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Age of turtle??


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I caught about a 18-20" Snapping turlte last night. It felt like a snag at first, but put up a pretty good fight. He was not very happy with me when I got him to shore either.

How old do you guys think a turlte that size is?

Scott

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I don't know about how old that turtle would be but I have read that in the BWCA there are some snappers that are 150 years old. I have seen one that came up by our conoe on shore and took one bite from a three pound walleye and all was left was the head! This snapper was huge! It's head was as big around as my upper leg. It had green moss growing on it's back and we were guessing it to weigh around a 100 lbs. or more.

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Not really sure on the age but I would guess 5-15. Sounds like good eating size too! Never found one that I could try out when the season was open.

I too have seen some huge snappers in Canada. Bent the handle on the landing net. This old guy knew where the fish were and came all the way across the lake to eat off the fillets when he pulled the tails through the live well.

We relocated him/her over a tall hill to another lake. We hoped it would take a while for it to return so we would be gone by then.

Not very happy and very tough jaws.

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I did a quick web search and here is what I found.
He sure sent a shiver down my spine when he stuck his head out of the water and hissed at me.

The Common Snapping Turtle is an aggressive, freshwater turtle usually found in ponds, streams, and canals. It spends most of its life in the water. These nocturnal (active at night) turtles live in eastern North America. Snapping turtles are so fearless that they have been known to attack people. Snapping turtles have an average life span of about 30-40 years.

Anatomy: The Common Snapping Turtle has powerful jaws, a sharp beak, and no teeth. It has a long tail, and each webbed foot has five clawed toes. This turtle, like all turtles, has no vocal cords and can only make hissing and grunting sounds. It grows to be up to 18.5 inches (47 cm) long and weighs up to about 85 pounds (38.5 kg). Male snapping turtles are larger than the females. The color of the shell ranges from brown to olive green to black to tan. The color of its skin also varies and can be gray, brown, yellow, tan, or black.

Diet: Snapping Turtles are omnivores; they eat plants, small fish, frogs, insects, snakes, and even dead animals that they find (carrion).

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I've seen many over 18.5 inches long. I have a friend who saw a small goose getting attacked by a snapper and jumped into the conoe and hit the snapper over the head with a paddle untill it let go of the goose. They saw many geese get taken down and many many wood ducks!! More then a dozen in one weekend!!
I would hate to have a snapper come and grab me on a swim on a hot afternoon.

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When I was a kid, we were shooting carp with our bows, down by Fruens Mill, on Bassetts Creek, just off Glenwood Ave. in Mpls.

I stepped up on what I thought was a rock, and it moved out from under my feet, the bow went flying and I landed on my kiester in the drink, but quick as it happened, I was on that turtle as he tried to get under the wall and I got ahold of his tail and a back leg.....you know how kids are!

That turtle would have had no problems taking off my skinny fingers, had he got ahold of me!

The guy in the mill weighed it for us on whatever kind of scales they used and he told us it weighed 49 pounds. He asked us if he could have it and we gave it to him.

That was the second biggest turtle I have ever seen. We had one dog the boat up on Gurney Lake near Osakis, that looked to be the size of a garbage can cover! That sucker made me a little nervous!

Lastly, my brother was dinking around with a snapper about the size of a fifty cent piece and it got ahold of his lip and would not let go! We tried all kinds of stuff and finally resorted to surgery.

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if you want to see big snappers go to Cedar lake in Aitkin.there is a bay in that lake where they live and I have seen them big enough to ride on.when I was a kid we used to shoot them at the docks tryin to get to our minnows.And BTW snapper soup is great!!!

------------------
If people weren't supposed to eat animals.
Why are they made out of meat??
FM Stickersl

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OK, this is good timing.

I don't know for absolutely certain if this was a turtle, but it is the only thing I can think of that it possibly could have been...

Yesterday (Sunday) I was on Lake Pokegama near Pine City. I was trolling in 8 feet of water, right around 2 mph, using the big motor. All of a sudden, this significant "thud" and the boat shakes, just like if you hit a rock or an old stump, but it was just an instant and the boat kept going along at 2mph.

Obviously I'm thinking I hit a rock or stump, and from the sound and feel, it made me a little nervous. So I reeled in, and slowly went back over the area several times. My lower unit and prop did not hit anything, just the hull.

This bothered me for some time, not knowing what it was, and wondering if there are more hidden, unmarked stumps or rocks in this lake in 8 feet or more of water.

When I was done, and went back to the cabin of a friend of ours we were staying at, I told the next door neighboor about it who is a full time resident on the lake. He says, "Oh, you just hit one of those big *** turtles..."

Like I said, I don't know for sure, but that has to be one big turtle.

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18"-20" for a snapping turtle??? Thats a baby!!! We've got a couple in our lake where the cabin is at that have to be all of 30" from head to tail. I would conservatively say the shells on these turtles are 20" from front to back!! The heads on these turtles will put the girth of a 2 litre pop bottle to shame!! Needless to say I don't swim in the lake!!!

