A step-by-step guide to catching a frog

Frogs are fascinating amphibians and great fun to catch. However, they are not pets, so you should always release them after you have studied them extensively. To catch a frog, you can build a trap that will make it fall into a bucket without taking damage, or you can go stalking with a landing net. However, before you go ahead and try to catch a frog, you should first check your local laws to make sure it’s legal in your area.

Build a trap

Find a spot near a body of water to set your trap.

It is of course best if you set up the trap somewhere where you have actually observed frogs before. They love water, so your best chance of catching one is near a pond, river, lake, or stream. Frogs live mostly on land, but regularly seek out damp spots and shallow water.

Use a hammer to poke 3-4 holes in two medium-sized buckets.

You don’t want your buckets to fill up with water when you’re trying to catch frogs with them, so use a hammer and nail to poke a few holes in the bottom. But be careful not to crack the floor. If the bottom bursts, small frogs could easily escape from the bucket.

Cut a slit in both buckets large enough to fit a piece of particleboard.

Later, you will insert a piece of chipboard about 1.2 m by 2.4 m in size and 1.25 cm thick into the slots. Use large scissors to cut a slit about 4 inches deep in the rim of each bucket. It must be wide enough for the board you will be using.

Tip: Test if the slots are big enough by inserting the board. Each bucket should have a slot that the board will fit snugly in.

Dig a hole big enough to sink one of the buckets into.

Once you’ve found the right spot for your trap, dig a hole that’s slightly wider and deeper than the bucket so you can put it in without the rim showing. Place the bucket in the hole, making sure the rim is level with the ground. Too close to water, you won’t be able to dig a hole deep enough without filling with water. Therefore, go a few meters away from the shore and dig there.

Backfill the hole around the bucket with soil.

Use the soil you dug out of the hole earlier to fill in the gaps around the bucket. The bucket should now close tightly with the ground around it and be stable in the ground. Try shaking the bucket a little to make sure it’s stable.

Dig a 4-inch deep ditch as wide as your chipboard.

Start the trench from the slit you cut in the bucket and make it 4 inches shorter than the chipboard itself. Make sure the edges of the trench are even and smooth.

At the other end of the ditch, dig another hole for the second bucket.

Start right at the end of the ditch and again dig deep and wide enough for the second bucket. Fill in the gaps around the bucket with loose soil and tamp down so the bucket is stable. Place the bucket with its slot facing the ditch and the first bucket. The rim of the bucket should be level with the bottom.

Insert the chipboard into the slots in the buckets.

The board should sit squarely in the ditch and slot in the buckets. It should stay upright on its own. Fill in any gaps around the board with dirt to keep it from wobbling. You can also drive some stakes into the ground to give the board extra support.

Leave the trap for 12 hours and then see if you caught a frog.

Frogs that come your way will not be able to hop across the chipboard and will be directed into one of the two buckets trying to find a way around the outside. That’s where they sit for now. Frogs prefer to come out at night, so leave the trap overnight for 12 hours. In the morning you can then see if there is a frog in it. Do not leave the trap unchecked for too long, or trapped frogs may die of dehydration or starvation, or become easy prey for predators.

Use a landing net

Use a long-handled landing net at least 18 inches (45 cm) wide to catch frogs.

Make sure the stitches are fine enough so the frogs can’t slip through. The handle should be at least 4 feet long so you can catch the frogs. You can get landing nets in hardware stores, fishing tackle shops or online.

Wait until dark if you want to catch frogs.

Most frogs are nocturnal, so you have a better chance of catching a frog after dark. But don’t stand around and wait until the sun goes down, otherwise the frogs will give you a wide berth. Pass the time, for example, by throwing a ball with the landing net and catching it again.

Check for frogs with a flashlight near bodies of water.

Frogs love water, so you have the best chance of catching them near a pond, lake or stream. Shine your flashlight along the shore and look out for the white reflective eyes of the little amphibians. Be careful not to step on other animals when walking along the shore in the dark.

Keep the lamp aimed straight at the frog as you approach it.

If you see a frog, shine a direct light on it so it can’t see you. Be very quiet so he doesn’t hear you either. He’s blinded by the light and can’t see you, but he can still hear very well.

Tip: When you are with friends to catch frogs, one of you should hold the flashlight and the other should catch the frog.

Put the net over the frog.

Make a smooth movement and put the net directly over the frog. Then hold the net firmly on the ground to prevent the frog from escaping. Wait about two minutes for the frog to calm down before you pick it up. Be careful not to crush the frog with the edge of the landing net.

Keep your frogs in a container with a lid.

After the frog has calmed down a bit and stopped jumping around, grab it through the web and pick it up. Use your other hand to get him out of the net and put him in a large enough container with a lid so he can’t escape. Once you’ve examined it carefully, release it from where you caught it. Make sure there is enough air in the container for the frogs to breathe.

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