What’s a "Wintu" Arrowhead?

Another arrowhead similar in size to the 1″ to 1-1/2″ long Gunther point is the Wintu. It shares many characteristics, the needle point, the sometimes serrated edges, the sharp corner barbed shape.

The primary difference between the Wintu and the Gunther is the shape of the tang which is used to mount the point on the arrow shaft.

In the Gunther point, the tang is usually a constricting, almost pointed shape, narrower at the very base. This shape results from the use of wide-based notches removed from the base edge of the point.

However, in the Wintu point the tang is made by long, narrow notches coming in toward the middle of the point from the corners or from the outer portion of the base line. This results in a flared, wider base to the tang. Sometimes, as in a gray obsidian example found by Jennifer Peterson in Siskiyou County, in far northern California in 1975, the notches are made from the very corners of the triangular arrowhead form, and extend almost all the way into the middle of the point.

I have two other examples, found by Jennifer Peterson and Pat Welch in northern California in the 1960’s and 1970’s, which illustrate quite well the basic design and knapping skill of the Wintu point makers. One is a black obsidian, the other gray. Both show a more common form of the Wintu, in which the notches are started out near the corners, from the outermost portion of the base line of the point preform. On each of these finely serrated points one of the barbs has been snapped off, perhaps at some time after they were made, possibly when used in hunts.

Aside from the single barb broken off, the points are in perfect condition, with amazingly sharp needle tips and wicked looking tiny serrations along the full length of the points’ edges. All of this work was done on arrowheads which measure barely 1 to 1-1/4 inches long and 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch in width. The tool tips used in the knapping were small enough to make 1/32 inch or less in width serrations!


Copyright 2009, all rights reserved. F. Scott Crawford, Carrollton, Texas, USA

Source by F Scott Crawford

Examples of Effective Deer Sounds and Calling

Whitetail deer are not that articulate, yet they are very curious animals. They make about three general sounds. Most their sounds are variations of grunts, snorts and bleats. They apply the sounds in different levels of sound pitch and intensity to express general feelings. In essence, these animals react to whitetail deer calls primarily because of their curiosity, mating and another male deer's encroachment. What they say may comprise of, "This way," "I need help," "Leave me alone," "I'm not happy" or "I am ready to mate."

Knowing which calls that trigger unique reactions which get you in the game, along with generating the good hunting call with the perfect routine gives you the prospect to shoot.

Whitetail deer really are sociable wildlife, and they are curious about different deer. In the Fall, when the buck deer tend to be in bachelor groupings, and does are with their young are in their family groups, call sounds may encourage reactions of interpersonal curiosity. Bucks usually are attracted to other male deer, as well as does tend to be intrigued in visiting female deer that come into their areas. Short, monotone "social" buck grunts can excite curiosity in bucks, and fawn or doe bleats will certainly draw in female deer. Buck deer tend to be interested about other bucks sparring in their area, so light horn rattles can work at this time.

When the rut approaches, male deer are a lot more hostile and antagonistic to other male deer of similar size and stature. We call this a territorial response, because I really do not think a buck draws a "line in the sand" and guards a particular area during the rut. Some will react to male whitetail grunts, but far more hostility. White tail bucks come to explore other bucks during this time period, therefore bucks grunts continue to work.

During this time, much more aggressive calling sounds can be successful. Snort-wheezes, irritated grunts and aggressive horn rattling will bring in dominating big bucks in ideal scenarios, but these sounds can also intimidate and scare away smaller deer. Be careful with those deer hunting calls.

Right after most female deer get to the height of their estrus fertility cycles, the rutting is in full action, and male deer tend to be a lot more curious about does instead of other male bucks. Doe bleat calls become the most effective deer calls, with years of practice you do not need a caller and you can make your own sounds.

Source by Sean Tate

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hunting With A Dog

Hunting along with a dog is a rather controversial sport these days and there are some dogs better at it than other, some dogs are better “at” a specific type of hunting than others, that is why hunting with a dog is a popular sport among hunting enthusiasts. There aren’t any specific groups registered in the American Kennel Club ( AKC ) for hunting alone other than the hounds which are known to have an ancestral background in their lineage in the hunting domain.

