OUTDOORS with Bill Wehrle: Frogging season opens June 30

BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor
Bill Wehrle column

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor 

Frogging season opens at sunset on June 30, the only Missouri hunting season to open at nightfall.

This somewhat-strange opening time gives frog hunters an opportunity to take one daily limit of frogs by midnight and another after midnight – technically the next day.

To legally do this, you’ll have to remove the first day’s limit from the waters or banks of waters and return to get your second limit. Don’t get stopped by a Missouri Department of Conservation officer with two daily limits in your possession!

Missouri’s frogging season runs through Oct. 31, so you have plenty of time to take enough frogs for several tasty meals, and there’s not much wild game that tastes better than frog legs.

The daily limit on frogs (only bullfrogs and green frogs are legal game) is eight (8) and the possession limit is 16. Take only the biggest frogs and you’ll have enough legs for a family-sized meal. Fried frog legs are yummy!

Be prepared to get wet and muddy, as frogs are located in or near water, usually in the shallow water next to the bank where it’s nice and muddy.

Where there are frogs, there usually is also a multitude of biting insects, so liberal use of spray is advised.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code permits a person to take frogs while carrying a hunting or fishing permit, but your permit must match your frog-taking method.

According to the Code, with a fishing permit, you may take frogs by hand, hand net, atlatl, gig, bow, trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or pole and line. However, youth “fishing” for frogs without a permit because they are age 15 years or younger are limited to using pole and line, gig, bow, crossbow, snaring, grabbing, and snagging.

With a small-game hunting permit, frogs may be harvested using a .22 caliber or smaller rimfire rifle or handgun, pellet gun, atlatl, bow, crossbow, or by hand or hand net. The use of an artificial light is permitted while frogging.

Hunting them at night using a light works really well, but the light tends to attract mosquitos and other little biting bugs. Even so, it’s still a lot of fun and a great way to get the makings for a tasty wildlife dinner.

If you carry both a fishing and a hunting permit, you may take your frogs by any of the means cited.

The Missouri Conservation Commission recently approved some changes in CWD (chronic wasting disease) regulations.

Four counties where CWD was newly detected last fall – Camden, Laclede, McDonald, and Pulaski – were added to the CWD Management Zone. The Zone now consists of 34 counties in or near where CWD has been found.

The mandatory CWD sampling requirement that was waived last year, due to COVID-19, has been reinstated.

Hunters who harvest deer in any of the CWD Zone counties during opening weekend of this year’s November portion of firearms deer season (Nov. 13-14) must take their harvested deer (or the head) to one of MDC’s mandatory CWD sampling stations for testing.

Enjoy Missouri’s outdoors this summer by chasing frogs, come sunset June 30, and in less than five months you’ll be chasing deer!

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday)