More than any other type of mushroom, morel mushrooms are often referred to as America’s mushroom. It could be because they are found in most of the United States and they are so easy to identify. It could be because people love going out after a long winter to enjoy the warm weather. But the main reason could be is because they are delicious.
Depending upon where you live, you could even get up to $20 per pound if you decided to sell them.
Even though morel mushrooms may be easy to identify, if you have any doubt about what it is, throw it out.
Morels can be found in much of the United States from about the end of March until the end of May. Most people know that when someone says they are going mushroom picking, it’s for morel mushrooms. They are also called Dryland Fish, Hickory Chickens, and Molly Moocher.
Where To Look
In the early spring, you will often find them in open areas at the edge of a forest facing south. Look specifically around certain trees, such as the ash, apple, tulip and elms. You will need to go deeper in the woods and check the north-facing slopes as the season progresses.
When temperatures start reaching the 60 degree mark and doesn’t go below 40 degrees, this is when you will start finding morels.
Look around dead or dying trees. When a tree has reached the point of decay that its bark is coming off the trunk, you can be sure to find many morels near it. Washed out creek bottoms are also good places to look.
Another thing to look for is any type of burn sites. The nutrients that a burned tree puts back into the soil will attract the morel.
You may want to consider hunting morel mushrooms much like bass fishing. You just keep covering ground until you find your first one. Now it’s time so slow down and search the area.
At the end of the season, you will find that the morels get even bigger and start turning yellow. They are much easier to spot and they taste just as yummy as the ones you find early in the season. And you won’t need as many.
Make sure that you know how to properly identify the morel mushroom. There is another type of mushroom, called the false morel, that is toxic. A morel mushroom stem is hollow while the false morel stem has chunks of tissue or fibers inside.
Use a mesh bag to carry your mushrooms out of the woods. The spores that drop from the bag will spread the growth of morels.
Make sure you carry a map, compass or GPS. Let someone know that you will be out mushroom hunting and when they should expect you to be back.
Ticks are a danger as they carry the risk of Lyme disease. Dress appropriately and use tick repellent. As soon as you get home, thoroughly check your body.
The elusiveness of the morel makes finding it that much more exciting. Morel mushroom hunting is a past-time experienced by many. Once you know what to look for, you too can experience the thrill of the hunt and the delicious and savory taste of victory.