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Rtwills or anyone else that knows, how the heck do you clean a snapper? I've tried and found them to be the tough to clean. I ended up boiling it to get the meat off of it. There has to be an easier way. Thanks.

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Erik Torgerson

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one after noon i was driving down the 694 frontage road in little canada its the road nort of 694 and goes thru the freshwater resivor for st.paul water works, annyways i was driving my zx2 and there was a snapper on the road that would have totaled my car out it was atleast a foot and ahalf tall and probablt 2.5-3.5 ft long i had to swerve to miss it and my wife conviced me it wuldent be a good idea to try and catch it but its head was the size of a 2liter bottle easy .. scary stuff knowing that theyll take a bite of of anyting swimming

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Right in the area where #694, #10, and Snelling Ave. meet, there is a shallow lake to the south, I can't recall the name, I was doing some recon on it, trying to get a line on a new place to fish.

After ghosting it a bit, I was on my way home and here is this big old Snapping turtle, tying up traffic on the road behind the seminary.

There were two good sized guys, dancing around the turtle, trying to figure out how to get the hissing bundle of hate off the road, poking him with little sticks. Intentions were good, tactics were wrong.

Each time he would hiss, or strike, I could just about see their hair stand up from were I was parked on the shoulder. Cheez one would have thought they had cornered a 12 foot Gator!

I walked over and said, "Hi, how ya doin?I'll show you how to do this, boys!" I got ahold of the snappers tail and in a nanosecond that thing whirled around and **** near got me! How embarrassing would that have been?

Well, he did'nt get me and I hoisted him up and hauled him to the swamp on the other side of the road...I bet that thing weighed 35 pounds! From the looks of some of the people in the cars, this was quite a happening for them?

When I grabbed the turtle, in my haste to get it off the road before it, or someone got hurt, I forgot how bad those things smell! I had to drive home one handed and it took a couple of washings before the smell went away! Eat one? Only as survival food!

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So ya' want to try turtle.....

Ok - here goes....as taught to me by my wifes family. Also - make sure you stay within season (May and June are closed) and
limits (3). <--- Verify this. (The fishing regs book I have at hand is from 2000.)

1) Catch a turtle. My recommendation is to go after the ones in the 16-20" range (measured across the shell) - anything bigger gets dangerous. They (inlaws) never drive around in the summer w/o a 5 gal pail in the pickup or car trunk. When a turtle is spotted on the road, they simply herd the turtle head first in to the pail.

The other way is on a rod and reel, using bait - for example - a chunk of dead sucker minnow. A local creek by my house holds them. Throw your bait out in the early morning and wait. I use forged hooks like you use for fishing plastic worms for bass - at least a 2/0.

Use a long handled pliers to remove your hook, or cut the line. Don't get your hand anywhere near those jaws.

2) Once you've got your turtle(s), you got to flush them. A cow tank is excellant for this purpose. You need the tank, a cement block or two, and fresh water. Put the turtles in the tank and water - 4-5" is plenty - the cement block gives them somewhere dry if they want it. Leave the turtle in the tank for a week - you don't have to feed them. If you need to keep them longer - then run some more fresh water in - and give it/them a little ground beef - a meat ball or two is plenty. Putting them in the fresh water helps flush the digiestive system, and makes for better tasting meat. Keep the tank somewhere that little kids won't get in to it - lest they go attempt to "pet" it, etc.

3) To butcher them. This is the "fun" part. You need a chopping block, a good axe, a broom stick, a good butcher knife - and a helper.

Take the stick, and poke at the turtle - get it mad - good and mad! You want the turtle to clamp down on the stick, so that it holds on. Have the helper lift the turtle out of the tank, and lay it on the block, keeping tension on the stick, so the turtle hangs on and extends its neck. Then take your axe and lop off the head. Then put the head and stick in a bucket or some where safe until its buried / disposed of - those jaws are dangerous for hours.

Lop off the claws, then slice up the skin on the legs & neck, until you get to the shell. There is a seam at the shell - its more or less cartilege - you can work your knife thru / along that seam, and split it open.

Once opened, then eveything else is accessable - vitals, guts, etc. Once all that is removed, put the meat in cold salt water, and let it soak for 4-5 hours.

How to cook is up to you - I've only had it fryed. Its excellant. No - it doesn't taste like chicken - but its very good.

The first time I had it was at the inlaws, right after my wife and I got married. A big platter of meat was set on the table, and I took a piece. Everyone was looking at me, and as I took a bite, they all seemed most curious as to how I liked the "chicken". About that time, I looked at the platter, and all the pieces had funny shapes.....

If you search Google for wild game cooking sites, you'll find numerous recipes.

Good luck - and watch out for those jaws.

UG

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honest to God fact...........

My dad used to eat turtles as a kid. My grandma would cook them up.

Anyways, they caught a good sized snapper. They killed it to cook it up. They chopped off the head and threw it off to the side. A couple of hours later, a rooster chicken went up to the head and started pecking at it. The rooster got its foot in the jaw and the turtle head clamped down on it. They had to kill the rooster, because the head wouldn't let go.............

weird...................................

