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New Be,,,here,,,,this is my 1st year picking hen of woods, and most of the ones I found were past prime picking,, question is,,at the back of the mushroom, there's a hole in the center of each layer, with fine sawdust everywhere, are these spores?? When you see these spores, are you too late??? In picking its prime???
 

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I'm surprised you'd still be finding Hens this time of year.
 

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I'm not sure there is a prime time to harvest hens. I have picked them as early as Labor Day and as late as Halloween. A late frost seems to prolong the season.
 

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The ones I found were in late October
That makes more sense. I've never seen what you've described as sawdust around one. The ones I found which were too old to pick were tough and many had mold on the bottom when you cut them and flipped them over. The holes you see are usually caused by a beetle that lives on them.
 

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I was suspecting hens could still pop up due to all the warm temps. My son and I found a huge log just covered with oysters last Sunday when we were at the range.
 

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Is it best to cook the mushrooms before freezing, or just vacuum seal and then freeze ?

I just seal them and freeze them. I usually put them in the freezer for a couple hours before sealing the bags because the moisture makes it hard to vacuum seal them.
 
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