Places to buy turtles
- It's best to leave a turtle in its natural habitat instead of taking it home to be your pet. If it seems happy where it lives, just leave it there. If you are concerned about its well being, you may want to consider contacting your local fish and wildlife department about what to do.
- Do not dig the hole more than 11 inches deep. The fall into a hole that deep could severely hurt the turtle.
- You can also purchase a pre-made trap. There are a wide variety of manufacturers, many of whom are just private citizens who have devised their own unique trap designs.
- Different types of turtles eat different things. Turtles are even known to be scavengers, eating the remains of other dead animals, so you can use small pieces of raw meat to catch certain types of turtles.
- Don't forget to set up bait around the trap as well. Place enough around the trap that the turtle will notice it, but it won't fill it up before it gets to the bait in the trap. A shredded lettuce leaf with the bits scattered all around the trap works well.
- If the turtle ignores or doesn't notice the food, approach quietly behind it, and give it a quick tap on the tail with a small stick. This will, more than likely, startle the turtle, causing it to run forward, right into the hole.
- If you have other things to do and are tired of waiting for the turtle to enter the trap, consider just leaving the trap for a while. It may take more than one attempt, as other things may eat the bait, but you will eventually catch the turtle.
- Turtles have large claws that can scratch surprisingly hard and many are powerful biters, so be careful.
- If you don't want to touch the turtle you can scoop it out of the hole in the ground with a bucket or shovel. If you are using a pre-made trap, you will simply need to pick up the trap to relocate the turtle.
Relocate the turtle to a suitable habitat. Before you catch a turtle research what kind of turtles are native to your area. Some turtles are harmless and should simply be relocated nearby. Other turtles are considered invasive species and should be dealt with by your local fish and wildlife department. Identify which type of turtle you have trapped and act accordingly.
Method 2Fishing for a Turtle by Hand
- Assess what kind of turtle you are dealing with before you start. Catching turtles by hand with this method works best when attempting to catch small turtles.
- If you want to catch a large turtle, you can probably just sneak up on it and grab it by its sides.
- Beware of snapping turtles! They have long necks that can reach back and snap your fingers! It's best to just let them be.
- Put your fingers in water where you can see turtles nearby. Wiggle your fingers around slowly. This should draw the attention of turtles, as you are mimicking the movement of insects on the surface of the water.
- Allow the turtle to get close. However, don't let it get close enough to bite you. You will need to assess when it has gotten close enough to grab with your other hand.
- Quickly grab the turtle on its side. If you are afraid to pick the turtle with your hands, bring a small container to scoop it up with or you can wear gardening gloves or snow gloves so you won't get scratched or bitten.
- Enjoy looking at the turtle but don't take it home. While it's great to get an up close look at a wild animal, don't take it out of its natural habitat permanently. Native turtle species populations, like those of many wild animals, are sadly in decline all over the world. We need to help them survive by letting them live in their natural environments.