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With all that said, I have decided to stick to chicken...unless it has a head eating its leg. That is just crazy!

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Uncle Grump, great post. I have a friend with cow tanks. Yep, we put a snapper in it. His father-law is expert snapper butcher. And his wife is excellent snapper cook. But it was baked in a cake pan. Hard to describe. I loved it.

Problem is, I don't know if I have ever seen a snapper crossing the road except in May/June, during their breeding season, I believe, which is why the season is closed then. They are extremely vulnerable to poaching then. I fear that is when many are taken.

Was at a friend's lake cabin once when his neighbors called us over. Was a whole bunch of neighbors and kids surrounding a big snapper on the lawn, headed to a swamp, in May. None of those neighbors knew about a season; I told them, but I don't think they cared. They viewed that snapper like it was a mountain lion. They wanted it away from their lake. Where they let their little kids swim. And I think they wanted that snapper dead.

We got it to clamp on a stick. Stepped on the shell, and picked it up quickly by the tail, threw it in a 5 gallon pail. We did not let them know that we hauled it over and let it go in the swamp area we thought it was headed to. I only hope that snapper is still living.


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When I use to help run some of the fish/carp traps we had one lake that we hated the first pull of the net. We would usually get 3-5 snappers in the net. Most of them were around 20 lbs but several were in the 35-45 lb range. Nothing worse than the feeling of that round solid object bumping up against your legs in the waders! frown.gif None of us ever got bit but we kept our distance and were very careful when handling them. The methods above pretty well describe the cleaning and cooking of the turtles. I've had them fried and baked but the best was a turtle soup/stew some old timers made for us! smile.gif Good luck and be careful around them!

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I've never had that much interest in butchering one I guess, but I saw a pretty decent sized one crossing a road in the last 2-3 weeks. He was probably about 2' long head to toe, give or take.

Do you have to have a special license of some kind for those or are the covered under a fishing license or what?

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If you want to see a really big one goto underwater world at the Mall of America, that thing is a monster. I have seen big ones about 3 feet long (just the shell) in the lakes in Eagan. And that's no B.S.

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I also saw a huge snapper in Eagan about 3 summers ago. It was on the shoulder of 35E between Yankee Doodle and Diffley Road. By the time I turned around and got back there to relocate it, it had disappeared. That turtle had about a 3' long shell too!

Bubbadust

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at home in our farm ponds, snappers were shot on sight....

*carl ducks the flames that are sure to come*

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Don't try to grab a soft shell. They have considerably more "reach"

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Many years back, my brother and I were both laid off and decide to try to make a few bucks trapping snapping turtles.

We were bagging some here and there, we would throw them into a gunnysack and haul em to the truck. We would take turns carrying the bag.

One day we are going back to the truck, my brother is carrying the bag and all of a sudden he lets out this gawd awfull yell, and starts jumpin all over the place, scared the beejeebers, out of me, I thought he had snapped!

What had happened is that one of them turtles bit him right in the back, through the gunnysack. Luckily, unlike most of the time, the turtle clamped down, held on for a minute and let go..put a nice mark on his back!

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My grandma loves to cook them up. She hangs them upside down from a tree and gets them to bite a broomstick, then cuts the head off.

Imaging if PETA got a hold of this thread!

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Grebe-
I know someone who threw one in the trunk of their car, and the thing chomped out the wiring of a taillight.

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When we were younger we used to snag them up and butcher them. Uncle Grump has it right, clean them out in a stock tank for a week. To get the head off, we got tired of trying to get that head stretched out with a vice grip to cut it off, so what we'd do is tie a twine string to the tail, tie the twine to a post. When the turtle stretches out to get away, we'd shoot them in the neck with a 12 guage slug. Walla, the head is gone (or most of it anyway smile.gif )! Then we'd hang them for a couple/four hours to bleed out and die! If you start butchering right away the muscles sit and twitch every time you cut!

As I've gotten older and realized how long they live at the bottom of a swamp, collecting every bit of pesticide and other various good stuff that washes into the swamp, I've shyed away from butchering and eating them, I'll stick to chicken and beef!

By the way, the shell makes a unique clock!

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Snappers taste like chicken and beef they have 3to5 different kinds of meat.the last two ice fishing years we heated up snapper someone brought and it was great at 2am. kinda makes you squrm in bed plus its easy to get up and crawl to the bathroom after drinking 12 plus beers. good luck boys
Buckhead with a B.

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I liven next to Lake Maria State park and there are turtles galore.Every spring they have a seminar on turtles and demonstrations on how to handle them. They say give the turtles a break on the road and help them aside.With a snapper get a stick put it front of them and they will latch on then drag off road.Getting anywhere near them is not recommended ,they move extremely fast for a foot (12") or so.The snapper is only aggressive when on land or provoked in water.Think about all the times your in the water and they are all around you with out incident. The soft shell turtle is an aggressive critter and when dealing with them they don't run away scared they come at you pissed. Metro

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