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How to Clean a Snapping Turtle


We don’t really know how many Missouristas catch and eat covered turtles, or soft bark turtles for that matter. The conservation department accompanies the commercial harvesting of these species, but there are no records of those taken for personal use.

As the name suggests, commonly broken turtles (Serpentine Serpentine Chelydra) are native to Missouri and the Midwest. The alligator-breaking turtle, Macroclemys temminckii, which lives mainly in the southeast of the USA and can weigh more than 120 pounds, is a close relative. In Missouri, the alligator turtle inhabits streams from the south and southeast and lakes of the Ox Arch and is classified as rare. There’s no open season on these turtles.

Commonly broken average turtles 10 to 12 inches in the upper shell length and weigh 15 to 25 pounds. They can live in a wide variety of aquatic habitats: large streams, rivers, river waters, marshes, marshes, farm ponds and sewage ponds.

Broken turtles will eat almost anything (live or dead) they can find in their watery habitat, including fish, frogs, drowned animals, lobsters and aquatic plants.

A Missouri, with a current fishing licence, can catch turtles that break in various ways. Capturing broken turtles is relatively easy. Fishermen who catch catfish usually catch the snappers while using jars or barley lines with cut or live bait. Chicken and Gizi livers also work well. However, Gizens are probably less attractive to fish and tend to get better on the hook. Turtles caught with pitcher lines usually move near the coast, making them easier to handle. The daily limit is five.

Other methods of catching turtles include “hand-fishing” along rivers and streams or, during the winter months, staining and capturing them through the ice. This can be effective if you have ice and clear water; Look at the half-buried turtles in the mud, chip through the ice and grab them by the tail. As you can guess the Turtles are slow this time of year. At the end of spring, look at the snappers at Highland locations as they disperse or seek places to lay eggs. The dead snappers on the road are common at this point. However, no matter what the capture method is, a current fishing license is required.

Before killing and clearing a turtle breaking is a good idea to keep it in a drinking water tub for a period of time. Change the water every few days until relatively clear. This usually takes from one to two weeks. We suggest being something selective about where you get the turtles breaking. Although they often live in sewage ponds and other low-oxygen sites dissolved, those used for eating should come from ponds and clean streams.


Clearing a turtle is easier than you might suspect. Cut the turtle’s head and hang the turtle upside down at night to remove the blood. The next day’s nail or then hold the turtle’s tail upside down to a stump so that most of the bark hangs from the stump, but is parallel to the surface of the stump (see illustration).

How to Clean a Snapping Turtle

How to Clean a Snapping Turtle

Cut and remove the plastron or lower shell and then cut each leg and neck of the shell or shell. The fat of the turtle is yellow and should be removed from the meat. Turtle meat is better cooked immediately, but it seems to be fine if it is frozen in the water.

Another way to clean a turtle in preparation for cooking is to boil first. Dick Stauffer, director of art conservation, says that about five minutes of boiling the turtle, after killing it, does a much easier job of clearing the beast. You cut the plastron, remove the bowels and then round the meat, including the legs and tail, away from the upper shell. The skin, says Stauffer, should easily peel off after cooking. The meat, after rinsing and cleaning in the water, is ready for any recipe you prefer.

Broken turtles can be prepared in various ways, in the same way as squirrels or rabbits. The best results are obtained by boiling the meat until it can be easily removed from the bone. Try to stir the meat with bacon in a very hot frying pan or add it to a stew or gumbo.

The turtle meat can be delicious if the turtles are cleaned properly, the meat is soft and prepared with a good recipe. Don’t let your appearance deceive you.



  • Cut around the edge of the bottom shell and cut through the joint between the top and bottom shell on each side.
  • The bottom shell will be lifted like a stator cap. Remove the intestines.
  • Cut loose legs and neck from inside the top shell.
  • Skin off the legs and neck. Press boil or cook to make tender meat before using in your favorite stew.