Best Gear & Strategies For Hunting, Killing, Cleaning & Cooking BullFrogs
Best Gear & Strategies For Catching BullFrogs For Food Now Or During Doomsday
Frog legs taste really good, even when you are not starving to death. Whether you just like to hunt and eat bullfrogs today, or you're on a budget and can't afford chicken or beef often enough, or you are in a Doomsday survival situation and are trying to stay alive, learning how to hunt, catch, cook, and eat bullfrogs is a valuable skill.
If you're a prepper, just having a simple Frog Gig in your Bug-Out bag would be very helpful for capturing food, whether that be frogs, snakes, or other small critters.
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Typical Bullfrog Smile!
Bullfrog Hunting Tips & Strategies Tips
1. Learn how to Locate & Stalk Bullfrogs
A critical skill is to learn how to locate and stalk the frogs. If you know where ponds, swamps, ditches, lakes, or other bodies of water are that are within bullfrog territory, drive to where there might be frogs and turn the car off and listen.
Swampy, algae and snake infested looking areas are a bullfrogs favorite territory, but you are going to use your ears to locate them no matter how snaky or not snaky the habitat is. If you are on foot then walk and listen, but if it is a large swampy area that is not too far from a road, you can find them faster with your car. Once you hear them, then go that way and just let them guide you to them.
You'll be surprised at how far away you can hear the frogs if it's a still and quiet night. If you hear frogs on private property, then go back the next day and ask for permission. We've never had much problem getting permission to gig at a pond as long as you can find the land owners.
The early summer is best as the frogs are looking for their love partner and are singing their tunes to court them. When you get to the bank, shine the light around and look for shiny frog eyes. Every now and then turn the light off and sit and listen. If you hear one and can't find it, move towards the frog, and stop and sit and listen again.
If its hiding in a grassy/weedy area, you will eventually be able to narrow the area in the weeds where it's at down to a foot or two. Often times when they are hiding in such an area, they will let you move the weeds around them with the gig so you can uncover them.
On a creek bank, sometimes we have a buddy on each side to help spot across the creek and gig the ones on that side. We basically locate the frogs for each other. If you are walking along a "clean" bank, another good method is to have a buddy with one of you doing the gigging and the other shining the light.
Be quiet and walk very softly. When walking the bank, the frogs sitting on the bank often times can feel the vibrations or hear you, and a lot of them will jump in the water just before you get a chance to gig them.
Bullfrogs Are Harder To Spot During The Day
Probably the most successful gigging is done from a flat jon boat or canoe. If you use a jon boat, you can use a trolling motor. If you are paddling, just be sure to move quietly and not let the paddles bump into the canoe or boat. The paddles banging on the side of the boat will definitely spook the frogs away.
When you gig from a boat, the frogs seem to stay put longer. This is probably because they know the danger is in the water and they don't want to move away from the water. It's the opposite when you and they are both on the bank. They'll jump in the water and swim away at the slightest bit of being spooked.
2. Use a Powerful Light
A powerful light is your greatest tool in your quest to catch frogs. Most frog hunting is done at night with the aid of a powerful light. Experienced frog hunters know its best to shine a light around a pond bank or swamp and see what eyes start shining back at you.
You will soon be able to distinguish little frogs from eating sized frogs and bigger creatures like alligators. A powerful light is the most important tool for frogging so that you can blind the frogs. Flashlights are great, but if you are frog hunting alone, powerful headlamps are even better to keep your hands free.
The one below made by InnoGear is a really nice one, but there are a slew of good headlamps to choose from. Just check out headlamps and flashlights on Amazon, eBay, etc., and get the one that's right for you. Once you have your target in site, never take the light beam away from being dead in their eyes.
Keep the beam in their eyes as you move closer. If the light comes off their eyes or is disrupted by anything in the light beam between you and the frog, then that will likely spook the frog.
3. Different Methods Of Catching Frogs
There's more than one way to catch a mess of frogs.
a. Catch em with your hands
This is the funnest but least effective method. But it's easier than you'd think especially from a boat in shallow swampy water. Have your buddy paddle at the back of the boat as you lie on your belly hanging out over the front. Ease up to the frog keeping the light on him as you would when gigging.
Use a head lamp or have the light in your non catch hand and keep your catch hand and arm extended as it were the gig. When you get within a foot of the frog slam your hand down on him pinning him into the mud. Wrap your pinky finger and thumb under his belly and grasp between his back legs with your middle three fingers.
Hold him tight and lift him out of the mud. Hang on to him! They are slick and strong. If you are on land and they are in deep grass, you've gotta be sneaky and quick. Approach them head on with a powerful light in their eyes. It will also help if you get a good pair of fish handling gloves.
b. Gig em
Frog gigging with a spear on the end of a long pole is the most popular method and is more successful than hand grabbing them. An inexpensive frog gig would be valuable in a Doomsday survival situation to spear frogs, snakes, and other small animals.
