Where to Find?
In South Dakota I’ve found dark damp forests to be the best place. The more mulch on the ground the more hiding spots and food the snails have access to. Pick up small sticks in the shade or sort through the leaves next to features that help retain the soil’s moisture (logs, boulders, etc).
When to Find?
In the Midwest (SD & MN) I find them as early as late May and haven’t noticed a decline through summer. I will pay attention this year to better track the end of “snail season”. Haha.
How to Cook Snails?
First you must let them purge (poop) for a day or two buy starving them in their container. Then toss in some carrots and let them eat until all of the poop in your container is orange. I like to wash them off once or twice during this process. After one final rinse toss them into boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain off the water then use tweezers to pull out the snail from its shell.
Take the boiled snails and fry them up in butter and garlic. To help with the gross factor, just remember that snails are a delicacy in some parts of this world!