by Conservation Agent Nate Carr
When I was a child the best way for my brothers, friends and I to beat the heat was to jump in the pond and go for a swim. The day usually consisted of cannonballs off the bridge and catching as many frogs, turtles, and crawdads as we could. Exhausted and caked in mud at the end of the day, we would release what we caught and get hosed off in the back yard. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized there was a season for frogs along with a few recipes. I have yet to eat frog legs, but I would certainly like to try them in the near future.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages people to get out this summer and catch some frogs. Frogging season begins June 30 at sunset and ends Oct. 31. The two frog species in Missouri that are legal game are bullfrogs and green frogs.
The daily limit is eight frogs of both species combined and the possession limit is 16 frogs of both species combined. However, only the daily limit may be possessed on waters and banks of waters where hunting. Daily limits end at midnight, so froggers who catch their daily limits before midnight and then want to return for more frogging after midnight must remove the daily limit of previously caught frogs from the waters or banks before returning for more.
Frogging can be done with either a fishing permit or a small-game hunting permit, and allows many different methods of take. Those with a fishing permit may take frogs by hand, hand net, atlatl, gig, bow, trotline, throw line, limb line, bank line, jug line, snagging, snaring, grabbing or pole and line. If you’re using a small game hunting permit, frogs may be harvested using a .22-caliber or smaller rimfire rifle or pistol, pellet gun, atlatl, bow, crossbow, or by hand or hand net. Also, the use of artificial light is permitted when frogging.
For more information about frog hunting, including how to get started and tasty recipes to try, visit MDC online at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/frog.