Turtle story made me sick


Those of you who know me realize I am by no means a tree hugger, although when it comes to certain things I do find myself thinking more along Preservationist lines..

One such area is the harvesting of reptiles, namely turtles, in our part of the world. According to the MNR, those residents with valid Ontario license are actually allowed to harvest snapping turtles for consumption, although I have yet to meet anyone who does it. 

The daily bag limit for Ontario is two snapping turtles per person with a possession limit of 5, however the commercial sale of any turtle species is illegal and the harvest of those species besides the snapping turtle is also illegal. 

This past weekend I was sickened to hear a story that occurred on the very lake my trailer is on, and where I fish (& practice catch & release) every weekend. 

Apparently a group of visitors to the lake were seen catching and removing a ‘cooler full’ of turtles and then dividing them up in garbage bags at the end of the day. And it wasn’t just snapping turtles either, there were apparently other species including the rare spotted turtle in there as well.

Hey, this sounds a lot like poaching to me!

Evidently they had harvested the turtles to use for turtle soup, or perhaps they were selling them, who really knows! 

The whole story made me sick to my stomach and I wish I had been there at the time. My next step now is to report the incident to a law enforcement official with the Pembroke District. 

I know for a fact that the selling of turtles is illegal, after hearing about a Cornwall man who was fined $4,000 for selling turtles on the internet.  That man was convicted on eight charges related to illegally selling and offering to sell protected turtle species under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. 

Maybe its just me but I believe there is something really wrong with this..and I plan to find out what these people are doing with all the turtles.



40 thoughts on “Turtle story made me sick”

  1. In lieu of a public hanging or a caneing they should be banned from hunting or fishing for life. And if my prediction is correct then they should be sent home…..

    1. You are right Trapper; I just hadn’t mentioned that part in the article for fear of reprisal.


  2. they should be sent home and not jailed or even tried in our country, just sent home . We as a country can not keep saying it is because they come from a differnt culture .. thats why they came here in the first place because they did not like the culture they came from….. I have lots of people that i know that come from other countries but they would not do this stuff. it is the ones that do it that will never conform to north american ways …

  3. Sad to hear, maybe they didn’t know or even own a license but still…

    I always have my camera handy, pictures is worth a thousand words they say. I did approach a family that was fishing one summer catching carps in the river and the kids were throwing them on rocks and beating them with stick etc…it was sick. I asked the father why they didn’t just put them back in the water….Let just say that next time there will be plenty of pics…You never know who you dealing with and wouldn’t want to end up at the hospital for a turtle or a fish.

    Let’s conserve our beautiful nature habitat and mostly species

  4. I left a message for the Pembroke MNR’s Conservation Officer Supervisor at noon..hopefully something can be done!


  5. jeff when you are talking to the CO get the act that they can be charged under . sometimes (in our area ) if the police know the act they will lay the charges ( we have a few police that hunt in my town and they love to get guys like this because the mnr guys are busy. hopefully this will come to a quick resalution

    1. I believe it would probably be the Turtle Act of 1867, but I’ll be sure ask him…hehe


  6. geez, send me home?
    they would have to send me to ……………..
    Canada, or my Dad’s home, Canada
    or my Grampy’s home……………………
    Or my Great Grampy’s home………….
    England! ! ! !
    Is that what you had in mind
    I say put them up against a wall and shoot them with a ball of their own $%^&

  7. see you ate rage again today for breakfast iggy….. I really wanted to say we should send them to ware kadar is staying and should stay for life .

  8. CC WRONG Hog weed is a invasive species, just like the turtle killers… they are most likely immune to it .

  9. As far as we know, these are Canadians, born and raised or immigrated and made Canadians
    you can send them home, but that would be to their address in Canada, they are Canadians
    however, you might want to ask your government to stop making everyone who applies to
    be a Canadian, a Canadian, once in, they are just like you and me.

    no rage Chessy, just reading comments that are off base and need to be corrected.
    these people are now the same as you and me, except they think criminal activity is OK
    because they were never taught better, and they probably won’t teach their kids any different.

  10. The legislation is the Fish And Wildlife Conservation Act as Well as the Endangered Species Act depending on the species of turtle in question. It would be great if the police could make the initial contact if COs were not able to respond to the occurrence but please do not have the police lay the wildllife related charges. If you are the police and reading this you can relate to having a C.O. investigating criminal matters or a major vehicle accident for example. CO’s can assess the seriousness of the fish and wildlife offences and get convictions such as the one mentioned regarding the Cornwall person. C.O.s are trained to deal with the fish and wildlife legislation. Thank you for contacting the Pembroke MNR to advise of this situation. The harvesting and commercialization of Ontario’s wildlife is an issue. There are many people from all walks of life out their profitting from this illegal business and it is people like yourself helping law enforcement in preventing this.

  11. Igster, you know exactly who I am referring to…..Now go climb back into your liberal minded closet with you know who……

  12. This is very sad new indeed. My family always practice catch and release. I would hope that this does not happen all of the time. I hope the put a stop to this.