For preppers, a frog gig is small enough to carry in your Bug-Out Bag (just add protection to the spear tips to prevent injury or damage). Most frog gigs can be attached to a ready made spear pole, or any pole that you can utilize or fabricate on your own.
You could even fabricate a Frog Gig Pole in the wilderness from a tree limb or small tree trunk using your survival knife, etc. We use 3 and 4 prong gigs on telescoping poles. We have used homemade poles over the years, but the metal telescoping ones are lighter and easier to store when not in use. Here are some inexpensive frog gigs and telescoping poles.
A Couple Of Nice Sized Bullfrogs - What Are You Waiting For?
c. Catch em with a fishing net
You get the picture, Just sneak up on one and get the net on them quickly. Get a deep dip net at least 6" in diameter, attach it to a pole 6 to 10 feet long. Lay the net over the frog and pull, when he jumps, he goes to the end of the net. Then, flip it over and you have him.
The best part of this method is if you are hunting at night and don't get home until the wee hours in the morning, you don't have to clean a bunch of dead frogs. Go in, get cleaned up, go to bed and deal with the frogs once you wake up.
To keep the frogs alive you'll need:
1 - five gallon bucket with lid
1 - piece of 4" PVC pipe that is longer than the bucket is tall
Cut a hole in the lid just barely large enough for the PVC pipe to fit through
Drop the frogs in the PVC pipe and lift the pipe until the frog is in the bucket
Let PVC pipe drop back to the bottom of bucket to "lock in" the frogs
Be very careful removing the lid later!!!
d. Use a Fish / Frog Grabber (FFG)
Same principal as the frog gig. These are spring tensioned clamps that snap down on the bullfrog. These do not work quite as well as a frog gig and especially on the largest frogs. However, in some states the Fish Frog Grabber is allowed but gigging is not.
e. Catch em with a fishing rod
For some reason Bullfrogs go crazy over the color red. We use a long rod with a red strip of flannel or a red feathered fishing fly tied on it. They will attack the "red" to the point you can just pull them in to you. Use a bream sized hook. Just lean over with your rod and dangle the small strip of red cloth right in front of the frog’s nose.
f. Shoot em with a pellet gun or .22LR rifle
Hunting frogs with pellet guns or 22 rifles is probably the most effective way since you can take them from long range across a pond, for example after you've spotted them with your light. You lose most frogs while you are sneaking up on them. This is usually not the case when you shoot them from a distance.
There are some really quiet pellet guns for small game that also work great on frogs. Check out our article on the Top 10 Best Air Rifles & Pellet Guns To Consider For Hunting & Long Term Survival. If you are really wacky and/or rich, and have a night vision scope, that would also be fun to take them military combat style. Just be sure to have your portable radios and headphone mics while you stealthily talk with your buddies (lol).
You may want to avoid shooting frogs from the bank towards the water and they are right on the edge of or are in the water. Instead, you'll want to shoot them while they are on the bank and you are either shooting while in a boat, or wading, or from across a pond, creek bank, etc.
You want them to drop where they are at and not have them get knocked back into the water. Aim for the top of the head or spine on their back. Most of the head is the mouth, so if you shoot lower and hit the mouth, it stands a good chance that even if fatally wounded the frog is able to get away.
Shoot em with a bow, crossbow, or slingbow. Same strategy as with a firearm. However, if you are using a bowfishing setup, the frog will be attached by the line so that gives you even more options to shoot them while they are in the water.
You've got to see our article and watch the videos on the Best Bowfishing Bow For Fishing, Hunting, Survival & Doomsday Preppers. We also have a good article on the Best Inexpensive Crossbow For The Money For Hunting, Survival & Doomsday Preppers.
4. What to Wear
Darker clothes seem to be best and less moonlight is better. Definitely do not wear anything reflective. If you are going to be walking a bank and will be walking in some mud and muck, be sure to wear some water proof boots. You don't want your feet all water logged.
Boots can also protect against a possible snake bite. If you are going to be wading in the water then you are going to need some hip waders or fishing waders. We already mentioned fish handling gloves. Oh yeah, don't forget to apply plenty of mosquito repellent and watch for snakes.
5. How to Tote your Mess of Frogs
Most folks just use a bucket. We prefer the "High Tech Frog Bucket" which is just a regular wire fish basket with a spring loaded top to put the frogs in. You can't find a better way to hold your frogs. It keeps the snakes out. Oh speaking of snakes, watch out especially if you are in Cotton Mouth country.
Water moccasins especially will be drawn towards your frog bucket. Wear high boots and be on the lookout for those suckers. If we're walking a bank, we sometimes use a fish stringer, the type with a ring on one end and a sharp metal point on the other end. We just push the sharp end thru the frogs bottom jaw and thru the ring and carry them like you would a string of fish.
