Hunting for Morel Mushrooms: I Finally Found One!

finding morel mushrooms

My First Black Morel!

For the last few years, the Morel Mushroom has taunted me. My brother got me started and I’m usually a tag along for when he goes and hunts for them. But I love it! For me, it is the challenge of the hunt. The timing, temperature, location, and a keen eye to spot these sponge top fungi poking up out of the leaves all come into play. Until last weekend I hadn’t any luck.

But as we were walking to a certain location (realize all Mushroom Hunters keep successful locations TOP SECRET!), I spotted a four leaf clover crossing the fence. I knew then, this was going to be the Day! We had the Luck of the Hunt. I would find my very first Morel Mushroom, wild in the forest.

Well, the luck initially went to my brother. Darn him. He found the first patch. And although I carefully strolled over and spotted the few there without him specifically pointing them out, he still saw them first. These didn’t count towards my find. I was determined to find some on my own walking through the area of our search.

four leaf clover

Luck of the Hunt

We walked a little further, and there it was! Of course, I left out a bit of a yell. Wouldn’t you after searching so long for one?! I was so excited! A Morel! A Black Morel! And there were more nearby! One I must have stepped over without seeing because it was broken off, but another was standing tall! WHAT! 3 of them! No way. It was one for each of the previous years I found none.

Oh, I know some hunters who come back with wheelbarrow loads, year after year, but I was happy for those 3! Actually, we found a few more this day, and we need to go back later this week. But how awesome to find the ones we did! We have our secret patch now!

The Morel is one of America’s favorite mushrooms for beginner hunters to search for. The main reason for this, at least for myself, is they are easily identifiable. Some Mushrooms are deadly if eaten, and so if ever in doubt on kind of mushroom, leave it. NEVER assume it is edible. ALWAYS know exactly what it is, or DON’T pick and NEVER EVER eat it.

First Find of Morels

First Find of Morel Mushrooms!

Although I don’t eat them (I’ve tasted them though), the Morel is thought to be one of the tastiest mushrooms. They do sell for quite a bit at the store, and so to find them wild is considered a ‘treasure’.

Nonetheless, it’s all hunt for me. My brother can have and cook up the bounties. He hunts for various mushrooms all year round and I like to go with him when I get chance to then too. I’ll have more stories to share as hunts go on.

The Morel only offers a short window of time to hunt for them each year. Maybe a few weeks in the Spring.

They are thought to grow best when the soils are just warming and temperatures during the day reach between 50-70degrees, and don’t dip below 40 degrees at night. After recent rains, but not too much, are a great time (supposedly) too.

I loved the answer my brother gave me when asking ‘where do Morels grow?’ He learned from others to say, ‘Morels grow where Morels grow!’

There are so many different theories.

Because of our finds, we like old deserted apple orchards and at the base of poplar trees near moist areas. This works for him, and now me too! 🙂

Once you find a spot, remember where it is, and know they just might be there next year!! Or NOT…..lol…

A Morel Mushroom hunt is a fun game for me. The find a prized win. I think it is great getting out, enjoying a hike through the woods, looking for mushrooms. Reminds me of the first chapter in The Whistle Pig treasure hunt….lol…but that’s another treasure hunt story.

Best of luck with all that you seek!

Here are some other things we found, and then see if you can spot the Morel Mushroom:

dragonfly (above the point..top corner)

dragonfly (above the point..top corner)

many legged creature

many legged creature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

spot the morel mushroom!

spot the morel mushroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

looking for Morels

walking to area

With my brother searching

With my brother searching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses

  1. Hi Jenny!

    Congratulation on your first Morel find! Watch out – you may be hooked and this will turn into an annual spring pilgrimage.

    My kids and I go hunting each spring – “May for Morels” here in central WI. We’re blessed with a home in the woods and throughout the summer we search for our seasonal troves – morels, oysters, corals, black trumpets, chanterelles, chicken and hen-of-the-woods. If you’re ever up our way, stop by and we can hunt together!

    ~ Wisconsin Mike

  2. Ed says:

    I went Morel hunting once already this spring, NO LUCK my brother-in-law has found some in past searches. Those guys are very hard to find! I’ve found them for sale at a Saturday market in Portland but they are expensive. I have a friend in TN that finds some every spring. I might go out looking again this spring.

  3. Jenny Kile says:

    Hi Wisconsin Mike and Ed, thanks for your comments….

    I think I might become hooked on hunting for these things….it is fun to do

    I want to get out searching again later this week or weekend for Morels…and want to tag along with my brother some more over the summer as he hunts for the other types you mentioned Mike….

    Good luck to both of you if you go out….

  4. Goldwatch says:

    I was right in the middle of a morel pop once. I was maybe 13, with a friend in the woods not too far from town, and they just suddenly popped up all around us.

    We went home and got a couple of brown paper grocery sacks, the large kind that used to be common, and filled them both.

    The key thing I noticed was that the temperature had risen from 75ish to around 80 in about 15 minutes. I don’t think the temperature was as important as the quick rise. And the humidity, while it wasn’t real high, became mildly noticeable.
    It was a sunny day with a slight breeze, lightly wooded area, a few dead trees fallen in the general area.

    At the time, I didn’t know what they were. I was just amazed that as we turned around and looked back, there were many more where we just had been. They were conspicuous in a grassy and fairly “clean” wooded area that would make for a very nice picture or painting. So looking back at where we’d just been and didn’t see them, and seeing many there all of a sudden, was a bit amazing.
    My friend knew what they were, though. And so did my mom. And they were delicious!

  5. astree says:

    What a fantastic article, and treasure hunting story. I’d be tempted to start a contest with your brother, buy a bunch at a store, and somehow ‘find’ them when you two are out looking (and his back is turned). Well, you could always come clean with him later on.

    Really, though, I’m glad you two are able to go out with confidence. I had also thought it would be fun to pick up mushrooms when out in the woods, but I have worried and followed that advice to not eat it unless I’m sure it’s safe; I mostly come across the broadcap. But maybe I’ll give it a try.

    “Because of our finds, we like old deserted apple orchards and at the base of poplar trees near moist areas” Any more hints? Like the initials of the place (the first, second, third, etc. initials?).

    Thanks, Jenny. It’s always a treat to read about your various adventures with members of your family.

  6. astree says:

    I’m easily confused before coffee – I’m now seeing Forrest response featuring the spindle whorl pottery shards.

    http://www.danword.com/crossword/Mushroom_whorl

    http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/g396/astree0/Thrill_of_Chase/ToC_V6_9x9_24Apr16_zpsfmcvxg8d.jpg

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