How to hunt frogs in Ohio



Spring turkey season is fading far behind us in the rearview mirror, and fall is still so far away. People often ask what a person outside can do during those long, hot summer months.

Besides fishing and preparing for the bountiful fall seasons, my favorite thing to do after the second Friday in June is to go to my favorite swamp and listen to the sweet, sweet sound of “jug- o-rum! This, my friend, is the song of the male American Bullfrog.

You may not know it, but Ohio has a frog season that is defined and regulated by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

Frog hunting

To hunt frogs in Ohio, a person must have purchased a current resident fishing license, if they are between the ages of 16 and 65, or a non-resident license if they are non-resident. Or, if you are 66 or older, you can qualify for a senior resident permit. Those under 16 are not required to purchase a license.

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

The Ohio Wildlife Division sets a few standards on how you can’t harvest frogs in Ohio. “Green frogs and bullfrogs cannot be harvested in the following ways; shooting (except with archery equipment), a kick or body trap, chemicals, noxious or narcotic substances, smoke or explosives, ”the division said.

Some of the more popular ways to get frogs are through playing, using archery gear, or the fun and challenging way to catch them by hand.

Tools

Once you’ve caught your frogs, you’ll want to have a good way to move them around the swamp, cliff, or pond you’re in.

I have found these mesh backpacks to work great because you can wear them on your back, out of the way; they allow some air circulation but stay moist so your frogs don’t dry out. Wire fish baskets work well if you are navigating from a canoe or boat.

A fish counter or clicker is a great tool to keep track of how many frogs you have, so you don’t go over your limit. Other useful things are a good headlamp, first aid kit, bug spray, towel, and a set of dry clothes.

Chasing frogs through the night is a great way to stay active outside during the hot, scorching summer months. Trying to catch frogs is a great way for friends and family to get involved in the great outdoors at a very low cost.

Cooked

The best part of frog season is enjoying what you’ve caught. Frog legs are among the most prized cuts of meat in my freezer and usually only come out on special occasions. Frog legs are a light, white meat that can take on good flavor if marinated or seasoned properly.

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

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