6. Be Legal
As always, check your local and state hunting regulations before hunting any animals. If you do hunt frogs with a firearm or bow, particularly at night, note that it is not legal in every state. Some areas do not allow gigging.
7. How To Clean Your Frogs
Frogs are really easy to clean. There are multiple methods to skin a frog. Some people use a knife or scissors and with or without pliers. If you cut the legs off from the abdomen or cut the skin around the frogs abdomen before skinning the legs, then its a little harder to hold the frog legs and remove the skin. But its still not too hard no matter what method you use. You can use a knife to clean a frog but we prefer a heavy set of scissors. It only takes about thirty seconds to clean a frog with scissors. Watch the second video below to learn how most people clean a frog with a large knife and get it ready for cooking. Try that method and the scissor method and see which you prefer.
What you'll need (scissor method):
A pair of heavy duty scissors. You can't beat the Chef Remi Kitchen Shears below, but most any heavy duty shears should work just fine.
A garden hose or sink.
With the frog on it's stomach and insert the lower jaw of the scissors into the skin on the back near one arm and cut to the opposite side. So you are cutting the skin across the frog's back from arm to arm.
Then cut a flap of skin towards the head so that you can get your finger under the lower section on the frog's back to rip the frog's skin downward.
Insert your finger underneath the skin on the frog's back down to the legs. Pull the skin backwards towards the legs and keep pulling until the skin reaches the last joint. The frog legs should be entirely skinned at this point.
See the picture below. Cut off the feet at the last joint using the scissors. Some folks will leave the feet as there is a tiny piece of meat, so just decide whatever suits you regarding the feet. Also cut the legs off the body as close to the base of the legs as possible to avoid cutting any frog guts.
Wash the legs off with the garden hose or in a sink.
Discard the scraps and clean the scissors.
You're finished. Now on to cooking!
What cleaned frog legs look like
8. How to Cook Your Frogs
Think of frog legs just like small chicken legs. You can pretty much cook them the same way as you would chicken. We personally like to fry our frog legs. This link has 5 methods / recipes for cooking your frog legs.
This is a Nice Eating Size Bullfrog!
9. Identifying the American Bullfrog and knowing its range
Bullfrogs are typically olive green or greenish brown, and can be a light or dark shade. The back and sides may be plain, spotted, or blotched with brownish markings and a whitish belly spotted with yellow or grey. The arms and legs are usually spotted or barred with dark markings.
Their upper lip is often bright green and males often have yellow throats. Underparts are white, distinctly or obscurely spotted and mottled. The iris of the eye is either golden or reddish bronze. Both male and female bullfrogs can reach a body length (not counting the leg length) of 6 to 8 inches. Females are typically larger than males.
Bullfrogs weigh up to 1.7 lbs. A bullfrog's head is broad and flat, with a large mouth. The common bullfrog has long back legs that may measure from seven to ten inches and having very large webbed feet. The Bullfrog likes to inhabit large, permanent water bodies, such as swamps, ponds, bogs, rivers and lakes, where it is usually found along the water's edge either in or out of the water.
The male bullfrog defends a territory during the breeding season. His call will remind you of the roar of a bull, which gives the frog its common name. This frog is native to southern and eastern parts of the United States (except Florida) and is also located in Canada.
The American Bullfrog's natural range extends from the Atlantic Coast to as far west as Oklahoma and Kansas. It is largely absent from Florida, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. It has been introduced into Nantucket island, Arizona, Utah, other parts of Colorado and Nebraska, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. In these states, it is considered to be an invasive species.
It is very common in California, where it is believed to pose a threat to the California red-legged frog. Bullfrogs are, for the most part, nocturnal animals, although not exclusively so. Bullfrogs that reside in colder environments spend their winters in hibernation when the weather reaches the freezing point or colder.
When it comes to hibernation, bullfrogs usually set up camp in the mud. They carve out tiny underground lairs where they can rest until the temperatures come back up. Although many do, not all bullfrogs retreat to the mud during the winter months.
Some opt for more aquatic hibernating environments such as the floors of ponds or pools, for example. When bullfrogs hibernate in these underwater settings, they typically do so in the midst of debris. Although frogs are capable of breathing both via their lungs and their skin, they do so exclusively via their skin when hibernating in the water or mud.
The following video demonstrates how to use frog gigs (Warning: Graphic Video).
The following video demonstrates how to clean bullfrogs after frog gigging (Warning: Graphic Video).
Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web page is for information only. TopSurvivalPreps.com and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone eating frogs or using any items described on this web site including frog gigs & spears. The tips on frog gig spear heads are extremely sharp and lethal. Some frogs are poisonous to eat. It is not the responsibility of TopSurvivalPreps.com and it's owner to educate or be responsible for anyone with regard to poisonous frogs, what part of the frog to eat, methods and gear to kill frogs, etc. The readers of this site and anyone they share their information with assume full responsibility in hunting, killing, cleaning, cooking, and consuming frogs, and knowing their state and local hunting laws and regulations.
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