St. Charles, Mo. — Things will be hopping around the Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area on July 7. MDC's Discover Nature—Families will host a frog gigging clinic for youth ages 11 to 15, on Monday, July 7, from 6 p.m. to midnight. All youth attending must be accompanied by an adult.
MDC staff and conservation agents will teach the finer points of hunting frogs at night using a forked spear and a technique called gigging. Frog gigging is the perfect excuse to stay out late on a warm summer night.
"Many of the agents in the St. Louis area and I have a personal interest in frog gigging," said Conservation Agent Kevin Eulinger, "and I want to share our interest with young kids, who probably would not get the opportunity to learn how to frog gig anywhere else."
The clinic will begin with classroom instruction covering Missouri Wildlife Code regulations governing frog hunting, as well as how to positively identify frogs. Participants will also learn frog-gigging safety, gear and techniques, gigging practice, how to properly skin a frog, and frog-cooking preparations.
After a light dinner, participants will break out into teams led by MDC staff and set out on the conservation area at sunset to start hunting. MDC staff will assist the young hunters and their adult mentors in cleaning their catches at the end of the program.
"I hope this experience helps the kids discover what a really cool part of nature frog gigging is, and will stimulate them to go on their own in the future," Eulinger said.
The Discover Nature—Families frog clinic is free, and a light dinner and all gigging equipment will be provided. Advance reservations are required by calling (636) 441-4554 and the deadline for reservations is July 1.
MDC's August A. Busch Memorial Conservation area is located at 2360 Highway D, two miles west of Highway 94, in St. Charles.
Frogging season opens in Missouri on June 30. Both bullfrogs and green frogs are legal game. The daily limit is eight frogs, with a total possession limit of 16. They may be taken with either a valid hunting or fishing permit by a variety of methods. More details about frog hunting can be found at http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/regulations/non-game-species/frogs.