There are a bunch of “reality” shows on TV now that feature outdoors-folks doing a variety of wild and crazy things. Some of those shows are, well, a little too much for me and I question their authenticity (I know it is TV, it is not necessarily “reality”). Others have what seem to me to be plain ole folks, just like most Nebraskans I know, and I like them a lot better. Although I will always tell you to get your butt off the couch and get outside, I have to admit I regularly view some of those shows.
One of those shows on Animal Planet, Call of the Wildman, http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/call-of-the-wildman , features Kentucky’s “Turtle Man”, http://turtlemanliveaction.com/ . I will save my opinion of that particular show right now. What I want to do here is tell folks that Kentucky ain’t got nothing on Nebraska. We have our own turtle men too, have had for a long time!
Ben Rutten still works for the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission. The last time I ran into him he still had all of his fingers.
Snapping turtles can be very good on the table. Admittedly, they take some effort, and tools, to clean, but they are good eating. We do have some regulations that govern the taking of snapping turtles and you can find those in any copy of the Fishing Guide, http://www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov/fishing/guides/fishguide/pdf/FishGuide.pdf ,
Snapping TurtlesSeason– year-roundBag Limit – 5Possession Limit – 10Method of Take – Snapping turtles may be taken only by hand, hand net, hook-and-line,bow-and-arrow, gaff hook or legal trap. (Traps allowed only on private waters.)