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Are there any special things I need to take to go hunting?

What you take to go mushroom hunting will be different depending on what kind of hunting trip you are going on.

What you take to go mushroom hunting will be different depending on what kind of hunting trip you are going on. Obviously, you will need something to put the mushrooms in no matter what kind of hunting trip it will be. A basic rule of thumb is never put mushrooms in a plastic bag of any kind. That makes the mushrooms 'sweat' and turn into a pile of goo.

Here are some various ideas of what to take with you according to the type of hunt:

1. Cosmopolitan hunt.

This is the hunt where you cruise metropolitan areas such as city neighborhoods, public parks, etc.

Take some kind of collapsible container like a paper bag if you want to be discreet. You could use a basket but that might attract unwanted attention. Many hunters wear knapsacks and keep the bags in them. That way when you have found what you are looking for you can put them in the bag and put the bag in the knapsack. A knife or sharp trowel is handy for digging up the base of specimens which is important for the identification for certain mushrooms, particularly [i]Amanitas[/i]. A good field guide is also very useful and there are quite a few good ones covered in this FAQ, available at the Shroomery bookstore.

Other helpful hints for cosmopolitan hunting are to wear comfortable clothes and perhaps keep a poncho in your knapsack if you are a determined hunter and plan to continue hunting whether it rains or not. If you plan to be out for a while you might take a snack and something to drink.

Take note of where the mushroom was growing as in near certain trees, in the middle of a large section of open grass, etc. This will help you to narrow down what it is when you try to identify it later.

If you have a camera you might take it along to photograph some of the mushrooms in their natural setting.

Some hunters take a few doggie treats to distract unwanted predators while they pick.

2. Pasture hunt

This is the hunt where you walk through the pastures where various animals are kept, cows, horses, sheep, goats, etc.

Take the same things as the cosmopolitan hunt with a few additions. A long walking stick is a good idea to keep large animals away. A snake bite kit can be useful if you are hunting in an area where poisonous snakes live. A set of binoculars can help you scan a pasture quickly and help you to locate groups of mushrooms with ease. Try to find a way to carry there items in such a way that if you need to go for a quick jog you don't lose or damage them.

3. Forest hunt.

This is the hunt where you search various woodlands like riparian woods (woods near rivers, streams, etc), old growth woodlands, new growth woodlands, etc.

A compass is recommended and some sort of alarm device to make your presence 'heard' if you get lost. Some hunters lost in the reverie of finding mushrooms have found themselves lost as well. You can buy miniature air horns at outdoor supply stores. Make sure you are careful when looking around and under logs. Those areas are the favorite hiding places of snakes and poisonous bugs like spiders, ticks, etc. Make sure you take something to eat and drink even if you do not plan to be gone for a while. A can of insect repellent is also a good idea.

As has already been mentioned in the FAQ do not hunt alone unless it is absolutely necessary. A friend may save your life or you may save theirs. Ask permission whenever you can. It's common sense. There is no need to invite unnecessary trouble to a hobby that has a few dangers already built into it.

Happy Hunting!

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