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Country Discussion Topics
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Snapping Turtles
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Kat in NJ    Posted 04-17-2003 at 16:52:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Okay, since the subject of controlling various pond problems keep coming up, here's one: snapping turtles. BIG ones. In our pond, we have several snappers which last year cleaned out every baby duck, cygnet, a few mallards, and most of the remaining bass. The biggest one is probably close to three feet, nose to tail.

If this was the 19th century, we could go out in the boat and grab these suckers some night and take them to the snapper market in Philadelphia where they would be sold for soup!

Unfortunately, this is modern day New Jersey. No firearms; no weaponry. Too bad -- a little .22 would probably do the trick nicely (well, maybe not -- these boys are big!). Anybody got any ideas on what to set out for these fellows that would ensure their disappearance some dark night???? The ducks and swans are all sitting; hate to see their families go for turtle snacks.


Kenny    Posted 05-22-2003 at 18:48:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
where in nj i have alot of streams by me in north central nj loaded with huge snappers put them in there

Spence    Posted 04-19-2003 at 17:08:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not to mention the kiddies playing in bare feet in the pond. The big ones could take a tykes foot off in a second.

I say go ahead and take the big ones and leave
the smaller ones alone. Don't let 'em get bigger than say your fist.

Some of the ECO rules are a bit extreme.

Same goes for bears. I'd shoot 'em on site. Too many disfigured people, they aen't worth it. The way I look at it, my shooting bears is Darwin's evolution in progress. In nature the smart ones will learn to stay away from "the 2 legged creature with the stick that goes boom". Might get rid of 95 percent of the poulation, but the others will pass on the lesson to the young.

Andy Smith    Posted 05-19-2003 at 10:48:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am an owner of a baby snapper and i think that they are facinating creatures that need the respect that they deserve - you wouldn't swim in lake full of crocs would you??

Salmoneye    Posted 04-20-2003 at 03:10:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
According to Govermnet stats, there are more Black Bears in the lower 48 than there were when the Mayflower landed...

According to the same stats, the State of Vermont has the highest density of bears at 1 for every 3 square miles of land area...

Bears...They're not just for breakfast anymore...


Kat -- Hatchets, huh?    Posted 04-18-2003 at 06:55:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Well, I could do it, but I won't like it!

This is all great stuff and at least gives me a few ideas. There are residential properties that back up to the other side of the pond, hence the need for some discretion in carrying out the deed.

I like the hambone-on-a-cord idea to lure the buster in. I wasn't sure how to go about getting him up to shore. And thanks to the person who gave the proper gauge hook to use -- these boys would bite through a Louisville Slugger, so I was at a loss as to what size something should be to be effective.

Thanks, too, for the explanation of what happens after the axe falls! Now I know what to expect. Ugh. I really don't think I have the stomach to clean and eat these fellows -- it's a little different from just going to a restaurant and ordering snapper soup off the menu!

We've noticed them being particularly active around dusk, so I'll see if we can do this under the cover of darkness! Hope this doesn't turn out to be another animal-removal saga like the coon/possum stories!


Larry    Posted 04-18-2003 at 09:27:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]

If you have any success catching them maybe you could find a old timer to do the cleaning for you. It would be a shame to waste them. They're really good eating.

DHunter n NOLa    Posted 04-18-2003 at 04:15:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Keep a broom straw handy. The old cajuns down on the bayou say the only way to get one to turn loose if he bites you is to stick the broom straw in his nostril.

Snapper Trappin...    Posted 04-18-2003 at 03:39:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Get a hambone with some meat left on it and tie a stout line to it...Get an empty plastic milk jug or two depending on the size of the ham-hock and toss the succker out in the midle of the pond...Sit in a lawn chair with a cold Adult Beverage and wait for the bobbers to bob...Pull in the snapper, and as someone else said below, lop the head off with an axe...If you keep the line taught, the snapper will not let go and their neck is presented nicely...

Some Taxidermists will pay you nicely for a snapper with a shell over 20 inches...


Paul Walla    Posted 04-18-2003 at 01:33:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I just found this a website which has a very convenient turtle trap to make.
Go to

Super 55    Posted 04-17-2003 at 20:45:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I had the pleasure of eating turtle in the Ocalla
Nation Forest in Florida. I fellow caught two
and gave me one. He caught them on a hook
and line and used fish eyes for bait. Said they
love fish eyes. These were softshells and
tasted like scallops. Yum. I would use a steel
leader. We hung up the turtle by the line
against a tree and used a axe to "adjust their
neckline". Very tastey. Good luck. Yeah and I
agree, don't shoot them in the water. I was
always told that the bullets can richochet and
you don't know what you might hit.

DeadCarp    Posted 04-17-2003 at 19:22:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
My favorite turtle tool is a copper furnace shovel really, for knocking firewood around. It's about 5 feet long with a sorta hook/hoe end. I can flip them over, turn them around etc. We're only allowed to keep them if they're 14" wide across the shell, easiest way to dispatch one is to get a hatchet handy, tease him into biting a stick and treat him like a rooster. They can nick a hatchet blade (or blow a tire) and their necks are quite long, so respect those jaws. They'll squirm around ahile without their heads, the bones are crooked and sorta flat, they have many flavors of meat in them and my cousin's wife makes the best stew :)

Ron,Ar    Posted 04-17-2003 at 19:34:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don,t know if it's true or not but used to hear "seven kinds of meat,tastes like chicken". When I was in Louisana they ate lots of them. I coulda swore part of the meat was blue. You can catch them on a hook but it needs to be stainless 12 ought and maybe live perch or goldfish.

Terry Nelson    Posted 04-17-2003 at 19:14:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Kat, those are some big turtles. My Dad used to catch them by teasing them into biting down on a big, strong stick. Apparently, they wouldn't let go and he could throw them into whatever, such as the back of his pickup truck. I've tried it a couple of times but didn't have a big enough stick and they just chewed through them like a couple of neolithic chain saws. Screw NJ and get a .22 and pop them. There's so many larger caliber shots being fired in full auto there, who's going to care? If I lived in NJ I would be worried if the shooting stopped!

Sid    Posted 04-17-2003 at 20:23:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
I will not say I never shot turtles but I will warn that a bullet will richochet {spl?} Who knows where it goes? Trapping is a much safer method.

RayP(MI)    Posted 04-17-2003 at 17:45:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Fred Trost, a local celebrety in the sporting field produces a outdoors show for PBS here in Michigan. He has a segment on turtle grabbing with the hands. Seems they like to crawl under overhanging banks. You wade in and feel around 'til you feel a shell, locate the tail, grab and pull! Stuff 'em in a gunny sack, and haul 'em home. Seems they most often go in head first, presenting the tail end to turtle grabbers.

(Yeah, me neither!)

bob    Posted 04-17-2003 at 17:34:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would try and trap them and then make into stew with gravy. My mother in law used to make the best turtle stew. She would be down by the river and spot one on bank and get her pitch fork and get under it and tip on its back and it couldn,t move. Here in ia we don,t have many in wild anymore althiugh there are a few commerical breedersin state

;=============    Posted 06-02-2003 at 09:03:48       [Reply]  [No Email]

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