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Morel hunting.

19809 Views 83 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  setter/spaniel
Anyone else ready for spring? I've had enough winter. This Spring will begin my first season hunting for edible mushrooms. Looking forward to it. I've never paid mushrooms much attention over the years. I have identified several edible species in the past but this year is the first I plan to collect some. Starting with the elusive morel. I remember a few patches I would see in the spring fishing and scouting turkeys back home a few hours away. These patches I saw were 15 years ago or more. I might take the drive out and check it out again but I'd like to locate some closer to home.

I can remember the most morels I saw were in an old apple orchard on my grandmothers farm. Old and overgrown, lots of brush and dead trees down. Now the land I have to hunt for them now has no apples, but hundreds of acres of oak. Both red and white but mostly white. Anyone ever have luck finding them in the Oaks? Or should I start my hunting farther down the mountain along the brook. Seems brushier down there with more maple and ash?

Not looking for anyones hot spots or secrets, just a few tips.

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I've always had good luck around Tulip Poplars as well as the old orchards. I save at least two packs of back straps every year, to go with the first Morels of the season. One of my favorite meals of the year!!!
Wish I had the will power to save some backstraps. They are long gone. Nothing but burger, stew, and speedie chunks left.

The morels would also be good with the speedie chunks, I bet!! Save some and give em a try.
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I too found many growing around Tulip Poplars, espically when Mayapples are growing there.
Typically they are found around Poplar, Ash, old Apple, and by far my very favorite and most productive, Elm hit by Dutch Elm Disease.

I'd stay out of the Oak forests in spring, but keep them in mind for Chanterelles in early July, and Hens in the fall.

I'd rather hunt Morels than any game species.
Good Luck.
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Most of my experience with hunting morels is in Montana where they love to come up in areas that were hit by fires the previous year. We had 2 such areas last summer within a couple miles of us that burned around 40,000 acres. That's plenty of room to spread out, but the problem is that everyone knows to go to these major forest fire burn areas, so there will be lots of competition hunting them there this coming spring.

Last year was pretty dry, and practically a bust for morels, but the year before was a record snowfall and moisture year, and we had a banner year for morels all over.

We also find lots of morels along the river corridors, especially under old cottonwood trees. River islands are also an especially good area to look for them, and if I were up around Tidioute, for example (seeing Beardaw that posted earlier is from there), I'd love to look for them on some of the islands along the Allegheny River.

In fact, if I were on some of those islands along the Allegheny river, I'd marvel at seeing some of those majestic, stately old trees that grow on those islands, and dream of what it must have been like there a few hundred years ago, when indians pulled their canoes up onto the shoreline, hunted deer and other wildgame, gathered nuts and berries, and (perhaps) also found an abundant supply of mushrooms there.

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Can't wait for Morel season! I do most of my hunting in Washington County, and find the majority of my morels around dead elms. I target them while in the woods, they are easy to identify and normally have morels under thier canopies. If you can find them with most of thier bark still attatched you'll find more shrooms. I've also found them by poplars and apple trees.
Thanks guys. Helped me make a game plan. I'll still try to get out to the old orchard once this spring once I find some around here. As far as closer to home I have a long stretch of brook that I know has ash, hopefully some elm that I will start with this spring.
Can't wait for Morel season! I do most of my hunting in Washington County,
Hey, Hey, Hey. Whoaaaaaaaaa !!!
I can't wait either. I started searching for morels 2 years ago but haven't found any. I also look for ramps but haven't found those either. I'll still be out searchin though for these elusive beauties come spring.
I have picked morels in IN, OH, MI, MO, WV and PA and the hot spots are as mentioned popular, dead elms, and apple trees.

Several years ago I had an area of old apple trees which would produce around two bushels each Spring. Then one year the owner had the trees cut and the ground leveled. However the next Spring the morels came up every where in the open ground, but the following year there was less ....then none.

The last two year were very good for me in Washington County.
Ive had morels on the brain for the last 2 weeks. Ive located a bunch of new ground that looks prime. My goal is 2000 this year. I have a local restaurant that is interested in some poundage so i may sell some off this year.
alpine4d said:
I remembered last year being early and this pick was April 16th. I remember getting a few hundred a week or 2 before this. This was the earliest i had ever found them.
alpine4d said:
Ive had morels on the brain for the last 2 weeks. Ive located a bunch of new ground that looks prime. My goal is 2000 this year. I have a local restaurant that is interested in some poundage so i may sell some off this year.
I just want them for my own cooking, but you got me wondering. How much do they pay for them?
Fleero, what is the best way to harvest? And best way to carry out of woods? Mid April normal for around us?
alpine4d said:
$30-35.00 lb around here is average
No wonder folks are so quiet about how to find them!
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Steve, Mid-April is TYPICALLY early for the big yellows, but normally you can find the greys starting about then. Blacks around then also, and even a bit sooner at times.
Last year was remarkable how early it was. Definitley not the norm, and I found my first in an early spot on March 22 or 25th ? Never found one in March before. If I took an average over all my years, I'd say her in the SW PA, April 24 to May 3 or so is the best and most productive time. Seems after Cinco De Mayo, it is just too hot down here, and the mushrooms are big and old.
We should cross paths this year.
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