Wednesday, April 07, 2021

How to Catch, Clean and Cook a Snapping Turtle! PT 1

The host of this is Les Johnson of Predator Quest, my favorite coyote hunting show.
He might come across as just another good-ol' boy, but he's got a degree in animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Part I is catching the snapper.
VIDEO HERE  (11:42 minutes)

Part II, cleaning and cooking a snapper, tomorrow.


  1. When I used to cook for a living, my boss would go down to the food distribution center in South Philly and bring back all kinds of stuff and tell me to make a special out of it.

    A few times he brought back frozen Snapping Turtles. I was 20 years old and had no idea what to do, but knew I loved Snapper Soup. No internet back then, so I found a cookbook and made some great soup.

    It's still my favorite soup with a little Sherry added at the table!

  2. Just a heads-up to y'all in western Tennessee (and maybe) northern Mississippi. I'd suggest keeping a weather eye out.

    As Wednesday's are the day[s] (and Sundays) I haul a bunch of my fellow vets around in the van to do what they need to, at 1530 (Central) we found ourselves up at the beer store just across the line from where we all live in Arkansas - Howell county Missouri, just south of West Plains (3 hours west of vicinity Memphis) - we got some nickel sized hail and a deluge. Time is now 1706 Central and I've just got back to my desktop.

    I'm estimating (Beaufort Scale - Land) the gusts were at 40 mph and we're under a tornado watch until 2100 - there was a warning issued for when we were in Missouri but, as indicated above on the SPC site, no touchdown (reported).

    It's that time of year ya know ...

    Time of "Publish" 1717 Central.


  3. YouTube said I hafta sign in to watch the vid on cleanin the critter. I don't sign in to nothin on line.

    I've cleaned a passel of turtles in my youth, softshell, snappin, whatever. Usually sold the meat to a mom & pop restaurant in my little home town.

    Whatcha need is a good piece of 2 X 12, about 5' long, 3 good framing nails (at least 10-penny), a pair of gas pliers, a hammer, a vice-grip, a good hunting knife, and a filet knife. Oh, and a bowl.

    First use the pliers to grab the guy's jaw and pull it out from the shell. He's not gonna like it, and it'll take some doin.

    Then clamp it shut with the vicegrip.

    Turn him over on his back and drive a nail thru his tail into the board.

    Pull the head out as far as you have strength for and nail IT to the board.

    Bend the 3rd nail into a hook and drive it into the center of the bellyplate.

    Use the hunting knife (hasta be good and sharp) to cut away the bellyplate and then sever all the connective tissue. The third nail serves as the handle. A good eyehook works great, too.

    Now he's lyin there in a bowl for ya. His heart will still be beatin. Almost impossible to stop it. Very primitive.

    Remove the legs, the neck, and any muscle tissue still in the carapace with the boning knife. Put the meat in a clean bowl, rinse it a few times, salt it, and put it in the reefer 'til you're ready to cook it or give it to somebody.

    Mm, tapos na!

  4. Oh, forgot 'bout the cookin. My mother, who was basically a terrible cook, did it up like fried chicken, so that's the only way I've ever eaten it. Had it maybe 3 times . . . don't particularly care for it, but then I didn't like a lotta stuff Mother made.

    My Pinay wife isn't interested in the stuff, preferring fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, and other bottom feeders. Tried to get her to eat froglegs for 30 years, but she said they're "nasty" and wouldn't touch 'em. Friend of hers talked her into eatin some a few years back, and now she's a great fan.

    Anyway, you definitely get a fishy taste in turtle, dependin on how it's cooked, and since it was always chicken fried, it tasted to me like chicken cooked in grease that'd been used for channel cat.

    There's also the heart and liver, of course, but my stepfather always took dibs on those.

  5. Thankfully those nasty aren't in my AO!

    Chutes Magoo

  6. I always put them in the stock tank for 6-10 days and letem clean out. Kinda funky if you don't. Been 35 years since I peeled one

  7. That's some eating.


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