MDC offers frog gigging clinic for families July 31 in Lincoln County

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Elsberry, Mo. — Things will be hopping around BK Leach Memorial Conservation Area Friday, July 31. That's the date of the Discover Nature—Families Frog Gigging Clinic. The event runs from 7-11 p.m., and is open to youths from age 11 to 15. All youths attending must be accompanied by an adult.

Missouri Department of Conservation (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 St. Louis Region agents 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 the creatures.

Next, the participants will get an introduction on frog gigging safety, gear and techniques, as well as a chance to practice gigging before going afield. There will also be a demonstration on how to properly skin out a frog and prepare it for cooking. At sunset, they will break out into teams led by MDC staff and set out to hunt on the conservation area.

At the end of the program, MDC staff will assist the young hunters and their adult mentors in cleaning their catches. Afterwards everyone will get to taste a sample of real frog legs.

"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 all gigging equipment will be provided. Advance reservations are required by calling 636-441-4554. Discover Nature--Families programs are designed to help adults and children explore nature and master outdoor skills together.

Frogging season opened in Missouri on June 30, and the limit is eight frogs. 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

MDC's BK Leach Memorial Conservation Area is in Lincoln County and can be reached from Elsberry by taking Highway 79 south 3 miles, then Route M east 3 miles to the main tract.