How to hunt for frogs in Ohio

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American bullfrog

Spring turkey season is fading far behind us in the rearview mirror, and fall is still so far ahead. People often ask what an outdoors person can do during these long, hot months of summer.

Aside from fishing and preparing for fall’s abundance of seasons, my favorite thing to do after the second Friday in June is to journey to my favorite marsh and listen for the sweet, sweet sound of “jug-o-rum!” This, my friend, is the song of the male American Bullfrog. 

You may not know this, but Ohio does have a frog season that is set and regulated by The Ohio Division of Wildlife. 

Frog hunting

To hunt frogs in Ohio, a person needs to have purchased a current resident fishing license, if they are between 16 and 65, or a nonresident license if they’re a nonresident. Or, if you’re 66 or older, you can qualify for a resident senior license. Those under the age of 16 are not required to purchase a license. 

Frog season in Ohio is open from 6 p.m. June 11 to April 30, 2022. Only bullfrogs and green frogs may be taken. No more than 15 frogs may be taken in one day. 

The Ohio Division of Wildlife sets a few standards of ways you may not harvest frogs in Ohio. “Green frogs and bullfrogs may not be harvested in the following ways; shot (except with archery equipment), a foothold or body-gripping trap, chemicals, deleterious or stupefying substances, smoke or explosives,” the division says.

Some of the more popular ways of getting frogs are by gigging, using archery equipment or the fun and challenging way of catching them by hand. 

Tools

Once you have caught your frogs, you’re going to want to have a good way of getting them around the marsh, crick or pond you may be in. 

I have found that those mesh string-type backpacks work great because you can carry them on your back, out of the way; they allow some air circulation but stay moist so your frogs do not dry out. Wire fish baskets work well if you’re operating out of a canoe or boat. 

A fish counter or clicker is a great tool for keeping a tally of how many frogs you have, so as to not go over your limit. Other things that are handy to have are a good headlight, first aid kit, bug spray, a towel and a dry set of clothes. 

Pursuing frogs throughout the night is a great way to stay active in the outdoors during those hot steamy months of summer. Trying to catch frogs is a great way for friends and family to get involved in the outdoors with very little cost involved. 

Cooking

The best part about frog season is getting to enjoy what you’ve caught. Frog legs are among the most prized cuts of meat in my freezer and typically only come out on special occasions. Frog legs are a smooth light white meat that can take on great flavors if marinated or seasoned properly. 

For a great recipe, check out wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/education-and-outdoor-discovery/wild-ohio-cookbook/small-game-wild-fowl-recipes and look for succulent frog legs, or try your favorite chicken wing recipe. 

For more information about Ohio’s frog season, contact the state game warden assigned to your county or pick up a 2021-2022 Ohio Fishing Regulation booklet for all the rules and regulations. To all those who venture out this summer in pursuit of the mighty frog, I wish you good luck, and stay safe! 

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