Frogging season is a big deal in the South, though how big depends on where you live. Some states, such as Tennessee, don’t have a designated season. Others do, ranging from around the first of April to the middle of May.
In Kentucky it’s the third week in May (the 16th this year) and it has pretty much been that way since I was a kid. Back then, as frogging season approached, my hunting and fishing buddy and I would plan our strategy for opening night. There were ponds and lakes that were open to anyone, and there were others – usually on farms owned by our relatives – where only we had access. So we would gig the public waters first, trying to get to the best ones before others did and save our private waters for later in the night. Simple as it was, this strategy worked out quite well, and the only thing about it that varied from year to year was the itinerary.
A couple of two-cell flashlights, a gig with metal tines taped or wired to a cane pole, a burlap seed bag or two to hold the frogs, and a pair of cheap “car wash boots,” was the only equipment required. Frogging was inexpensive entertainment and the results were always at least a few dozen delicious froglegs.
As with most any hunting and fishing endeavor that humans get involved with, however, we became so adept at it that we decided we needed to make it more difficult to be worthy of our attention. So we took up bowfrogging.
There are various ways to hunt bullfrogs. Other than gigging, one can catch them on hook and line with a patch of cloth, grab them by hand or shoot them with a .22 hollow-point or with an arrow. Shooting frogs with a .22 is quite sporting, but the problem here is that bullfrogs are seldom willing to admit that they’re dead and will dive reflexively under any available cover before you can get to them.