Preserving a Snapping Turtle Shell ??
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  1. #1
    Spike NJMarine's Avatar
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    Just wondering if anyone has ever preserved a snapper shell. Right now I have gutted the insides and have the hard shell upside down outside for a little over 24 hours. Flies have been hitting it pretty good. I read somewhere about letting it sit like that for about a week in the sun, and then putting it into a salt, borax and water mix for several hours...then take out and rinse. Then finally put it into a mix of vinegar and water. To preserve I assume I would put several coats of clear varnish on both inside and out. Please let me know if anyone has experience with any process that would get the job done.

  2. #2
    Monster Buck dbowers's Avatar
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    Glad you post this because I am getting ready to start trapping for some meat for the freezer. I would like to keep some nice shells as well.

  3. #3
    Dominant Buck Stickythehunter's Avatar
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    Do what you said, clean it out the best that you can and leave it sit in the sun and let the flies hit it. Once whatever is left in the shell is dried up and brown and the flies are no longer hitting it, take and sand the leftovers out with either some sandpaper or a drill sander. Then use 2 coats of urethane to coat the inside and outside. You may see a little bit of shrinkage over time, but nothing too significant. Here's a pic of one that I turned into a clock.

    Here's one that we left that scales on and just urethaned over.

    I'm no Pro Staffer....but I'm pretty good at drinkin beer.

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  5. #4
    Rack Buck 8ptrFred's Avatar
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    If you take the scales off you can still have the look of them on. Just take a walnut stain and recoat the outside of shell before you urethane!

  6. #5
    Dominant Buck Stratus's Avatar
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    Years ago... I had two painter turtle shells. I used car wax and they lasted 15 years plus. I wound up giving them away to neighborhood kids.
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