Let’s go frog gigging

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frog

As spring turkey season fades far behind us and fall is still so far ahead, as an outdoor person, what can you do during those hot summer months.

Aside from fishing and preparing for falls abundance of seasons, my favorite thing to do after the second Friday in June is journey to my favorite marsh and listen for the sweet, sweet sound of “jug-o-rum!” “jug-o-rum!” “jug-o-rum!”

This, my friend, is the song of the male American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus).

Frog season

You may not know this but Ohio does have a frog season that is set and regulated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. To hunt frogs in Ohio a person must purchase a current fishing license if they are between the ages of 16 and 65.

Frog season in Ohio is open from 6 p.m. June 8-April 30, 2019. Only bullfrogs and green frogs (Rana clamitans melanota) may be taken.

No more than 15 frogs may be taken in one day, that’s of singular or combined species.

Hunting

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 (accept with archery equipment), a foothold or body-gripping trap, chemicals, deleterious or stupefying substances, smoke, or explosives.”

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

Accessories

Once you have attained your frog(s) you’re going to want to have a good way of getting it/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 yet stay moist so your frogs in the bag do not dry out.

Wire fish baskets work well if you’re operating out of a canoe/boat.

A fish counter/clicker is a great tool to keep a tally of how many frogs you have and not go over your limit.

Other things that are handy to have is a good head light, first aid kit, and bug spray.

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 the whole family to get involved in the outdoors with very little cost involved.

Frog legs

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, click on “Education and Outdoor Discovery” and “Wild Ohio Cookbook” to look for succulent frog legs.

More

For more information about Ohio’s frog season contact the state game warden assigned to your county and or pick up a 2018-2019 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 all good luck and stay safe.

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Levi Arnold is the agriculture technician for the Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District. He is a recent graduate of Zane State College with a degree in wildlife and fisheries management.

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