My First Turtle

Discussion in 'Turtle Talk' started by floundahman, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. floundahman

    floundahman New Member

    North Caro
    I went fishing today at a new fishing hole. It's actually a feeder creek that flows into the river that I often fish. I was using cut bream and immediately caught a very large common snapping turtle. My wife took a picture with her phone but I don't know if I can download it. I wasn't prepared to handle this monster so I cut the line after the photo was taken. Later I caught another one, this one went maybe 12-15#. I had read that turtle was good eating so I decided to keep it. I consulted the experts here on the BOC by looking up old posts about cleaning and preparing turtles. The info was good but my execution was terrible. I cut the head off and bled it good. I par-boiled the whole thing, removed the bottom part of the shell, took the front legs and neck off in one piece, and the rear legs and tail off in one piece as well, so far so good. This is where my success ends. I had a terrible time trying to get the meat off of the bones. I'm not familiar at all with the skeletal structure or muscle structure; the muscles were "flexing" as I was cutting them, and I ended up butchering the thing badly. I did cook some of the neck meat and thigh? and it was delicious. I expected a muddy or gamy taste but it was pleasantly mild. I was able to get enough meat for maybe one meal for the family but I wasted too much of the animal. The meat was so good I'd like to keep a few turtles in the future, but I don't want to kill one only to waste most of it. If anyone could help I'd appreciate it.
  2. medicdano

    medicdano New Member

    Don't par boil it. After you chop off the head let it bleed for 30-60 minutes. As far as deboning it, pull the entire leg/ thigh out of the carcass and then debone it with a sharp fillet knife. Don't get discouraged!! Even a good turtle cleaner still needs 30 minutes to clean it right. Takes me at least 45.

  3. UncleD

    UncleD New Member

    Lafayette, Loui
    Do a web search on "Cleaning Turtle". I found a very good site with step by step instructions and pictures.
  4. Larry Beever

    Larry Beever New Member

    Indianapolis Indiana
    Hi Jim, I'm a new member here and I think I can give you some good advise about this. First of
    all don't go through the trouble of boiling the
    whole turtle after you cut the head off. I have never done this and I don't Know why people do
    it. It takes a really big pan to do it and you can
    parboil it after you clean it in a much smaller pan. The other tip I'd like to offer is that when you clean a turtle a verry sharp knife is necessary. You said that you lost a lot of meat
    when you cleaned your turtle. Next time be aware
    that the front and hind quarter meat is attached
    to the shell. Cut tightly along the shell and you'll get most of the meat. As far as deboning
    it,I really don't think it's worth the trouble.
    I'd bet you lost a lot of meat doing that as well.
    I really hope this helps you.