I just heard from Ed DeVries, President of the Bowfishing Assn. of Illinois.
The BAI is a very active group that not only gets out on many outings and enjoys the rapidly growing sport of bowfishing, but they've also been very instrumental in getting some conservation laws changed... fall for the good. One great milestone is that bowfishing records are now on the books.
Ed tells me that snapping turtles can bow be harvested by bow anglers. That's great news. I've had turtle before and it's very good table fare.
My question is... Will an arrow penetrate the shell on a big snapper?
Here's the news that Ed passed on to me.
Hey Don; Thought you might want to pass this along. Starting in the 2013 fishing season, snapping turtles are now legal game for those who bowfish. The Bowfishing Association of Illinois spearheaded the effort to get these regulations changed over the past couple years and have worked with the DNR, who continue to be very pro bowfishing, to accomplish this and we are very proud of our efforts for all who bowfish in Illinois. There are also 4 additional pages devoted to bowfishing regulations, places to bowfish and species we may harvest. Here is the new regs from the IDNR fishing regulation booklet;
President Bowfishing Association of Illinois
Turtles (Common Snapping Turtle only) Methods of Taking and Capture
Common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) may be taken only by hand, hook and line, or bow and arrow except in the following Illinois counties where bowfishing for common snapping turtles is not permitted: Randolph, Perry, Franklin, Hamilton, White, Gallatin, Saline, Williamson, Jackson, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Massac, Pulaski, and Alexander. The alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is protected and may not be taken by any sport fishing method. No person shall take common snapping turtles or any other reptile or amphibian by commercial fishing devices, including, hoop nets, traps or seines or by the use of firearms, air guns or gas guns.
Any captured reptiles or amphibians which are not to be retained in the possession of the captor shall be immediately released at the site of cap- ture, unless taken with a lethal method (such as bow and arrow, gig, spear, pitchfork) which does not permit “release with no harm”. All such taken common snapping turtles and bullfrogs must be kept and counted in the daily catch creel or bag. No culling of such taken species is permitted. No person shall take or possess any species of reptile or amphibian listed as endangered or threatened in Illinois (17 Ill. Adm. Code 1010 except as provided by 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1070).
Common snapping turtles may be taken only between June 15 and August 31, both dates inclusive.
Daily Catch and Possession Limits
The daily catch limit for common snapping turtles is 2 with a possession limit of 4. For indigenous amphibian and reptile taxa, which may only be taken by hand, (excluding common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) the possession limit is 8 collectively with no more than 4 per taxa.