MDC offers youth frog gigging clinic Aug. 5 at BK Leach

News from the region
Saint Louis
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Elsberry, Mo.—Frog gigging is a summer activity that goes back generations.  To give today’s kids a chance to discover this classic pastime, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering a Discover Nature—Youth Frog Gigging Clinic Friday, Aug. 5.  It will take place at BK Leach Memorial Conservation Area from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m.  It is open to youths age 11 to 15.  All youths attending must be accompanied by an adult mentor.  Frog gigging is the perfect excuse to stay out late on a warm summer night. 

MDC staff and conservation agents will teach the finer points of hunting frogs at night using the classic frog gigging tool—the forked spear.

“Many of the St. Louis region agents and I have a personal interest in frog gigging,” said Conservation Agent Kevin Eulinger, organizer of the clinic, “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, learn about frog biology and habitat, the techniques of frog gigging, and all the necessary equipment.  They’ll also have a chance to practice gigging before going afield.  At sunset, participants will break out into teams led by MDC staff and set out to hunt on the conservation area’s lakes.

At the end of the program, MDC staff will assist the young hunters and their adult mentors in cleaning their catches.  There will also be a demonstration on how to properly skin out a frog and prepare it for cooking.  Finally, 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—Youth Frog Clinic is free and all gigging equipment will be provided.  Advance reservations are required by calling 636-441-4554.  All the basics of the sport will be provided.  Both youth and adult mentor should bring their own knee boots, hip boots, chest waders, or wading shoes/old tennis shoes suitable for walking in water.  A headlamp and bug spray is also recommended.

Frogging season is open in Missouri until Oct. 31, 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.