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#567724 06/10/24 09:10 AM
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Turtles have shown up in my lake recently and we've been shooting at them with .22's but not sure if we actually hit any. I've got a Vortex scope coming to replace my old cheap BSA one. I assume you have to hit them in their tiny heads?

TEC #567726 06/10/24 10:23 AM
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Or you could use a large enough caliber gun that will destroy them no matter where you hit them. I'll shoot my large snapping turtles with a 303. I leave the red bellies alone though.

TEC #567735 06/10/24 01:56 PM
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A guy asked us to cull his massive turtle population when I was a youth. We had an air rifle and an old .22 rifle.

If you are shooting in the same flat plane as the turtle, any round will go through the wide opening in the front of their shells and probably be fatal. (Be careful, shooting flat to the water GREATLY increases your chances of bullets skipping and carrying far beyond your target.)

We did shoot a huge snapping turtle in his shell with a .22 long. It just made a big chip in his shell (but I think we were using soft lead hollow points).

If you are shooting turtles from "above" I would think almost any centerfire caliber with a FMJ bullet would go right through a shell.

TEC #567737 06/10/24 02:07 PM
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Why are you shooting them? I consider them the clean up crew when anything dies.

Lusk says “ Anytime a turtle gets a fish, the fish deserves it.”.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/10/24 08:00 PM. Reason: see changed to says

It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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TEC #567746 06/10/24 07:31 PM
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I agree with Lusk and Davidson1. Healthy active fish are very rarely eaten by snapping turtles. Healthy fish swim fast enough to avoid capture from turtles. Turtles eat primarily sick, weak, dying and dead fish - the clean-up crew. My fish steal floating fish pellets at the noses and shouts of two resident large snapping turtles who are also eating fish pellets. The turtles do not even try to attack the pellet stealing fish. Turtles are rarely aggressive unless agitated or annoyed.

The other common unknown fact on this topic is that in aging ponds older than 6-7 years these ponds need turtles as something that eat dying and dead fish. Aging ponds that do not have a fish harvest of around 25%-30% of the panfish harvested each year, will have at least 25% of the old largest panfish die naturally each year. Fish do not live forever and have predetermined life spans. This info has been proven and published in journal articles after many lake / pond research fishery surveys. Panfish rarely live greater than 6 to sometimes 9 years. The more crowded the fishery becomes the shorter the life span is for the panfish population. Almost all or practically all the old fish do not float and are not observed when death occurs due to natural old age mortality. These dead old fish remain on the bottom. Just because you don't see old dead fish on the surface does not mean they are not dying of old age.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/10/24 07:58 PM.

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TEC #567769 06/11/24 07:25 AM
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If you are worried about snapping turtles, I would like to point out that hundreds of stoned, naked teenagers skinny dipped in Max Yasgur's pond during Woodstock with no reported turtle problems.*

A month after Woodstock, a trapper took 40-50 snappers out of the pond.**

* - I heard this fact from Sunil, who was in attendance. He never missed a Hendrix concert.

** - This implies one can trap snapping turtles.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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TEC #567786 06/11/24 12:51 PM
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How much damage can turtles cause to spawning beds, CNBG? Can they do a number on the recently fertilized eggs before they hatch? I have about 2 dozen that arrive when I throw pellet food in a 3 acre pond. I do realize they are nature's janitor service.

Thinking of a turtle trap & a ride with a very long walk home.

TEC #567789 06/11/24 01:11 PM
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I may have lied about Woodstock....as I was only (3) weeks old at the time.....


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted by Sunil
I may have lied about Woodstock....as I was only (3) weeks old at the time.....

I am highly skeptical of your retraction. I think it far more likely that you actually were a hard-partying 3-week-old! grin

(Or had extremely cool parents?)

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Originally Posted by J. E. Craig
How much damage can turtles cause to spawning beds, CNBG? Can they do a number on the recently fertilized eggs before they hatch? I have about 2 dozen that arrive when I throw pellet food in a 3 acre pond. I do realize they are nature's janitor service.

Thinking of a turtle trap & a ride with a very long walk home.


Not enough to make a noticeable difference in the CNBG population.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
TEC #567829 06/12/24 08:19 AM
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Of Time and Turtles
Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell, by Sy Montgomery, is a fascinating, very insightful read about turtles, their life histories, rescuing and rehabilitating, then releasing the recovered ones back to natural habitat.
I highly recommend this book for anyone with even the slightest interest in natural history, as I would think all of us pond people are.
It was published just last September. For me it was the best book I've read in years, and I read a lot.
Enjoy.


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