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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have no clue :? where to put this post, but guess this page will do... Can anyone tell me, step by step how to kill, clean, cut and package a snapping turtle. Also, how to prepare (cook) them? Thanks in advance. IronKnees
 

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this is much less a reply than you want but it is the only thing i know/experienced along this line and it involves a story-which is true, by the way.
one saturday morning way long ago- i was living in gretna( west bank of new orleans area)-- next door neighbor an me went over to a bar to have a beer or two. yea i know-saturday morning--but ya have to understand that this is a different part of the world.
we were in this old tin bar, with a number of other folks, just drinking beer and talking. in this bar, as is common to almost all of these kind of establishments, they also cooked.
in thru the screen door walked a man with a tow sack held out away from him. when he cleared the door he threw the sack towards the bar. from the sack appeared a 40/50# snapping turtle--not very happy either.
no one wa disturbed, those closest to the turtle got o top of the tables, the waitress continued to serve-she did give the beast some room tho--while the lady behind the bar just looked at the turtle. looked as in studied the beast--started picking up pots til she found one about the right size-filled it with water and put it on the stove.
meanwhile back at the ranch- the turtle was just crawling around trying to get out or get away. folks were teasing the turtle-poking at it with a broom handle--the sucker could really move-as in quick and fast-so you had to be alert.
finally when the water was gettin hot-the woman behind the bar came around behind the turtle--and quick as a cat she grabbed the turtle by the tail-held him at arms length and wth the turtle in one hand a the pot top in the other she dropped the turtle in the pot-slammed the lid on and held onn--that turtle went crazy-for awhile.
after the commotion and after the turtle boiled for a while-several beers- she remove the turtle-peeled the shell-picked the meat off and made turtle soup. don't know how or the reciept but it was good.
that being said-the only reciept i have is to get a little high on a saturday morning and hope somebody finds a snapper.
blessings
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks williamlayton... GREAT STORY.. Hey, I've had a few Sat. mornings like that myself in the distant past! :toast: :gulp:
I got a really detailed answer to this question on my own forums, and wanted to share it. Here it is:

1.Dispatch the turtle with a .22 in the head.

2.Place in a pot of boiling water. completly
submerge. Leave until the scales (scutes) can
be peeled of the shell.

3.Place on the gound on its back. With a sharp
pointed knife, cut the breast plate (plasteron)
off.remove the four quarters tail and neck.

4.Pressure cook the meat for thirty to forty five
minutes. Turtles have some nasty parasites in
the meat. Check to see if the meat is pulling
away from the bone. It is done then.

5.Remove and let set till cooled.When cooled,
dredge in flour with salt and pepper. Fry until
brown. It is fingure licking good.

Note: Turtles about the size of a dinner plate are the best. Anything much smaller is not worth my time. Anything much larger does not have the flavor of the smaller ones. Good appetite. I am not going to use the french phrase.
 

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glad ya got a better direction than i could give-actually it sounds about the same as what she did.
ps--it was a lot funnier if you could have been there. the soup was great. course anything waould have tasted good in the condition we were in.
blessings
 

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Here's another way of doing it that my father and I do. Catch the turtle, let it clean out it's intestinal system for about a week in a large tub of water with a lid so it can't get out, or take a drill and put a hole in the edge of it's shell and chain it up if it's real big. After it's been there for about a week, and you've changed the water a few times, take it out and shoot it in the head a couple times with a .22, the get a helper and have someone pull out the head and cut the head off just behind the brain so you don't lose any good neck meat. Tie it by the tail and let it hang for about 8 hours or so, the killing is best done before work, cleaning afterwards. Hang it so it can bleed out and the nerves can finally die. When you get home from work, flip it over, skin out the legs, starting with disconnecting it at the shell, once all the skin is removed, cut the cartilage joints, one one on both sides of the carapace, and remove that. Get a pail and empty the guts into the pail, and when that's done you're left with just the meat and the shell. Rinse out the shell with clean water, the get a friend and twist off the front and the hind quarters, cut away the connecting tissues and remove the meat. Then cut the neck off, this is a nice white meat, then take a side cutters and remove the "rib" bones to get to the white meat strips under them. Now you have all of the meat and you can do whatever you want with it, this is an excellent way to boil it for soup meat without having the guts and everything else in it while it cooks. I can get you a great roasting recipe also.
Selmer
PS If it's a female with mature eggs, white and leathery shells, take them and bury them on a south-facing beach at your favortie fishing hole, they will hatch if nothing finds them, and your human scent around the hole actually increases their chance of survival, which means more tasty turtles.
 

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I've heard of boiling them but I've never used it. Here is how we do it. I use a heavy blade very sharp knife.

1. Grab turtle by tail, as it sticks it's head out to bite, hit it in the back of the head to stun it. When hit correctly the snapper will become motionless for a short time.

2. Lay varmit on it's back and drive a 16d nail through the chin with a hammer

3. Nail turtle to tree bottom side towards you (about chest high)

4. cut off claws at joints to keep it from scratching you (can use pliers to hold claws steady)

5. cut off breast plate at joint

6. skin legs and disjoint from shell, larger turtles have a meaty tail worth going for

7. on larger turtles there are two strips of white meat inside the shell, aginst the back, that can be got to with side cutter pliers. This is the best tasting part but is hard to get to and only worth it on larger ones.

8. skin and cut the neck loose from shell and head

9. wash and remove all fat

10. cover with water that has 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 table spoons of vinager in it. keep in fridge over night.

11. rinse off and double wrap meat in freezer paper, tape all joints, freeze. it will keep for a year wrapped this way.

