To Kill a Snapping Turtle

Submitted by Craig on 6/3/00. ( )

What is the best way to kill a snapping turtle for taxidermy purposes and possibly still be able to eat the thing? I've thought of putting it in a heavy cardboard box and freezing it or even possibly injecting it with something but I want a tried and true method. Those jaws scare me just a little and it's hard doing taxidermy without fingers.

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Be Careful !

This response submitted by Woody on 6/4/00. ( )

I caught 7 yesterday and was giving them to my brother-in-law. After I dumped them out, my puppy came flying around the house and decided he wanted some.-- A 15 pounder nailed him across the muzzle and we liked to have never got him loose. We found if you stand on their back, you can get his mouth open. -- In answer to your question -- If they can't come up for air then they will die. --- Place him in a bag with a weight and submerge - check him every hour or so. MAKE CERTAIN he IS dead.

Florida Creations

This response submitted by Russ on 6/4/00. ( )

Drown him it will take awhile but he must come up for air . We trap them and every once in awhile a trap will be moved into deeper water by one, and we find him dead.

Dave Says:

This response submitted by Dave on 6/4/00. ( )

These critters are extremely hard to kill with force(club, gun ,etc.)
they can be drowned, but it's something that can take a long time and it could affect the quality of the meat if you wait too long.
for eating and taxidermy purposes, I recommend freezing. by the time he turns solid and frosty, he's done. and don't believe any crap about reptiles coming back to life when they thaw. whether it's a turtle, snake, or lizard, once it's frozen solid, it's dead.
Good Luck,

getting snappers to let go

This response submitted by ml on 6/4/00. ( )

I have found that freezing is the best way to kill a turtle to mount and still eat the meat. On the subject of getting to let go after they,ve latched a hold of you , I can tell you that I have way to much nowledge on the subject. turtle hunting and fishing used to be a serious hobby of mine, I once caught 118 turtles in on year with the help of some friends. The point is i have been bitten more than once and once they bite they dont let go. I have found that if you stick something up there nostral such as a stiff stem of a blade of grass or weed he will release his grasp


This response submitted by Craig on 6/4/00. ( )

Thanks to all that responded. Guess I'll have to find room in the deep freeze.


This response submitted by Craig on 6/4/00. ( )

Thanks to all that responded. Guess I'll have to find room in the deep freeze.

All good answers

This response submitted by Mick on 6/4/00. ( )

Excellent answers,but in my experience, a .44 mag to the head will quickly incapacitate the critter. Of course, for taxidermy purposes, you'll be needing to use a replica head.

put in a pail

This response submitted by al on 6/7/00. ( )

I have frozen these critters before and it seems to be the best like most have stated.
I have put them in boxes before and a few times they got out and chewed some good stuff up before they died. What I found that worked great was to put them head first in a five gallon pail. As long as it will fit and then set it in the freezer. This way it can not do any damage in there. have fun.........

snapper mounting

This response submitted by owlredleg on 6/11/00. ( )

If you freeze a turtle compleatly then it takes a long to thaw him out to work on him, also what about eating an animal that has died and cooled off with his blood and guts still inside?Could this effect the meat that you want to eat? The way I dispatch a snapper for mounting is first take a rope and tie a loop around his tail and hang him upside down.Then get a large pair of channel locks and grab him by the lower jaw.Stretch his neck out and take your scalpel and make an incision at the base of his neck by his undside shell where you would normally have to cut to get him out the shell.You can cut his jugler vein and bleed him out with just a small hole in his neck.He will still move for a long time after he has died so I let him hang for an hour or two befor I skin him out for mounting.

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