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Froggin'

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Published on: Jun. 2, 2003

Last revision: Nov. 15, 2010

Frog Hunt

usually within five feet of the water's edge, where it is cooler and food is abundant.

The water temperature of a shallow pond in August and September can exceed 85 degrees. Bullfrogs cannot regulate their body temperature internally, so they leave the water at night to cool off and slow their metabolism. When temperatures drop in late September, the water is warmer than the air, and frogs nestle into aquatic vegetation in deeper water. By late October, bullfrogs begin burrowing into the mud to over winter. That's about the same time as the frogging season ends.

Frogging Rules

The Wildlife Code of Missouri allows the harvest of frogs by hand net, gig, longbow, trotline, throw line, limb line, bank line, jug line, snagging, snaring, grabbing or pole and line and allows the use of an artificial light. They can also be taken with .22-caliber firearms, pellet guns, longbows and crossbows.

The current daily limit of frogs is eight. The possession limit (how many you can have in your freezer before having a frog fry) is twice the daily limit. Frogs may be harvested with either a hunting or a fishing permit. Children under the age of 16 are not required to purchase a permit, nor are adults over age 65.

Harvesting frogs

Approach a wetland and search for white bellies and reflective pink eyes with your flashlight. Once dazzled by the light, frogs won't jump unless startled by your movement. Creep up slowly then thrust the spear right behind their head. Frogs are tough, so it takes a considerable amount of power to pierce their leathery bodies. Instead of throwing the spear, get as close as possible to the frog and use your body weight to impale your prey.

Once you've speared a frog, you must harvest the animal. Releasing an injured frog is viewed as "wanton waste" in the Wildlife Code, as the animal is not likely to recover.

Hand grabbing is my personal favorite method for harvesting frogs. My 5-year-old daughter says you have to "neek" up on them. Hunters and anglers typically choose to harvest larger animals to ensure their limit is sufficient to grease up a skillet. By catching frogs with your hands, you can then decide to harvest the animal or let it go in hopes of catching a bigger one.

The best time of year to grab is when the frogs are on the bank. Dazzle a frog with light and approach it

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