These traits vary from dog to dog: some have a very developed scenting ability while others have very good stamina and so on. Some of the most famous hounds would be the: Beagle, Norwegian Elkhound, American Foxhound, Black And Tan Coonhound and others as well. The widely known AKC Sporting Group is a rather large group of hunting dogs for those hunters that enjoy hunting along with a dog in a woody or watery environment. Some of the dogs that belong to this group would be the: American Water Spaniel, Golden Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer and others as well.

Moving on to the interesting part, the exciting aspect about the above mentioned dogs ( and the rest of them, of course ) is that each breed has its own natural behavior. Hunting along with one of these dogs will surely improve your hunting efficiency but choosing the most appropriate type of dog is crucial as some dogs excel at fox hunting for example while other are best to be used for squirrel hunting. The terriers were originally developed for hunting small games and killing vermin and if you plan on hunting squirrels for example, a working terrier is the best way to do it. The hunting dogs are most recommended for any type of hunting as they will prove their efficiency if properly trained.

The main disadvantage regarding hunting dogs is that the training procedure is rather complex and might not show up the expected results when hunting for the first time with the dog. Regarding the aspect of training a hunting dog, it is also a matter of time because training a dog properly for hunting purposes can take up to one year and in some cases you will have only one chance to do it because some mistakes are irreversible. An example of an irreversible mistake would be the lack of early socialization. We recommend that you do a little bit of research before choosing your hunting dog ( keeping in mind the type of game you are going to use the dog at ), start the training from an early age and things should go smoothly.

All things considered, hunting along with a dog has its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage of using a dog is that if the dog was properly trained from an early age, the chances of catching more animals is higher as this dogs will do some of the work for you. The main disadvantage would be that the entire training process takes some time and every dog is different in its own way so there is no such thing as a standard training procedure applicable for all breeds.

Razvan Marian Jr. is the owner of www.huntingdogsreviews.com where you can find useful but also interesting facts about hunting dogs.

Source by Razvan Jr

Orphaned Fawns, Pet Deer, and the Right Thing to Do

“Hey babe, come look at this,” said my wife from the back patio.

As I came up to her, I saw a small, spotted creature with immense ears. About the size of a medium sized dog, but perched on spindly legs, I looked into the eyes of the fawn poking around the property line.

“Hmm,” I said, “Little fawn. Cute little fella.”

My wife, always one to take in a stray and have to be ushered past the tail gaiters with free puppies at Wal-Mart, looked to me with the same eyes the fawn had. “He looks lost! Can we keep him?”

I sipped my coffee and walked back to the kitchen, “it’s fine. He’s not lost, just wandering around.”

She was heartbroken and demanded to know how I could tell in just a glance.

Well, here goes.

Identifying an orphaned Fawn

White tail deer, such as those found in abundance across all of Mississippi, rut in the fall and winter which leads to thousands of cute little baby deer being born from late April to about mid-July of the following year. When born, these fawns will have a more reddish coat than their parents will, and are covered with hundreds of small white spots. These spots help the fawn blend in with the myriad of blooming wildflowers and weeds in the spring and summertime when it is born. As a bonus protection from good ole Mother Nature, fawns have no sent which keeps predators from smelling them. As such, the mothers of these nursing fawns try to stay away from their young as much as possible to not rub off their own scent. By October, the young fawns normally lose their spots and at that time are foraging rather than nursing, well on their way to adulthood.

With this in mind, if you see a spotted fawn in spring and summer, odds are it will not be with its mother right beside it. Mom is most likely hidden in a thicket nearby while the kids explore the world. Alternatively, mama doe may have left junior behind so she could go get some grub, as she is still eating for two.

One of the best signs to see if a fawn is orphaned and in distressed is if it is dehydrated. A dehydrated baby deer is a deer that is unable to nurse for some reason. Perhaps mom is dead, or perhaps she is sick and not producing milk. Whatever the case, these dehydrated fawns can be readily identified by the position of their ears. A dehydrated fawn will have their wide ears curled back at the tips, or, in later stages, will be collapsed and non-responsive to stimulus. If a fawn has nice, strait ears and is walking around, it’s most likely not an orphan. Leave it be. Mom will be very alert to human smells on her baby, and may not want anything to do with it if you try to play hug-the-fawn. Worse, if you lead the fawn away, the doe’s milk will begin to dry within as little as 24-hours.

As the old timers say, “Ears are straight, fawn is great. Ears are curled; it’s alone in the world.”

What to do if you find one?

So you have an orphaned deer on your hands. Your baby is sick, its ears are curled, and it is just plain old pathetic. You have observed the fawn for hours and it’s neither moved away or had a mother come to tend to it. As confirmation, you may have even found a nursing doe killed by a car a few blocks away. What do you do now?

The best and most correct answer is to find a local wildlife rehabilitation group that can take the animal. While they don’t advertise due to lack of funds, these little known wildlife heroes are State/Federal licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators, Caregivers, or Veterinarians located across the state. A good resource to find one locally is MS Wild Life Rehab.org. If you come up short, give your local conservation office a call as soon as possible.

Until the animal can be picked up or taken to a rehabber, keep it warm and dry and do not try to feed it any food other than plain water.

Can you keep it as a pet?

The simple answer is no. Now re-read that sentence if you have questions. In Mississippi, it is illegal to keep a deer as a pet. If you are busted with one, you are facing at a minimum of a class 3 offense, and you could be looking at up to a $1000 Fine (plus fees) and/or as much as 6 months in jail. It is also illegal to import whitetail deer into Mississippi. This is for the animal’s own good.

Wild animals taken in as pets are no longer wild, yet are never really pets. Once the steps down that road are taken, the animal is in a strange catch-22 situation. It can never be released into the wild because it’s become so dependent on humans that it can never learn to properly take care of itself. Yet, it can’t be properly vaccinated and cared for enough to be anything other than an easy target for passing poachers.

Pet deer were recently banned in Arkansas. In neighboring Tennessee its long been illegal to harbor pet wild deer.

So remember all this when your wife calls you to the deck with doe eyes.

I need to get that woman a dog.

Source by Chris Eger

Barnett Quad 400 Crossbow – An Accurate And Powerful Hunting Weapon

While shooting a weapon like a crossbow at either a static target or a moving one, you need to have one thing on your side – accuracy. Since the time of the very first crossbow design, sportsmen and hunting enthusiasts have kept on trying to improve the accuracy of this formidable weapon. Even today, many manufacturers are tinkering with their bow design in order to keep making improvements for the user. One such manufacturer is Barnett, a top maker of a powerful line of crossbows for archery and hunting. One of their latest creations is called the Barnett Quad 400 crossbow. This is one mean shooting machine.

The Barnett Company is known for their innovations in crossbow making and this model is no exception. One of their innovations for this one is the high-density gas assist composite stock, which makes this crossbow lighter to carry and a lot more comfortable than a previous model. Of course, when you are holding such a high-powered weapon for a long period of time, you do not want to suffer from arm fat before you have even had the chance to enjoy using it. That's why the Barnett Quad 400 crossbow is such a good deal for those who are looking for an affordable crossbow that has both comfort and power.

Now one of the things that some people struggle with when handling a crossbow for the first time is the cocking mechanism. This does take some skill and practice, especially for new crossbow owners. The Barnett Quad 400 crossbow comes with an integrated cocking device attachment that makes it a lot easier to get your arrows into the quiver and hold them steady. This all contributes to the accuracy of using this particular shooting machine. The redesign has become a winner among Avid crossbow users as they have rated this model pretty high for speed and accuracy. Now, as with any other weapon of this nature, the user has to be sure of how to properly handle it before really jumping into full-blown shooting.

Many beginning crossbow users think that shooting this way is just like it is in the movies. How hard can it be to pick up a bow, put an arrow in the quiver, aim, shoot and hit the target? Most think that they'll quickly be hitting their mark without too much of an effort. However, once they actually pick up and prepare to use a bow with such big power like the Barnett Quad 400 crossbow, they have a newfound respect for how much skill it really takes to become good at shooting the crossbow. It's highly recommended that anyone who is thinking of getting themselves a crossbow and going out to hunt or just target shoot, should be prepared to spend a lot of time getting used to using this type of shooting machine. Practice will make a world of difference in the amount of accuracy that can be achieved.

