How to Cook Turtle Meat

Add gourmet fare to your menu by learning how to trap turtles and remove and cook turtle meat. Plus, try these recipes for Camp Turtle Soup and Fried Turtle.


| November 20, 2009



Camp Cooking book

Breathe new life into your campfire dining experience with “Camp Cooking: A Practical Handbook,” which includes hundreds of healthy and delicious campfire recipes.


SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

The following is an excerpt from Camp Cooking: A Practical Handbook by Fred Bouwman ( Skyhorse Publishing , 2009). The excerpt is from Chapter 2: Shore Lunch.

One way that some fur trappers and other rural people maintain their household cash flow during the summer months is by trapping turtles and selling the meat to fish wholesalers and restaurants. While the yards-long, hoop-and-net turtle traps used by the pros are too much work for the recreational natural eater, taking turtles by unattended hook and line, where legal, is a productive method for adding another gourmet treat to the camp menu.

With sturdy hooks, a serious wire leader, and just about anything made of meat for bait, you’re in business. Study the regulations in your state regarding endangered species, and be sure to follow them. For eating purposes, all turtles taste about the same. The snapping turtle is the trophy, and with specimens ranging up to a foot long (measured across the shell) it’s usually the turtle that gets involved in dinner.

Snapping turtles have that name for a reason. Exercise care when handling them. They are very aggressive and can move much more quickly than you would expect a turtle to move, coming almost off the ground when they strike.

Start preparing your turtle dinner by encouraging him to bite a stick. Then while holding the stick away from the body to stretch the neck, have a companion with a good eye and stout arm lop off the head with a hatchet. Hang the turtle by the tail to bleed it.

There are two ways of removing the edible meat from the turtle. The first is to boil the entire animal, shell and all, and as it begins to cook, remove it from the water, slip the skin from the meat, and separate the top and bottom halves of the shell. This procedure is time-consuming and can be quite a hassle in camp.

vicky
9/10/2015 12:39:58 PM

Alex turtles are not almost extinct. You must live in the city or something because where i live which is in the country turtles are everywhere. So many that they need thinning out because they eat all the fish in the ponds. You see at least one crossing the roads every day when driving somewhere. No turtle are not going extinct they are plenty


alex
6/14/2014 2:32:11 PM

How sad go get life you big phony instead of cooking turtle that is cruel COOK FINGERS INSTEAD


alex
6/14/2014 12:51:18 AM

Can't you hear👂his is mean and cruel FRED BOUWMAN? Have not you heard turtle are almost in extinction! You can not just go slaughter turtles anytime. Go get a real life or something else instead of cooking turtles! Turtles are very timid! Either Don't cook a turtle or stop 😡😤






dairy goat

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.

LEARN MORE