  13. Stop making them Canadians, they we won’t have to worry about sending them home, but, in the mean time
    they are us 🙂

    1. Ok guys, we’re getting off-track here..lets focus on the poaching.

      From what it sounds like, this sort of activity could bring with it a whole host of fines..and that’s what Im looking for.

      This kind of activity has been going on up there for awhile too, by the sound it. Before the turtle incident, it was pails full of 5-inch long large mouth bass, if you believe that!

      Thanks V.Miller for touching base, I look forward to speaking with Mr Beach or one of the other Pembroke CO’s on this matter.



  14. hehe, Mr Beach….riigggghhht!
    next week ask for Mr Black
    there is a limit on certain turtles, it’s in the regs, but I’ve never met anyone who wanted one, or would eat one.

  15. I share your outrage Guys. I do however believe the MNR will take the report seriously. I recall a few years ago contacting the Pembroke office re: a Blandings Turtle found on my property. Having never seen one afore, I wanted to identify it. Pembroke informed me it is on the endangered species list and of course it was released back into my lil crick. In Algonquin Park, Painted Turtles have been studied for years as they to are declining at an alarming rate.
    As for theses disgusting poachers, I agree a video or few digital pics, of them and their vehicles will go a long way to “Educating” them about wildlife conservation in Ontario. Gret Idea 4 punishemtn…lol…make em roll naked in the “Hogweed”!

    1. Billy, did you get photo of that Blandings? That is a rare sight indeed…sort of like seeing a cougar in your backyard, although, I hear that’s becoming more common.

      I like the Hogweed idea…soak them in it and then tie them out in the sun!


  16. Jeff you did not say which lake.. perhaps if you do some of us may go there and obtain evidence….he hee. Clearly if they got away with it, they will try again, and if one were there to click the scene…BUSTED…..

    1. Well, I am pleased to report that I received a phone message from a CO in Pembroke after I left work yesterday. He is very interested in speaking with me regarding the turtle poaching incident.

      I will be getting back in touch with him later this am..

      Man, if I were a turtle poacher I’d be getting pretty nervous right about now!


  17. Jeff is it the idea of eating turtles that makes you sick or the idea that they might have been taken illegally because 4 persons X 2 snappers a piece X 30lbs each can be more than a cooler full .If they did have a license each.And a story is only a story until the second person relays it.The reason i ask this is because turtle meat does taste good.

  18. paul said: The reason i ask this is because turtle meat does taste good.

    I did try some turtle soup in Cuba and I must agree it does taste good.

    And I agree with Paul because Jeff you do say “Apparently” a group of visitors to the lake were seen catching and removing a ‘cooler full’ of turtles ……….. when you say apparently is this someone who told a camper on the lake who told another camper on the lake…blah blah…
    I doubt very much that you would post a blog on 3rd hand info but the apparently leaves it to question….
    if they are poaching hope they get fined …

    1. Alain & Paul, I know what you’re saying and obviously my anger got the better of me!

      It was pretty clear in my story, however, that I personally did not see this happen..in the Post I wrote; “This past weekend I was sickened to hear a story that occurred” It was told to me by someone I know up there..a reliable source who has seen this kind of thing before and was upset about it.

      It is my understanding Paul that the turtles in this cooler were not all great big snapping turtles, but more so a collection of smaller turtles of different species…which does sound suspect, does it not?

      At this point, though, I will let the authorities took over and with some luck they will get to the bottom of it. My main reason for reporting the incident in the first place was to bring this sort of ‘shady activity’ to light..and hopefully put a stop to people who do harvest outside of the legal limits up there..

      You’ll notice, I did not mention any names in the post nor did I show any evidence to prove wrong doing, but if there was any illegal activity going on (which I suspect there was) perhaps these people will think twice next time.

      And hey, if it turns out they were, in fact, harvesting turtles within the limits of the law, I will also be man enough to run a follow-up and apologize…


    1. Chessy, it was suggested that the fellow who witnessed the act should call the MNR tip-line…so that’s where its been left.

      I am told that he is calling so we’ll see what happens.


  19. good on you for following up on this Jeff!
    I don’t want to get flamed here b/c I think what was done is ridiculously wrong BUT, maybe they don’t know any better? It’s possible that doing what they did in their original country is ‘ok’ and maybe they didn’t even think to check or know better?

    I’m not saying what they did was right b/c it’s not of course, but sometimes, people just don’t know any better and it’s not intentional.

    I hope the person who saw this got a license plate number because i have an awful feeling it will be hard to track the perpetrators will be caught 🙁

  20. Keebler, no excuse, next thing we will be reading is honour killings are legal in canada. As I was told when I was a little gaffer….gnorance is no excuse of the law.

  21. yup. when you come here, you should know the law, and if you don’t know, it’s incumbent upon you to find out the law BEFORE you break it

    On the other hand, leave these poor immigrants alone, the come from a strange country where they have no aminals left………………I wonder why

  22. Today I went to Chinesse supermarket and I was shocking because they are selling frezing tourtles for eat, I’m not if this is llegal here, ….????????????

  23. You’d think an outdoors guy would be aware that turtles aren’t amphibians. Nice post though. I agree with your disgust.

    1. Sorry Mike, where did I say that…hehe..just realized I wrote that and have since changed it.

      Thanks for reading.


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