We have had a taste of it in the last week or so, but now Old Sol will
get down to business with scorching days and sultry nights.
It has been said that only Englishmen and mad dogs are foolish enough
to venture outdoors under such conditions. I will go that old saw one better--Hoosier
I do not recall any wild celebrations or ceremonies when it happened
a couple of weeks back, but the hunting season on frogs opened June 15.
It will remain so until next April 30.
Frog populations are not what they once were--we probably can blame
the burgeoning raccoon population for that--but there still are good numbers
of bullfrogs around (plenty for a din-din of fried frog legs with trimmin's).
The season on frogs (only bullfrogs and green frogs) is closed each
year from April 30 through June 14. This is the reproductive period. But
frogs are fair game throughout the summer for those with either a resident
hunting or fishing license, or non-residents who have an Indiana hunting
The hotter and muggier the night, the better the frog hunting.
Frogs do their hunting (for insects) on hot nights, by sitting high
and dry (but close to the water's edge--close enough that one powerful
push with those huge back legs will vault them (a la torpedo) back into
the water. This, of course, is the undoing of many a bullfrog.
The bullfrog's Achilles’ tendon lies in the fact that, if you put a
strong light in his eyes, you can get eyeball-to-eyeball with him . . .
if . . . you or some other object does not touch him . . . or if the shaft
of light is not broken.
Under such conditions it is possible for a frog hunter to place his
open hand (palm down) over the frog's back and pin the frog to the earth
while grasping it just in front of the back legs. At this point the frog
may emit some really weird noises, which occasionally will scare the neophyte
frog hunter so badly that he will release the frog.
Although frogs may sit in the edge of the water with only their heads
protruding on nights that are not quite so hot or dark, they still are
vulnerable. To nail a frog in this situation--or one sitting on aquatic
vegetation over deeper water--the best method I have found is to slap the
frog with the palm of the hand, and grasp it a split-second later with
the same hand.
Here is what the Indiana Wildlife Code says about methods of taking
"Frogs may be taken with gig or spear with a head not more
than three inches in width and a single row of tines, long bow and arrow,
club, hands alone or pole or hand line with not more than one hook or artificial
lure attached. Firearms used for frog hunting are restricted to a .22-caliber
firearm loaded with birdshot only. Air rifles are prohibited. Frogs may
not be sold."
Although frogs may be legally taken with several weapons other than
the bare hands, I frown on all of the methods that tend to injure the frog.
A healthy, live frog can be kept several days in a wet burlap bag if kept
in a cool place.
Once many years back when my wife and I were in the process of building
(having built) a house on a pond on Carmel's south side, I struggled in
at daylight with a burlap bag of frogs.
Rather than "clean" them at the moment, I wet them down good and stowed
the bag in a cool, shady spot outside the old house.
When my nap was over, my wife asked what my plans might be for the frogs.
"Fried frog legs," I said.
"Not that big one," she said, "I took him to the pond at the new house."
At first I was a little perturbed at her jurisdictional reprieve of
the big guy (he must have topped 16 inches from nose to toenails, and that
would have been great chow).
But when I heard the story about how the frog had escaped the cardboard
box in which he was being transported, and bounced all over the interior
of our Thunderbird en route (through traffic) to the new house, I could
only have a good laugh.
So bodacious a frog was he, that when my wife asked a house builder
for help in evicting the frog from under the car's front seat and getting
him settled in his new home, the worker, with a shudder, politely declined.
Later I brought the big guy some company. And for several years on hot
summer nights I could open the windows and, with a smile on my face, drift
off into never-never land to the tune of the big guy's lullaby:
"B-A-R-U-M-P-H! . . . B-A-R-U-M-P-H!"
|This is a bullfrog
. . . yellow belly differentiates him from the white-bellied green frog
. . . bullfrog is much larger, often more than a foot long from lip to
toes of back feet.