Yes. I separate the skin from the shell first (while top/bottom is intact). I then pull the meat out and separate it from the skin with a knife. I love the skin but put it in the pot separately so the meat can be browned better. All that stuff you and Supa said about the eggs is amazing. I had a teacher telling me she used to find eggs where they lived too. As much as we were outside and in ditches I never found any turtle eggs.