ODNR training workshop in August

Central Ohio sportsmen and women who are interested in becoming Hunter Education Instructors are encouraged to register for a training workshop in Columbus, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The workshop will take place on Saturday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 16.

Training will be held at the Wildlife District One office located at 1500 Dublin Road in Columbus from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. There is no cost to participate; those interested in attending must register by calling 1-800-wildlife (945-3543). Participants must attend both days of training, be at least 18 years of age and have successfully completed a hunter education course.

Ohio currently has 1,700 volunteer instructors who train thousands of hunters each year to be safe and responsible in the field. For more information on becoming a hunter education instructor visit the hunter education pages at wildohio.gov.

• If you are looking for something different to try this summer, frog season opened up last weekend and runs through April 30, 2016. Only bullfrogs and green frogs may be legally taken. Not more than 15 (singly or in combination) may be taken or possessed in any one day.

There are several ways to catch frogs. Some like to use a fishing rod rigged with a hook and a red piece of cloth as bait. Yes, I said a red piece of cloth. Frogs go nuts after it. However, I am not a big fan of this method because sometimes it can be very difficult to remove the hook without doing permanent damage making it difficult to release the smaller ones.

My favorite method happens after the sun goes down. Some of my fondest childhood memories include chasing frogs at night on the family farm pond. All you needed was a boat, a flashlight, and a feed sack to put them in. Some prefer to use a frog gig, which is basically a long stake with sharp prongs to stab the frogs with. However, we loved the extra challenge of getting close enough to grab the slimy amphibians with our bare hands.

The key was the light. One of us would row the boat along the bank as quietly as possible while the other shined the bright light against the water’s edge along the bank searching for their eyes. Once a big enough victim was found, the light had to stay trained on their eyes at all times because it immobilized them. The grabber would position themselves in front of the boat, nearly laying their body outstretch over the flat bottom bow, while the rower moved the boat towards shore as stealthily as possible.

Most of the time, we could get close enough for the grabber to make an attempt at grabbing the frog. About half the time, the grab would be successful, depending how good the grabber actually was. The other half the grab attempt would be a complete miss or the slimy victim would wither itself out of the grab. Either way, it would end up with a few laughs.

Once you did a few laps around the pond and had a sack full, we would head back to the house to dispatch the frogs and skin them. Fried frog legs can be an awesome meal! Cook them just like a chicken leg and you can’t go wrong.

Like I said though, you can increase you chance of success by using a frog gig instead of your bare hands. It certainly isn’t nearly as challenging but your success rate greatly improves. The only disadvantage is that there is no catch and release on the smaller ones, so pick your victims carefully. You can buy frog gigs at most outdoor sports stores or you can make your own. Either way, using your hands or a frog gig, can be great summer time fun.

Until next time, Good Hunting and Good Fishing!

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