Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Hunting for Turtles on an Ice-Covered River?

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

Field Notes
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

February 04, 2013

Hunting for Turtles on an Ice-Covered River?

By Chad Love

A man and woman who were apparently "hunting turtles" fell through the ice of a New Jersey river this weekend.

From this story on cbslocal.com:
A man and woman were out of the hospital Sunday, after they fell through the ice in the Passaic River while turtle hunting. The 30-year-old woman called 911 around 8:15 p.m. Saturday to report that her 37-year-old boyfriend had fallen into the water, police said. The woman then apparently tried to step in and help the man herself, only to fall in too. Rescue crews soon arrived and had to paddle against the current and cut down trees with chainsaws to reach the couple, who were holding on to a tree. Both victims were suffering from extreme hypothermia when they were pulled from the water around 9:15 p.m., but they were treated at a hospital and released on Sunday.

Turtles, as everyone should know, are reptiles, which are cold-blooded. Which means they can't regulate their body temperature, so they hibernate. That means the chances of finding a turtle on an ice-covered river, in the middle of winter, in the dark, are pretty slim.  But maybe I'm wrong. Anyone ever see a turtle in an ice-covered river?

Comments (8)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Greenhead wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I have found several while duck hunting. If the water is clear, you can see them buried in the mud on the bottom, and because they are so lethargic in the cold, its really easy to crack the ice and take them home.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ncarl wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Yes, its actually a popular way of turtle hunting. I do some turtle hunting myself but always in the summer with landlines. Like greenhead said they burry themselves in the mud and the are incredibly easy to catch. Ive never been on a frozen river looking for them but every winter I find them in ponds while waterfowl hunting. Keep in mind there are other types of hunting besides deer, turkey and waterfowl.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I always thought they buried themselves in the mud along the shore to hibernate. If they are under the ice and under the water, they can't possibly hold their breath all winter long, right?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Ok, I shouldn't have commented so quickly. After a little research I've found that water turtles CAN hibernate in the water all the winter. With their metabolism down to one heartbeat every 10 minutes, they only need a small amount of oxygen. They are able to draw it from the water through some special tissues in their throat and anus (frogs can absorb O2 through their skin when immersed in water). So there you go, they may very well have been hunting turtles on a frozen river....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Judd McCullum wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I don't know about rivers, but in ponds and lakes snapping turtles will come up against the bank as the ice melts and recedes. Your timing has to be spot on to catch them since snowfall will cloud the ice and you can't see them anymore, and if there's too much open water they don't have to come to the edge. It only happens a couple times a year but like Ncarl said it's a great way to catch turtles. They slow down quite a bit but you've still got to be pretty quick to chop through the ice and grab them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Early spring shortly after the ice is off is a great time to catch lethargic turtles but in the middle of winter with ice on... I'm not so sure about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Early spring shortly after the ice is off is a great time to catch lethargic turtles but in the middle of winter with ice on... I'm not so sure about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

In the 60's we hunted them on ponds and shallow lakes. Not rivers, thin ice and no food, turtles don't hibernate like bears.
Early morning we'd look over ice ant pick out dark circles, those were the common snappers, food of choice.
With an ax and a cloth sack we'd hack them out, quickly, they wake up quicker than you think and bite like hell. good hunting from missouri, jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ncarl wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Yes, its actually a popular way of turtle hunting. I do some turtle hunting myself but always in the summer with landlines. Like greenhead said they burry themselves in the mud and the are incredibly easy to catch. Ive never been on a frozen river looking for them but every winter I find them in ponds while waterfowl hunting. Keep in mind there are other types of hunting besides deer, turkey and waterfowl.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Ok, I shouldn't have commented so quickly. After a little research I've found that water turtles CAN hibernate in the water all the winter. With their metabolism down to one heartbeat every 10 minutes, they only need a small amount of oxygen. They are able to draw it from the water through some special tissues in their throat and anus (frogs can absorb O2 through their skin when immersed in water). So there you go, they may very well have been hunting turtles on a frozen river....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greenhead wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I have found several while duck hunting. If the water is clear, you can see them buried in the mud on the bottom, and because they are so lethargic in the cold, its really easy to crack the ice and take them home.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I always thought they buried themselves in the mud along the shore to hibernate. If they are under the ice and under the water, they can't possibly hold their breath all winter long, right?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Judd McCullum wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

I don't know about rivers, but in ponds and lakes snapping turtles will come up against the bank as the ice melts and recedes. Your timing has to be spot on to catch them since snowfall will cloud the ice and you can't see them anymore, and if there's too much open water they don't have to come to the edge. It only happens a couple times a year but like Ncarl said it's a great way to catch turtles. They slow down quite a bit but you've still got to be pretty quick to chop through the ice and grab them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Early spring shortly after the ice is off is a great time to catch lethargic turtles but in the middle of winter with ice on... I'm not so sure about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Early spring shortly after the ice is off is a great time to catch lethargic turtles but in the middle of winter with ice on... I'm not so sure about that.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

In the 60's we hunted them on ponds and shallow lakes. Not rivers, thin ice and no food, turtles don't hibernate like bears.
Early morning we'd look over ice ant pick out dark circles, those were the common snappers, food of choice.
With an ax and a cloth sack we'd hack them out, quickly, they wake up quicker than you think and bite like hell. good hunting from missouri, jim

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment