Morel hunting is a passion of mine. Over the years, it has become a tradition for me and my boys to head out in the hopes of bringing home a feast. Morel hunting is for the hopeful, but here are a few tips on where to find morel mushrooms to help you when you head out to find these (sometimes) elusive prey:
Hunt territory, not mushrooms
Morels like what they like. And what they like are trees, particularity rotting ones. Look for elms, ashes and apple trees… I once found an amazing crop near an old orchard. It’s still one of my favorite places to start each spring.
Hunt spring temperatures
This last weekend’s snowfall was not ideal for the mushroom hunter. Morels like ground temperature of about 55 degrees. Ideally daytime highs around 60 to 70 degrees and night time temps that hover 40-50 plus.
Hunt for humidity
A good spring rain can bring on the morels. They like the humidity and the warm, moist air. When the sun pops after a fresh rain keep your eyes open they can pop out of nowhere.
Hunt disturbed ground
Last year’s forest fire can be this year’s hotbed of morels. Areas that have been logged, where the soil has been loosened or anyplace where the ground has been disturbed by activity is a great place to start.
Hunt for one
Morels like the company of other morels. So if you find one, you will likely find others. Pay attention to the details of the spot, the trees, the ground cover. These are all clues you will need to find more.
Don’t get stuck hunting same spots over and over exclusively. Canopies change, conditions change, lots of things change. I challenge myself to find 3 new spots every year! I just log them into my phone and Bing Bing Bing!
And here are two of my personal morel mushroom hunting tips:
From one morel mushroom hunter to another: carry a mesh bag for your mushrooms. As you walk, you will be leaving behind the spores that will mean more mushrooms for you next year. Secondly, leave one or two behind: if you clear them out, they cannot make more. And hunting, for me, is about managing the herd and making sure there is enough for everyone.
What do you do after you fill your morel bag? You clean them and cook them of course! In this video I’ll give you some pointers on how to do just that.