"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Legislative Action Cold...Turtle Soup Hot
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

Things are pretty slow, in the legislative, hunting, fishing, and otherwise, as I encounter my beat-up Dell computer this morning, but they are buzzing in the Turtle Soup Department.

But first I must bring you up-to-date on this legislative business.

You see, the so-called bill on senior citizenís inexpensive fishing license, has passed the House and now awaits action (we hope) in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. It is in good shape, and hands, conservationists believe.

The other matter of great concern to conservationists of the state is (they vote, too, Patrick). The so-called right to hunt, etc. joint resolution has passed the originating Senate and is holed up in the House under the "protective wing" of Speaker of the House. Rep. Patrick Bauer, who seems to be delaying the proceedings about as badly as he can. To this date, Rep. Bauer has had more than two weeks to put his mind in gear.

You see, Rep. Bauer must assign SJR 14 (Senate Joint Resolution) to some committee other than Rules and Legislative Procedures, or it is down the tube. And a lot of work by a similarly large number of people will be wasted by one man. Conservationists would like to see the resolution in the House Natural Resources Committee.

The thing to remember when dealing with matters of the outdoors is that, even if you donít care for this kind of activity, there are hundreds of thousands--even millions--who do. Hunting, fishing, and the allied activities are a very big business.


I had a sneaky suspicion there would be room for it, especially allowing as how I just polished off the soup pot for lunch. You see, last spring in the P-S D (thatís pre-stroke days) on a Boone County back road I chanced upon a very large snapping turtle that had just been hit by a big gravel truck.

The turtle was badly injured--even the top shell (carapace) was broken. Thinking I could save the ornery guy, I picked him up by the tail and put him in my pickup. He got worse, though, so I lopped off his three-inch head, and dressed (undressed) him. The meat--several pounds with bones--was frozen. A few days later the stroke hit and I was unable to cook the frozen turtle meat, until recently.

Hereís what I used: Turtle meat (bones in if possible); 1 regular-size can of Sweet Sue chicken broth (more if you choose, bullion cube works with water); 3 cups of veggies, including at least two diced potatoes, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 finely-chopped onion, and ½  cup carrot rings (cut in half or quartered). Any other veggies you choose. Lots of veggies is good; also salt and pepper, other seasonings to your taste.

How to Cook It: Put six meat pieces (four legs, neck, and tail (minus skin and fat) in large (covered) sauce pan (covered with tap water) cook for 30 minutes over medium heat (covered). Add veggies (cubes of one potato) and chicken broth and simmer for three or four hours, add cubes of second potato, cook until they are tender.

Notes: Use lots of veggies, cut small. Cook meat in cooking bag and separate it from bones when meat falls off bones easily. Soup may be creamed, if that is your desire by creating the thickening with flour separately using chicken broth or water. Bones add something (like taste) to any soup. Remove meat from bones when warm, not hot. Neck and tail have lots of small bones, but meaty. Noodles or dumplings can be added. Chop meat; add to pot. I do not advocate killing uninjured turtles for soup. Soup becomes turtle gumbo if you make it thicker and add more spicy. Cubes of first potato will pulverize to thicken soup, cubes of second potato remain whole, but cooked.

All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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