How to Morel Mushroom Hunt

Morel mushroom season is my favorite. Not only did my now husband and I get engaged during a morel hunt in 2016, but morel hunting creates more excitement about spring and provides an opportunity to explore the woods! We first discovered there were morels in our old apple orchard 5 years ago, and ever since then, right around mother's day, when the lilacs are blooming, we're out hunting! Because we have so much experience with hunting and since many people do not know that they too can morel hunt, we wanted to share some tips!

1. How do you know when to go hunting? When the weather is warming up, around 50s/60s during the day and high 40s at night. When it rains overnight that will also help the morels come up within the next 48 hours. Typically too, we time it by when the lilacs are blooming.

Typically Morel's are not found in the open like this. This was likely due to recent soil movement due to tilling. 

2. Where do you look? Under old and/or dead Apple or Ash tree's. Since we have an old apple orchard, we have plenty of places to look! But likely, if you are just going through a walk in the woods, I would look under Ash tree's if they are in your area. Elm tree's are also a viable options, but we've really only had our luck with Apple and Ash in our area.

Patience is best. If you hunt for many hours you can find many Morels! 
3. How do I spot a Morel mushroom? Morel mushrooms have a sponge type top to them, with a thick base. Typically they are a cream color, but can get darker depending on how long they are above ground. If they are very dark, typically they are dry and not worth picking. ** Leave whatever morel mushroom's you do not pick where they are. That will help them come up in a similar spot the next year!** 
Can you spot all the morels?

Typically we will kneel down and look for leaves that are disturbed or anything that is a lighter color than the dead leaves on the forest floor. Trust me, it is A LOT harder than it sounds. It takes patience. Once, my husband and I went out to look for a hour and only found 3. He felt discouraged and went back in, I stayed out for another 2 hours and came back with over 15!

One last tip! Use a mesh bag so the spores from the morel's you're carrying around can get to the ground to hopefully produce more for next year!

Good luck on your hunts!


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