If you’ve ever been out hunting morel mushrooms, you know how difficult they can be to spot.
You probably know where to look but are having trouble actually seeing the mushrooms because they blend in so well with the surroundings. If you want to learn how to find morel mushrooms using a more scientific approach, continue reading.
Imprint the Image
One way to start is by imprinting the image of a morel into your brain. Get photos of morels and look at them daily. Place a photo of a morel by your desk or on your refrigerator.
When you are out mushroom hunting, you know that a morel will suddenly just jump out at you. You can’t really seem them from the corner of your eye.
We cannot use our peripheral vision to spot morels. We must use our foveal vision. This is when both views from each eye overlaps. It is the most focused, sharpest and highest resolution part of where our eyes are looking.
You can find more mushrooms by knowing how to look for them. Instead of covering a lot of ground, it’s important to stop and look.
Because your foveal view constitutes only two to five degrees of your total vision, it’s important to slow down. This will take practice but you will need to stand still longer so that you can see better.
For every minute you spend walking, you should stand still for six minutes and just spend that time looking. You will find that the mushrooms suddenly jump out at you. It’s also important not to look straight down but instead, look approximately 10 to 20 feet away.
Other Plants That Morels Grow Near
There are other types of spring plants that grow in the same type of soil that morels do. Two of the most common plants are mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum), which are often called umbrella plants because of their large leaves; and trillium, which is a flower that has three petals, three leaves and three sepals.
Mayapples aka Umbrella Plants
If you spot mayapples or trillium, be sure to look a little closer for morels. Chances are good that they will be nearby. Take a hiking stick with you to flip over any leaves or bark.
Learn to Identify Trees They Grow Near
Also, look for elm trees, tulip trees, white elm and apple trees. The first trees to start sprouting are often elm trees and tulip trees (depending where you live). Identifying these trees and looking near them is one of the easiest way to find morels.
You want to keep track of where you find morels because there is a good chance that more will sprout in the same area the following years. A handheld GPS that shows your coordinates can be helpful for your future hunts.
It’s important to take care when you are out in the woods. Even if you don’t find any morels, you could find plenty of ticks and they carry Lyme disease. Be sure that you put your socks over your pants and use a tick-repellent. When you get home, check all over for the nasty little critters.
Now that you know how to find morel mushrooms using a more scientific approach, this should help you get more mushrooms on your hunt. Although it can be hard work searching for morel mushrooms, it’s well worth the effort when you are frying up a pan of delicious, sauteed morel mushrooms.