Mushroom Hunting is on the Rise

mushroom huntingMushroom hunting is something that anyone can do that provides something new to the table for every meal. No special equipment is required to find mushrooms in the woods just a little knowledge on where to look! Hunting Mushrooms is something that the whole family can enjoy, and is a great way to get kids out in the woods.

The Mighty Morel

The morel mushroom is one of Americas most prized mushrooms! Morels sell in the grocery store for more then $20 a pound! With morels being one of the most easily identifiable mushrooms this will be a quick guide to get you on track to finding your own. Remember that although morels are easily identifiable please consult your field guide before eating any mushroom.

Late March through June Mushroom Hunting

spring morel mushroomsMushrooms can be found across the USA popping up from the ground from late March through June. Here are two morels in the wild. Notice the pits (in the top photo), the distinctive conical shape, and the way the bottom of the cap (the pitted part) is attached near the bottom of the stem. Avoid the half-free morel (photo right), which has a longer stem and a cap that attaches near the top, looking like an umbrella. These mushrooms can cause some people to have cramps or other forms of gastrointestinal distress.

Mushroom dont eatGyromitra caroliniana and G. brunnea

Don’t eat this mushroom, The poisonous false morels (Gyromitra caroliniana and G. brunnea) are reddish and have wrinkled, lobed, or brain-shaped caps and dense (not hollow) stalks. The yellow morel (M. esculentoides) and black morel (M. angusticeps) have larger caps, and the bottom of the cap in both species is fused to the stalk.


Cap width: ½–1½ inches; cap height: ½–1½ inches; stalk length: 2–4 inches; stalk width: ½–1½ inches.

false_morel Big RedGyromitra caroliniana

Other False morels include The big red false morel, Gyromitra caroliniana, is a large false morel with a reddish cap. Other names include “elephant ears,” “Arkansas morels,” and “brain mushrooms.” False morels differ from true morels in obvious ways—if you take your time and observe carefully. In false morels, the cap surface has lobes, folds, flaps, or wrinkles, but it does not have pits and ridges like a true morel. You might say false morel caps bulge outward instead of being pitted inward. Also, when you slice a false morel down the middle, the cap is chambered and the stalk is stuffed with a cottony white tissue.

Hunting the Morel in its Natural Environment!

Morels live in and on the edge of forested areas. when Mushroom Hunting Look for ash, aspen, elm, and oak trees, around which morels often grow. Early in the spring as the ground is warming, you’ll find them on south-facing slopes in fairly open areas. As the season progresses, go deeper into the woods and onto north-facing slopes. Morels also like Well-drained, sandy soils like this creek bottom make good hunting spots as well.

Mushroom Hunting morels is like bass fishing. You cover ground until you find one, then slow down and search the area carefully. Concentrate the rest of your hunt on similar areas, on the theory that you’ve found the “pattern” for the day. Covering a lot of ground is the name of the game and the more you move and look the better your chances will be!

The first morels of the season are small.

Mushroom8 downed treesMorels often grow around dead and dying trees. Old apple orchards make good Mushroom hunting grounds. Always look around dead elm trees like this one. When a tree reaches the stage of decay where its bark is slipping off its trunk you’ll often find lots of morels around it.

As the season progresses you find bigger, yellow morels. They taste just as good as the smaller ones, they’re easier to spot, and it doesn’t take as many to feed a hungry hunter. Although morels are edible you should always confirm the species with a guide and then test a sample to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction. Although it is tempting to eat them in the woods we recommend that you bring them home for proper identification!

Soaking morels in water for a couple of hours cleans them and washes out any bugs living inside the hollow mushrooms. Some people slice them in half lengthwise for a more thorough cleaning. Cooking in butter brings out their rich and, almost meaty flavor.

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Posted in: Gregory Beckman, Scrolls
Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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