Year Round Frog Hunting May Become Reality In Michigan

December 4, 2017

The hunting of frogs year round, and at night, in the state of Michigan has advanced another step as the Michigan state House Nov. 30 passed a bill, 69-39 that would enable hunters to kill frogs year round, and would allow hunters to spear frogs using a flashlight or other means of artificial light as an aid. The House bill also bans the hunting of amphibians and reptiles for commercial purposes. 

pickerel frog

Brian Gratwicke/Wikipedia

Would hunters be able to tell a pickerel frog, a species of special concern, with a different frog species while hunting at night?

Michigan is home to three frog species that are currently listed as endangered, threatened, or species of special concern: the Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) is listed as threatened. The Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is a species of special concern as is the pickerel frog (Lithobates palustris).

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Currently, the state bans the hunting of frogs between mid-November and late spring. Frog spearing, or gigging as it is known, is also currently banned, but that will all change if Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs the bill into law. 

If the bill becomes law, Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, told the Kaplan Herald that the law “will allow for the taking of sleeping frogs which have no chance of defending themselves. In addition, the hunting of frogs could cause an imbalance to the ecosystem if too many frogs are taken. 

Republican legislators in support of the bill say that it would be up to a state commission within the state Department of Natural Resources to determine how frog hunting would be expanded. There is no word on whether Gov. Snyder will sign the bill. 

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