Caught on Camera

By Tom Venesky - [email protected]

Armed with powerful jaws and a carapace that makes it look prehistoric and even imposing, snapping turtles are actually quite vulnerable this time of year. Through mid-June, female snapping turtles are busy laying eggs and they often travel quite a distance to reach a nesting location. That often means they cross roads or even lay their eggs in the gravel along the berm, putting them at risk of being run over.

This snapping turtle photographed by Martin Husovich didn’t have to deal with roads while reaching its nest. Husovich came across the turtle at Brady’s Lake on Saturday, and he said it was one of seven snappers he found laying eggs in the dike.

The snapping turtle in Husovich’s photo is quite large, and some snappers can reach weights of 45 pounds or more. Females lay between 25 and 50 eggs and the incubation period is 60 to 90 days, depending on how warm it gets during the summer.

While it’s important to keep an eye out for Snapping turtles crossing roads right now, in a couple months the risk will surface again as the young hatch and immediately travel to the nearest pond.

Capture anything interesting on your hand-held or trail camera? A nice buck, bear, coyote or any other wildlife? We’d love to see it. Each week, we’ll run photos from a reader’s trail camera on the Sunday Outdoors page. Email your photo, along with date and area it was taken (township is fine), and any other details to [email protected]

By Tom Venesky

[email protected]