Source by Ned D'Agostino

Cheap Goose Decoys – Build an Economical Decoy Spread

A goose hunter does not have to spend a fortune on their decoys. There are many alternatives to purchase cheap goose decoys that are still of high quality. Let’s face it the sport of goose hunting can be get very expensive. By the time that you buy your gun, boots, and clothes, it can seem like the expenses will never end. We haven’t even talked about the most expensive item: goose decoys.

It is not uncommon for a goose hunter to have 20,30 or even 50 dozen decoys to properly set up a field for either snow goose or Canada goose hunting. At a cost of over $100 to $150 a dozen, a hunter can tie up thousands of dollars in their decoys before they ever step foot on the field to hunt. What are the alternatives to purchase cheap goose decoys that are still of high quality.

First, it is important to realize that not every decoy in your spread needs to be a fully flocked, full bodied goose decoy. This would be too expensive very expensive to build a spread. A hunter can substitute many cheaper decoys into their spread to build a highly effective spread at a reasonable cost. One technique is to purchase 2-3 dozen very high quality decoys and mix in lower cost decoys to fill in the spread. A hunter needs to realize that from 2000 plus feet a goose will not be able to see the layout with a high level of detail. The objective is to get the geese to notice the spread and lure them closer.

Brands like the carrylites and silosocks are reasonably priced and will allow a hunter to fill out a spread for a fairly economical price. These decoys can be placed closer to cover so that they are not as easily identified when geese are landing. Using your full bodied geese out in the open will still attract the geese up close even when they are landing in a field full of low cost decoys. Heck, some hunters use Clorox bottles and white rags when hunting snow geese.

One other approach to finding cheap goose decoys is to purchase used decoys from a hunter that is replacing their old decoys or retiring from the field. A great place to look for cheap goose decoys is online. Great bargains can be had buying used decoys in the off season. Keep your eyes peeled in the classifieds and other online sales channels for great deals on your dekes.

A hunter can go broke buying a entire decoy spread made up of brand new full bodied, feeder decoys. However, a hunter needs to have enough decoys to build a decoy spread that will attract geese to the field. The key to saving some cash is finding great deals on cheap goose decoys.

Source by John R. Olson

Deer Hunting – How to Pass the Time While Waiting for Your Buck

While deer hunting, it can seem like time can drag on and on. After all, it is not like you can entertain yourself with a handheld DVD player or even a radio like we do in the “real world.” It is just you and nature, and nothing in between. A hunter must find a way to make all parts of deer hunting, not just the tracking and shooting parts, interesting.

A hunter may start to feel like a guard outside of Buckingham Palace: unable to move, no matter what insect or creature comes along. No matter the time, no matter the weather. It is very important that a hunter does not fall asleep, especially when up in a tree stand.

Falling asleep in a tree stand can lead to great injury. Besides, if you fall asleep, you may miss a big buck, right beneath your tree. Even worse, you might start snoring and scare every living creature within miles away.

So, how can you liven up your deer hunting and make it more interesting?

· Music: yes or no. With the popularity of mp3 players, some hunters have started bringing their own type of entertainment along with them. Of course, if you really want to bag a deer, you should keep your ears open at all times. Many people hear a deer before they ever see it. Also, unless you have amazing headphones, the sound is going to extend beyond just your ear. And, as a side thought, some people cannot help but tap their feet or sing along to music… OK in the city, bad when deer hunting. So, just say no to music.

· One way that I stay awake is to stay as aware as possible. I love being in constant check of my surroundings. I focus all of my attention toward finding a deer. I scan the area constantly and I always use my periphery vision. I keep my ears open to any sound. Most times, even on the afternoons that I do spot a deer, I will see many other types of wildlife, and the experience is amazing.

· So, even I can not focus all of my attention fully on deer hunting all of the time. So, I start playing games in my head:

o I take the name of a famous person, first and last, then I have to think of another famous person who’s first name starts with the first letter of the last name, and so on. This can entertain me for about half an hour.

o I find a word, usually somewhere on my equipment, and I break it up and see how many other words I can come up with. For instance, from the words “deer blind,” I get the words reed, beer, bind, binder, blinded, dine, etc.

o I count trees or other objects.

o I philosophize.

o I compose symphonies in my head.

o I try to think of an animal for every letter of the alphabet.

o I empty my mind of all troubles.

o I meditate.

