Open season on frog legs begins throughout Missouri

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Local conservation agent shares tips on the sport

Open season on bullfrogs and green frogs began at sunset on Friday.

For anyone who hasn’t tried the sport, or fried frog legs for dinner, it’s worth the experience, local Barry County conservation agent Daniel Shores said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation and Shores shared the latest guidelines and tips on hunting the plentiful frogs, which are making their distinct, throaty voices heard in backyards near water sources.

There are a variety of legal methods that can be used to easily catch the frogs.

“The most common method people use is just grabbing them with their hands,” Shores said. “A few people gig them, some use a .22. The difference with shooting a rifle is you are required to have a hunting permit. The other methods just require a fishing permit.”

For anyone under 16 years of age, a fishing permit is not required.

“Ponds are where I see the most people jigging frogs,” Shores said. “Flat Creek is popular, too. But the farm ponds seem to be the most popular. Night is the best time to catch them; a lot of people use a bright light because their eyes reflect in the dark. You basically blind the frog, then grab it out of the water. It usually takes a team, with one person holding the line, and another grabbing the frog from behind.”

Shores said many avid frog hunters go out early on opening day to get their daily limit of eight frogs, per DOC regulations.

Fishing and/or hunting permits can be purchased at local retailers, online www.mdc.mo.gov, or on the agency’s app, MoHunt.

“We have an app people can purchase their permits from, which is popular, because people can easily show me proof of purchase from their phone when they’re out hunting,” Shores said.

A fishing license is $12, or a fishing and hunting license combo is $19.

The DOC outlines the following guidelines for frog hunting:

• Daily limit of 8 (combined total of both species)

• Possession limit: 16

• Only the daily limit may be possessed on waters and banks of waters being fished or hunted

Allowed Hunting Methods

• .22 or smaller caliber rimfire rifle or pistol

• Pellet gun

• Bow

• Crossbow

• Atlatl

• Hand or handnet

• Artificial lights

Allowed Fishing Methods

• Hand or handnet

• Gig

• Bow

• Trotline

• Throwline

• Limb line

• Bank line

• Jug line

• Snagging

• Snaring

• Grabbing

• Pole and line

• Artificial lights

Prohibited Methods

Hunters may not possess night vision or thermal imagery equipment while carrying a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

The DOC also shared some easy, basic recipes to cook the frogs after enjoying the catch. Frog legs have a mild flavor similar to that of fish, and can be battered and fried, or sautιed in butter with garlic or herbs.

Fried Frog Legs

• 1 cup flour

• 1 cup crushed saltine crackers

• 1/4 cup cornstarch

• 1 T. black pepper

• 1 T. season salt

• 1 T. lemon pepper salt

• 2 eggs

• 1 cup milk

• 2 quarts peanut oil

Thaw a possession limit of frog legs (16 pairs), drain and pat dry with paper towels. Heat oil to 375F. Combine dry ingredients in a large plastic bowl with lid. Dip legs into milk and egg mixture, then drop into bowl with dry ingredients. Cover bowl and shake. Drop legs in hot oil and cook until golden brown.

Grilled Frog Legs

• 12 large frog legs

• ½ cup vegetable oil

• Grated peel & juice of ½ lemon

• 3 T. minced purple onion

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

• 1 tsp. dry mustard

• 2 T. chopped parsley

• Ό cup butter or margarine

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• Vegetable oil

Arrange frog legs in single layer in baking dish. Combine oil, lemon peel & juice, onion, parsley, salt, mustard and basil. Measure out one-third cup marinade, cover with plastic wrap and chill. Pour remaining marinade over frog legs, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill, for three hours, turning occasionally.

Brush grill with vegetable oil. Drain frog legs and discard marinade. Grill frog legs at medium heat, covered, for three minutes. Turn frog legs, cover, and cook for an additional three-to-four minutes or until meat is no longer pink and begins to separate from the bones.

Combine reserved marinade with butter and garlic in saucepan. Cook over medium heat for one-to-two minutes or until hot and butter is melted, stirring frequently. Pour over cooked frog legs and serve.

For more information on frog hunting, people may visit: www.mdc.mo.gov.

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