the rich and famous. 

 

A much smaller turtle that lives in Salt and brackish water and feeds mostly on shellfish. Supposedly a delicacy. 

 

Overharvesting made terrapin extremely hard to come by. It's likely that other types of turtles may have been passed off as terrapin once they got scarce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a great drinking spot down in Key West called Turtle Kraals ... back in the day when turtle soup was the craze, this place had big pens where they kept green turtles live before they were shipped off and turned into soup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eating turtles has never been a part of my culture....not that I'm not down with it.

I've always befriended turtles and have encountered them throughout the world.

I tend to like to help them and have rescued many throughout the years......most crossing streets.

I've even found freshwater species in the surf of saltwater and put them in a cooler...then dropped them off in a near by lake.

I had the opportunity to go snorkeling beyond the reefs in Hawaii and have some Pacific Sea Turtles give me a ride of a lifetime on a really cool vacation with my dad in the early nineties.  Locales were overheard after the trip to say those main-landers were loco ....because of the "Bull's and Mako's" beyond the reef.

 I've seen many Atlantic Sea Turtles during the Albie Season off Cape Cod .  Very cool.

I've had them on my property laying eggs.

 

The best was ....I've told this story before here...

I was enjoying a summer job after high school and was picking up some extra bucks going to car auctions.....

They'd hire us to jump into a car filled with 6 drivers and then we'd all drive to the shop.

I chose a nice convertible  Fiat coupe.....

We had a beautiful North Shore to South Shore Gumball Rally to Weymouth.

I took a short cut in N. Quincy and on the rotary saw a huge snapping turtle crossing the clover leaf.  I immediately pulled over and saved the turtle from an immediate death.  I quickly put him in the boot and headed to the shop,...of course I never told the shop mechanic about the turtle!   :point:

I did end up letting it go in a real nice swamp conveniently right next to the property of the shop.   

BE NICE TO TURTLES!!!

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 10:31 PM, zenman said:

Found a hatchling in a Home Depot parking lot and kept it as a pet for 12 years, finally let it go when the wife said enough. They will eat just about anything including birds that fly into windows, road kill, anything my neighbors cat dragged home and left on their doorstep. Natures aquatic garbage disposals. At 12+ years old Spartacus was around 10-12”  and hadn’t skipped many meals. 

When you had him where did you keep him?  What did he do during the winter months ? Can they actually be domesticated ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I grew up eating them occasionally.  On a side note, one of my best friends is a herpetologist who specializes in turtles.  To skin one, the easiest is to cut the head off and tie the skin left to a garden hose.  Let the water do the work. 

 

I would NOT eat one in the north east or in many parts of the US.  They live a very long time and are getting more uncommon.  Besides that, the bioaccumulation on them has to be insane.  You asked how old a 12 incher is...probably 10 years old or around there.  They can get really big and old.  You can count rings on them like a tree.  You'd be amazed at how old some turtles are. 

 

They do taste good.  The loin meat is my favorite.  Turtles are very common where I grew up and some species are endangered like everywhere but my home area.  We'll keep one every now and then running set lines for catfish if it looks like it will die. 

 

One other thing, don't pick them up by the tail if you're moving one.  That can kill them easily.  You won't notice it at all and it will seem fine.  Stick your fingers under the shell by the back legs with your thumbs on top the shell.  You might get a little scratched, but it won't get you.  It's scary the first couple times you do it. 

Edited by nomadicbohunk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always got the object of my desire to grab a stick in its mouth and then while holding the stick firmly jammed in its mouth picked it up by the rear of the shell. I’ve seen some in local ponds that have to weigh 100 pounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/27/2020 at 1:49 PM, CoffeeHangover said:

With a limit of 12" they can't have had time to absorb that much, could they?

regarding that thought, acknowledge that they are at the top of their food chain, and it is not an issue of what they absorb, but that snapping turtles are top predators in their food chain.
Top predators consume the total of all the (toxins; heavy metals, etc.)  which the rest of the food chain ladder below them has collectively consumed over their entire lifetime, and each in successively increasing concentrations. , in that, the smallest fish consume toxin-laden plants; plants which have concentrated the toxin levels in the water. Those smallest fish are then eaten, en mass, by an individual fish, next rung up the ladder. In each rung up that food chain ladder, the toxin is again re-concentrated, all the way up to the top predators, so even before their adolescence, top predators are consuming concentratedly contaminated food. This is why the most common warnings we see are on sword, tuna, etc... The tops of their food chains. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best turtle soup I ever had was in New Orleans. I'll roll the dice and eat turtle at a restaurant but won't eat a turtle that I know its provenance. 

Long live mystery meat!
:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had turtle a couple times in the BVIs.  Once in curry, and was fairly good.  Another time on Anegada, where it was one of the worst meals I ever had. Still in the shell. I ended up throwing it off the dock when no one was looking. :upck:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.