Tips for bulk-shucking crawfish
Do it outside. Juice will splatter when you crack the carapace.
Keep separate containers for shucked and to-be-shucked mudbugs. They look remarkably similar and after removing the meat from a few dozen you’ll start to confuse the two piles if you use one container.
To remove tail meat, do the following. Press down with the thumb of one hand where the tail meets the body. Push towards the head with thumb. Rip head off with other hand, discard head. You should have two legs (or more) still attached to the tail and a small white Y-shaped piece of meet sticking out from the tail (pulled from the body itself). Crack off the carapace where the legs are connected. Push index finger, nail first, between the meat and the shell from front to the end of the tail, severing the connection between the two. Pull out meat. Remove small, usually dark vein that runs the length of the tail. The key is to pull it out rather than rip it out since there is a small piece of meat that covers the vein and might as well be retained if you can do it.
Darker-red crawfish have harder shells. On these dark crawfish, you might want to crack the tail like you would do with a lobster before attempting the above.
Your thumbs and forefingers will develop lots of micro-cuts. This is nothing to worry about.
Assuming you seasoned your crawfish with liberal amounts of cayenne (and related hot stuff) your hands will begin to burn after about twenty or so shuckings. It seems the spice-infused crawjuice just seeps in. This is something to worry about. It hurts.
About 17 lbs. of crawfish generates as much meat as pictured above. Lots of work. Best to make certain you’re really into crawfish before undertaking. Good luck.