This past weekend Coyote and the crew teamed up with biologist Rick Rozic and headed off into one of the cleanest and healthiest bodies of water in Ohio, LaDue Reservoir.
The reservoir is situated in an area of glacial deposits characterized by numerous kames and small relict glacial lakes and ponds. The environment is extremely clean, no gasoline powered boats are allowed in this body of water and Coyote suspected this might be a place that MONSTER sized turtles would be growing. Several World Record size fish have been pulled from LaDue...so in theory...why not record size turtles?
The team spent the day tackling inlets and swamps along the sides of the reservoir. Several signs of turtles were present...massive bubble trails, half eaten fish and even the occasional dark shadow below the surface...but nothing capable of a catch.
In the search several species of animals were captured including 3 Midland Painted Turtles...
A Common Musk Turtle...also known as a "StinkPot"...yes he stunk despite being cute.
Several Northern Water Snakes...
And even a giant Carp...which Coyote some how managed to capture with his bare hands, holding true to his motto of No Nets...No Traps...No PROBLEM! We didn't get pics of this huge fish...but the footage of Coyote jumping into the water and wrangling out a 3 foot long fish was totally awesome!
The day was long and hot...signs of Swamp Monsters bubbled up all around us but a visual lock on one of these stealthy creatures just wasn't happening. Finally, just as we were getting set to call it a day...the moment we had been waiting for was upon us!
Rick called out..."TURTLE...TURTLE!" and in a flash Coyote lept from the boat, cameras following as he plunged into the water and fought through waist deep mud and plant tangles. The turtle was already out of sight when Coyote lunged into the muck and managed to get a hand on the back of its shell...the battle was on! 40 lbs of reptilian force was a lot to handle, especially armed with lethal claws which are now to blame for the 32 lacerations Coyote sustained during this capture. In the end...it was well worth it!
At a whopping 40 lbs this Snapping Turtle is so far the biggest of the year...and if that wasn't enough...within moments a second turtle weighing in at 35 lbs was also captured!
Both turtles were incredibly healthy, probably two of the finest specimens we have ever captured and proof that LaDue Reservoir is capable of yielding some serious Swamp Monsters.
Our scouting and test shoot to LaDue Reservoir was a monstrous success! We will return in a few weeks to revisit the spots that gave us promising signs of these elusive beasts. The location is primed to be a spot for a World Record Snapping Turtle, and we only hope that we will come face to face with such a creature the next time around.
Our mission is to find and capture a World Record Snapping Turtle. A prehistoric sized creature armed with razor sharp jaws, slashing claws, and a legendary reputation for being one of the most powerful and aggressive reptiles on the planet...
Welcome to the muck...this is SWAMP MONSTERS!
For more photos from this weekends expedition visit CP's Facebook Page!