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On the Hunt! Morel Mushroom Picking 101

Posted on April 20th, 2016

Spring weather in Northern Michigan brings excitement and anticipation for anyone who loves mushrooms! Black morel mushrooms are the most commonly found morels in this area. They usually start appearing around  late spring and are often found near Ash, fruit, and Poplar trees, or scattered about lawns and fields. The less common white morels are usually found mid-late May and like to grow near Elm, fruit, and Maple trees.

 

Lane collects Morels in a mesh bag while hiking

Lane collects Morels in a mesh bag while hiking

A few tips for those wanting to hunt:

1)  When picking the mushroom, pinch or cut them off so that they’ll regrow for future hunting, rather than pulling them out by the root.

 

2) Collect the mushrooms in a paper bag, mesh bag, or basket.  Plastic is not recommended- it will cause the mushrooms to get soggy, and will also prevent mushroom spores from spreading as you walk through the woods (giving new shrooms a chance to sprout!).

 

Morel mushrooms are considered a delicacy in many places.

3) Seasoned hunters will probably not want to share their favorite spots with you (it would be like asking a fisherman where their favorite fishing hole is), BUT they will tell you if the morels are “out”. Research nearby  State land or get permission to hunt on a friend or neighbor’s property. See if an experienced hunter will go with you and help you properly identify the mushrooms.

 

4) Once you come home with your morel harvest, be cautious eating them until you know how you will react. Always properly cook them, as this will destroy most irritants that cause reactions. If you are not sure how you will react to morels, don’t eat a large amount or drink alcohol with them before you test a few.

 

Morel hunting is a fun, rewarding way to enjoy the beautiful spring woodlands! Now that you know the basics, get out there and see what you can find! Happy hunting!