JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Celebrate summer with a favorite outdoor pastime for many Missourians -- frogging season. It begins at sunset on June 30 and ends Oct. 31.
Frogging can be practiced with either a fishing permit or a hunting permit. The Wildlife Code of Missouri allows those with a fishing permit to 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. With a hunting permit, frogs may be harvested using a .22-caliber or smaller rifle or pistol, pellet gun, atlatl, bow, crossbow, or by hand or hand net. The use of an artificial light is permitted when frogging.
Children under the age of 16 and Missouri residents over the age of 65 are not required to have a permit.
Missouri has two frog species that are legal game — bullfrog and green frog. Bullfrogs are larger and therefore more sought-after, but the legs of both species are delicious. The taste and texture of frog meat is similar to that of fresh-water fish.
The daily limit is eight frogs of both species combined. Catch eight frogs before midnight, and start frogging again at 12:01 a.m. to catch another day’s limit. However, it is not legal to possess more than one day’s limit while on the water and banks where daily limits apply. The possession limit allows you to store no more than 16 frogs at a time.
Once a frog is speared, it must be harvested. The Wildlife Code of Missouri prohibits the release of a speared frog as “wanton waste” because the animal is not likely to recover. Any frog taken into actual possession, unless immediately released unharmed after being caught, is included in the daily limit.
For more information on frogging, including methods, conservation areas to hunt them, recipes, and regulations, go online to mdc.mo.gov/node/15122.