The important thing is to only let your mind wander and play for short periods of time. Then focus your attentions on your surrounding until you need another mind break.

For some people, deer hunting is monotonous. But then there are those of us who love the calmness and “boringness” of deer hunting. All of the waiting is worth it, just for those thrilling few moments of spotting and shooting a deer.

Besides, after a weekend of deer hunting, I feel rejuvenated. The time spent alone in the wild clears my head of all stresses. I sit and think about and solve almost all of my problems of the previous year. I learn more about myself. I learn more about nature. There are few things better for me.

Source by Anne Clarke

Shooting a Shotgun – Basic Fundamentals

The fundamentals of shooting a shotgun are vital to becoming a successful wing or target shooter. There are many things that contribute to actually hitting the target. In the next article we will talk about avoiding mental breakdowns. First things, first, we must look in depth at what the fundamentals shooting a shotgun are.

  • Stance. Your stance when shooting a shotgun is different from shooting other guns. The placement of your feet is critical in having a smooth motion when taking a shot. For right handed shooters, stand with your left foot in front of your right, about shoulder width apart or just under. Shift your weight slightly toward your lead foot to help brace yourself for the recoil of the shotgun. If the bird is coming directly at you, or going away, this is the perfect stance. Unfortunately, in the real world birds come from every angle possible. Remember to shift your feet and open your shoulders in the direction the bird is coming from.

    By doing this you will gain a greater kill zone and have a more fluid swing. For left handed shooters the stance is exactly opposite. Remember, if you pull the trigger with your right hand, the right foot goes back and if you pull the trigger left handed, the left foot goes back. A good stance and good footwork are the first steps to shooting a shotgun accurately. It is inevitable that during a dove hunt there will times when your stance is off because of dove surprising you. They will come from all angles and sometimes you won’t see them until you are already behind the eight ball, it’s okay. If you have the time to get your feet right, do it. In the times you don’t, your other mechanics will be more critical in making the shot.

  • Mount. This is simply how you place the shotgun against you shoulder and prepare to shoot the bird. The stance and the mount go hand in hand and are done almost simultaneously.,especially when dove hunting. The stock of the shotgun goes in the pocket of your shoulder slightly on the pectoral muscle. Keep it very tight as this will limit the amount of bruising from the recoil. Tilt your head slightly so that your eyes are looking down the barrel of the shotgun. The top of the stock should be touching the side of your jaw bone.

    Your off hand ( the one not pulling the trigger) supports the forend of the gun. Again, it easy to get a good mount when target shooting, but when dove hunting it’s real easy to have a bad mount when you are hurrying to get a shot off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ended up with a bruised cheeked bone or shoulder because of a bad mount. By doing this it increases the difficulty of the shot dramatically. When you begin to take a shot getting your mount right ensures you are seeing the bird from the right perspective and the barrel is at the correct angle, which in turn increases accuracy and consistency. The bottom line is it’s worth the extra split second to get it right.

  • Eyes. Pretty self explanatory, you would think anyway. Most shotgunners say to shoot with both eyes open. Unlike rifles and pistols where you are seldom shooting a moving target, all of your shots on dove will be moving. I’m going to give you what some would call bad advice, but it works for me. I close one eye on shots that are straight on, either going away or coming at me. These shots require little barrel movement and usually require a straight shot at the bird, so basically aim and shoot, that’s why I close one eye.

    I’ll admit though, these type of shots are very rare when hunting dove. When shooting crossing shots (and all others), I leave both eyes open. I find with one eye closed on a crossing shot I’m almost always behind the bird. A good way to find out what works best for you is shooting skeet. Shoot a round leaving both eyes open on all the stations, then closing one eye on all stations and evalute your successes and failures. Whatever you decide works best, don’t change it. Consistency is key, do the same thing every time.