To cook turtle I first boil for 30 minutes or pressure cook for 10 minutes, Remove meat from pot and roll in flour/salt/pepper and brown in skillet. Turtle is one of my favorite meats, it is slightly stringy and will get between gappy teeth (like mine as I get older) keep plenty of tooth picks handy.


Never turn down a snapper. In the spring male snappers travel between ponds and are easy to catch. Grab them by the tail. If you cain't clean him right away just put him in a 55 gallon barrel, they will keep for a week without any danage. Don't put them in the back of your truck cause they will get out! A feed sack double tied will work. Turtles are very quick and pissed off from the get go so be careful. They only have a short bite range but will thrust their neck out fast to get a bite. Most around here are the size of a basketball, thats good eating! Big turtles are tough, we leave them to make more little ones.
Enjoy, Rick :D
 

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Thank's I have dinner plate sized snappers and want to get rid of them where I fish there's just too many. I'll cook some up for sure. me and my pups will eat them the rest of the family won't. BigBill
 

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Cooking turtles

Ironknees you got good advive on cooking the turtles. Instead of the 22's we used a pair of pliers to pull their head out and cut theirs heads off. We cut the meat out and then put in the pressure cooker. We ( Freedom ) fried them and It is really good. Carl L.
 

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lets all meet in s. louisana-git drunk and send sumbody out to git the turtles we need.
blessings
ps-there was a post--coverstion with somebody--or something-somewhere about the different kinds of snapping turtles. the only kind i know of, and the only kind i thought there was, is what we call a alligator snapping turtle. but-this convesation happened at the golf course, now i remember, as we have been seeing some of those critters in the water here--i digress-have been told the ones we have are not alligatorsnappers but florida snappers. anybody know-got an openion---a lie will do.
blessings
 

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I have a way totally off the wall and you will think I am pulling your leg until you try it.

1. Take the turtle down with a few shots of the 22.

2. Pull it's head out of the shell with a pair of pliars(be careful...they can still bite the heck out of you when dead) cut the head off at the base of the head, being careful to get right at the base. Discard the head some place safe, it can still get you!
3. Cut all of it's claws with wire cutters(their nerves will allow it to slice the crap out of you long after it is dead.)
4. Get out the garden hose and a hose clamp. While holding the neck out shove as much hose down the neck as you can. Place the hose clamp around the neck and the hose.
5. Turn on the water! This will pull all of the meat away from the skin and most of the bones.
6. Cut the shell on the side where the belly shell meets the top shell.
7. Get the meat out!

As far as cooking...We have made stew, fried the critters and I think pressure cooked them.

I know this way sounds a little crazy but it really works. I was told to try this by my step grandfather. He grew up in LA, a real cajun foul mouth hill billy.

Give it a try...you, like I was, will be real impressed.
 

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i'm tired of cookin these criteers---sumbody got ta have the answer to tha different kinds of critters thay is out there---i'll accept a lie--except frum ironknees---he started this whole mess anyway---curses on ya ironknee.
blessings
 

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i'll bet sumbody frum oregon, washington or oklahoma can tell me about a greeneyed, harry, bigfooted breed of critters that nobody else has seen or captured---i'll accept that---or a rare breed of ocean going thang-i'll accept that---i will not cook another of those critters until i find tha answer though------
blessings
 

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searched snapping turtles using google.com

Common Snapping Turtle
Chelydra serpentina
Snapping Turtles are the largest turtle found in New England-excluding the Sea Turtles. An adult usually weighs between 10 and 30 pounds but some will become well over 50 pounds. Snapping turtles are very adaptable and can inhabit almost any body of fresh water. Unlike most other turtles, snappers seldom leave their aquatic home, they rarely even come out to bask. Around the middle of June plus or minus a week depending on the weather, The females emerge to find and dig a place to lay their eggs. The eggs are slightly smaller than ping-pong balls, 20-40 perfectly round white eggs will be laid. This is one of the few times that Snappers will leave the water so they are frightened and easily angered-a large turtle seen at this time of year is best left alone. If the the Summer is hot, the eggs will hatch in late August or early September. If the Summer is cool the babies sometimes hatch but often remain in the nest until the following spring.

4 subspecies currently recognized, 2 can be found in the US
Common Snapper C. s. serpentina

Florida Snapper C. s. osceola

C. s. acutirostris

C. s. rossignonii

Size: 8 to 18 1/2 inches

Weight: wild specimens range to 45 lbs while fat captives can exceed 75 lbs

Breeding: April to November

Nesting: May to September

Eggs: Lays up to 83 eggs (average 25 - 50)

Incubation: 55 - 125 days

Habitat: Freshwater. Prefers soft mud bottoms and abundant vegetation or abundant submerged brush and tree trunks. May on occasion enter brackish waters.

Natural foods: Omnivorous.

Animal based food sources include but not restricted to: insects, crayfish, fiddler crabs, shrimp, water mites, clams, snails, earthworms, leeches, tubificid worms, fresh water sponges, fish (adults, fry, & eggs), frogs & toads (adults, tadpoles, & eggs), salamanders, snakes, small turtles, birds, small mammals, carrion.

Plant based food sources include but not restricted to: various algae, aquatic plants such as Elodea, Potamogeton, Polygonum, Nymphaeca, Lemna, Typha, Vallisneria, Nuphar, Wolffia, and Najas.

Floats lazily in shallow water to "bask", but sometimes is seen actually basking on logs.
 

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good info--squares somewhat with the info given by ???? but not completely with the difference between a snapping turtle and a alligator snapper. if the florida snapper is not an alligator snapper then there are three types of snappers? correct/incorrect?
blessings
 
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