SUMMER “HUNTERS” DANCING AFTER BULLFROGS
Season runs July 1-Oct. 31; fishing license required
PRATT — As the old song goes, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine...” Well, no one’s planning on eating Jeremiah, but he’d probably make some mighty fine fry. And for those who think viewing bullfrogs as drinking buddies is absurd, they’re right. But hunting them is a great way to beat the summer heat in the cool of the night with a fun outdoor adventure for young and old alike. And the resulting table fare will make the most hardcore “oldies” fan get up and dance. So get ready to boogie; the season begins July 1.
Bullfrog hunting, or "frogging," as many people call it, is a great way to enjoy the outdoors after days have sweltered close to 100 degrees through much of June. The freedom of summer nights beckons with the call of the bullfrog in July. At this time, shorts and a T-shirt are all that's needed to cool off in the water and pursue this popular quarry.
Froggers enjoy a season that runs July 1 through Oct. 31 although most frogging activity is in the hotter months of July and August. The daily creel limit is eight, with a possession limit of 24. While bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, dip net, gig, bow and arrow, or crossbow (firearms not allowed), many froggers prefer to take them by hand. All that's needed is a flashlight or headlamp, a mesh sack, an old pair of tennis shoes, and some stealth. The only other necessary ingredient is access to a local pond, lake, or stream. A valid fishing license is needed, if required by law.
The best method is to walk quietly through the water at night and shine a bright light along the bank until a pair of glowing eyes appear. Temporarily blinded by the light, frogs can be grabbed or netted.
The fruits of this effort are not only fun times but good food. Frog legs are regarded as a delicacy and have a taste and texture resembling a cross of shrimp and fish. A popular way to cook them is to dip the legs in egg and then into a mixture of flour and corn meal, seasoning salt, and pepper. Then the legs are fried to a golden brown in oil. This gourmet meal is a bonus to a great summer evening that both kids and adults will always remember.
Add a great old Three Dog Night song written by Hoyt Axton, and you’ll be singing “joy to the world.”