  • Swing. Imagine, you’ve spotted a bird, you’ve got your feet right, shouldered the gun and have your eyes right, now all you have to do is shoot right, wrong. What you have to do is get your swing right. Here muzzle speed and finding the right line is vital and is different on virtually every shot. If a dove is crossing but going away your muzzle speed will be slower than a dove just crossing.

    Finding the right line simply means following the line the dove is on. The last thing in your swing is your follow through. Just like a good golfer, basketball player, or bowler you must follow through your shot. Do not stop on the target, keep the swing and line even after you shoot. Doing this will keep you from stopping on the target and shooting behind it. The mechanics of your swing is something that must be practiced, once again shooting skeet is a great way to practice your mechanics.

There seems to be a lot to shooting a shotgun, but all these things happen in a blink of an eye. Practice, practice, practice. There are tons of articles on the different types of shotgunners, find out what works for you and stay consistent. The last thing you want to do is try to change your form in the middle of a hunt. Don’t let negativity set in. It can destroy everything you’ve practiced and turn a fun time into an aggravating experience. Stick to your fundamentals, be consistent, and always have fun.

Source by S P Griffin

Hunting Rub Lines

Hunting rub lines may be the single most effective way to harvest a great buck this season. There is a couple different rubs in the woods and it is important to know the difference. Early season rubs are usually to remove the velvet from the antlers but there are rubs made early in the season that you need to pay close attention to. Early in the season, usually around the first part of October, there are some does that will come into estrus. This is natures way of assuring that the most mature doe breeds with the most mature buck in the area. This early rut activity can go unnoticed unless you are in the right area. When looking for rubs in the early season pay close attention to the size of tree that is rubbed and are they located where does are likely to be, like next to a field or heavy thicket where several does might bed down for the day. Bucks just removing velvet rub trees haphazardly through the woods. These rubs will let you know where the bucks are early but these bucks will change there location later in the season as the rut approaches and that is when hunting rub lines become so effective.

Hunting rub lines really becomes effective as the rut nears and bucks are spending time with does during the night and hopefully, for the hunter, a little while during daylight hours. Many times mature bucks are nocturnal, especially in heavily hunted areas like mine. Hunting rub lines will help you get in the bucks living room where you have the best chance of seeing that buck during shooting light. Rub lines tell you, without a doubt, that a buck walked along that rub line either to where the does hang out like field or thicket or away from these areas. When you locate a rub line notice on which side of the tree or sapling that the rub is on. Once you establish that indeed this is a rub line you can see in which direction the buck traveled when making the rub.

Deer do not like hanging out in the thick stuff at night. They prefer open areas so their eyes can gather more light and help them spot predators sneaking up on them. Rub lines are either going to or from these open areas. Once you determine which way the deer was traveling you can tell if this was a morning route or an evening route that the buck took to or from theses areas. If the rubs are made on the same side as the field or open woods then the buck is moving away from that area and more than likely is an early morning rub line as the buck moves to his daily bedding area as the sun slowly rises. These bucks don’t want to get to these thick areas until the sun is at least lighting the horizon in the east. Now heavily hunted bucks will reach their thick bedding areas well before dawn because the human predator is more dangerous than all others at day break or night fall and that is why, in these areas, so many mature bucks move very little in daylight hours.

The beauty of hunting rub lines is that no matter where you hunt you can get close to where that buck spends his days. This will increase your odds of seeing this buck when you can get a shot. Once you have determined which direction the buck traveled, when making the rub line, you can establish a better than educated guess on where the buck is bedding. This is where it gets tricky because you want to slip into the bucks bedding area without spooking him and this could take some time but be patient and you will have a better chance at harvesting the buck. Follow the rub line until it ends then continue on that line of travel until the woods become thicker and set up your stand there. You can hunt this stand, when the wind is right, and see if you spot the buck in the area. I like to hunt daylight to dark, especially in these areas, but if you can’t do that slip in and out quietly and more importantly scent free. If your stand fails to produce at least a sighting then move a little deeper into the thicket and I mean just 30 or 40 yards closer to where you think the buck may be bedded. You would be amazed how much more new woods you can see with that little bit of move. Continue this until you see your buck then you can watch and learn exactly where he is traveling and set up accordingly. Remember that when you are trying to spot your buck this way you have to constantly be on the lookout and use your binoculars. The further you can spot your buck initially the less chance you have of moving in too close and spooking him out of the area.

