Around here, early summer means the big common snapping turtles are on the move. We find them crossing the road, moving from pond to pond, or just walking around the farm. Whether you pick them up, or catch them while fishing, snapping turtles are good eating.
While tasty, they can be a bit of a chore to clean. This is the method we use, and it only takes a few minutes per turtle to get them ready for your favorite recipe. It goes without saying, be careful around the business end of a big snapper. They can reach out a surprising distance and strike nearly as fast as a snake. Just for the record, their nervous system is such that the head will still clamp down on anything that gets near it, even after it has been removed from the body.
The next time you find yourself in possession of an eating-sized turtle, try these steps to get it ready for the table. For gear, you will need a pair of heavy pliers, a sharp filet knife, a heavy-bladed hunting knife, and a garden hose. A board with a nail sticking up through the center helps to secure the turtle, making it easier to skin.