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Everything You Need to Know for Morel Mushroom Hunting

KCCI Morel Mushroom Hunting
KCCI News

Learn these 10 morel mushroom hunting tips to find more morels this season. 

Morel mushrooms are rare delicious-tasting wild mushroom. Morels grow across most of the United States, but they aren’t necessarily easy to find. Take note of these morel mushroom hunting tips to fill your bag faster and more plentiful.

1. Wait until the time is right.

spring morel
Patch

Springtime is the best time to fill up your mushroom bag with tasty nature treats. But more specifically swoop into the woods after a warm rain, followed by a sunny day. The ideal environment will kickstart morel mushroom growth.

Nights that fall under 40 degrees Fahrenheit are not ideal growing conditions, but warm humid spring days should be cherished among morel mushroom hunters.

2. Use a tick repellent.

Lyme disease is real and can be problem for a mushroom hunter. Be sure to wear a hat, socks, and long pants. Purchase some bug repellent to double down in your anti tick efforts.

3. Find dead elm trees.

morel by dead elm
Last Word Don Nothing

Finding dying and dead elm trees are a major key to success when searching for morel mushrooms. Experts aren’t exactly sure why morels grow near dead.

Some experts believe that “elm starts to die, the sap runs from the tree back into the root structure, disperses from there into the ground and acts as some kind of catalyst or super fertilizer to begin the morel’s growth cycle.” Looking near white ash trees could also put out fresh morel mushrooms.

4. Keep your favorite spots like a hidden treasure.

Morel mushroom honey holes are far and few. If you find that magical spot that harnesses pounds of mushrooms, be sure to keep it to yourself.

You’d be surprised how fast word gets out. But if you do find plenty of mushrooms, it’s always great to share the tasty treats. Be sure to thank the landowner for allowing mushroom hunting.

5. Find a delicious recipe.

There are a lot of great recipes for cooking morel mushrooms that everyone’s taste buds can enjoy. Try one of these simple but tasty recipes:

Fried Morel Mushrooms:

  • 1 pound of morel mushrooms
  • 1.2 cup of oil for frying
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 pack of crushed saltine crackers
fried-morels
Outdoor Edibles

Simple and delicious morel mushroom recipe: (Personal favorite)

  • 1 pound of morel mushrooms
  • Soaked in salt water
  • Placed on towel to briefly air out
  • Gallon sized zip lock bag filled half way with flour or fry crisp
  • 1/2 cube of butter flavored Crisco
  • Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic

6. Freeze the leftovers, if there are any.

It’s likely their aren’t any leftovers, but just in case, you’ll need to know how to freeze morel mushrooms. Now their are various ways to preserve mushrooms for a later date. Personally, this is how I typically freeze the mushrooms.

  • Cook the morel mushrooms using preferred recipe
  • Place the cooked mushrooms on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer
  • Once frozen, place mushrooms in a ziplock bag.
  • Broil in the oven until heated and crisped
  • Enjoy the re-heated morel mushrooms

7. Scour the area.

Morel Mushroom Jake Hofer
Instagram/JakeHofer

Morel mushroom hunting can be tricky. Many people may cover a lot of ground while looking for mushrooms, scour the area looking for a mushroom and once finding the delicious treat, begin to intensely look in the same area. Typically morel mushrooms grow in the same area if one is found.

8. Avoid ‘false Morel Mushrooms.’

real mushroom vs false morel mushroom
Morel Appreciation

It’s important to know exactly what type of mushroom to be hunting. This simple pictograph displays some key characteristics between a true and false morel mushroom.

9. Make a day of it.

morels_crappies1
Chicago Now

Some of my favorite morel mushroom hunting are days when I was already out before day break spring turkey hunting. I like to call it a spring grand slam.

How do you complete a spring grand slam? Well, harvest a turkey, find some morel mushrooms, wild asparagus, and if their is enough daylight try to land a few crappie.

10. Bring a friend or hunting buddy.

Morel mushroom with someone else can make it even more exciting and you may find more with another set of eyes and legs. Plus it never hurts to have someone tag along for safety reasons.

WATCH

SEE MORE

The Real Way to Grow Morel Mushrooms [VIDEO]

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Everything You Need to Know for Morel Mushroom Hunting