Learning to read rub lines can be tricky but just keep in mind that the buck is either going to or coming from his bedding area and when coming from his bedding area, during the rut, he is going to where the does hang out and likewise when going to his bedding area he is leaving the area with the does. I hope these tips will help you learn more about buck movement when you are in the woods and where to set up for your hunt. Remember that nothing replaces being in the woods hunting but information like this can hopefully shed some light on some of the question you might have about hunting rub lines.

Source by Ken Mcbroom

Froggin in Mississippi

“Tastes like chicken,” says Lance Zender, a local outdoorsman from the Choctaw Bayou area. Lance is that oh so very southern of species–he is a frogger.

More than 30 types of frog and toad live in the Magnolia state according to the ASA. These range from the tiny inch-long Oak toad, which is the smallest toad in North America, to the huge American bullfrog, which is the largest at over 8-inches. In between are legions of chorus frogs, narrow mouthed toads, pig frogs, barking tree frogs, leopard frogs, and gray and white Fowler’s toads. The most popular with frog hunters are the olive to brown colored pig frog which can reach 6-inches in length, the Southern Leopard which is spotted green and brown, and of course the American bullfrog. To say the least, there is a very diverse and abundant frog population in the state.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) classifies frogging as Small Game Hunting along with rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, possum, and bobcat. The frog season in Mississippi lasts from April Fool’s Day to the end of September typically, and as such is the longest season of any game in the state at six full months. Currently the bag limit is set at 25 frogs and toads per night-that is fifty legs and a good meal for the whole family. Be sure to have your license, hunters ed card (if needed) and be up-to-date on your limits and seasons by visiting the MDWFP website.

Best areas to Frog

Oxbow lakes, gum ponds and almost anywhere you see lots of flying insects and lilypads is going to be an ideal place for the frogger to practice his art.

The marsh-rich Gulf Coast area, with its numerous wetlands, bayous, rivers and streams, are slightly warmer in the winter than areas north of I-20, and as such, the frog population continues to breed over the winter in many coastal estuaries. This means in the spring there is an explosion amongst the lily pads and swamp grass of frog overpopulation. These fertile breeding grounds of the Pascagoula river system for instance are home to as many as 109 species of fish, a unique species of turtle found only there, and all 30 of the known frogs in the state in its 9600-square miles of wetlands. It is quite literally a frogger’s paradise.

That’s where Lance works his magic.

Frog hunting techniques

Working from a flat-bottomed aluminum boat older than he is, Lance prowls the bayou on most weekend nights with a Q-beam spotlight and his half-brother Monroe, looking for the big bullfrogs. The team shares the hunt and the wealth, with one driving the boat and the other perched on the side, spotlight in hand.

“You look for eyes,” Lance explains. “As soon as your run that spotlight across the water, the eyes pop up like stars. Then head for the closest set.”

Once close enough to a keeper toad, it is up to the individual frogger as to how he takes them. Some people go ‘old-school’ and snatch the mesmerized fly-eater from its perch on a log or lilypad then toss it in the container. Others use a.22 rifle to pop the critter, and then scoop it up with a dip net. Still others gig for frogs, channeling the ancient hunter-gatherer with a spear experience still locked inside their DNA from before time.

“I’m a paddler,” boasts Monroe. The leather-skinned frogger explains that the term is what the locals use to describe the method of stunning the frog with a good smack of a boat paddle, then retrieving it as it floats around wondering what truck hit it.

To hold your frogs some sort of good solid container with a lid is preferred such as an ice chest, garbage can, or rubber made type container. Lance is a fan of pickle buckets with the lid tied to the bucket by a string so it does not fall out of the boat in the dark and float down the bayou. “Yea, that happened once.” Lance says

It is only natural that there is a more high-tech set who advocate fancier means of toad control. Some froggers use perch baskets. There are even local cottage industry manufacturers who sell specially made Frogging Baskets. Made with PVC coated wire and a rubber pinch top the baskets are designed to fit inside a 48-quart cooler and safely hold up to 150 frogs at a time.

That’s a lot of frog legs.

Source by Chris Eger