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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Mushroom hunters can breathe easier. Despite the rumors, the state of Illinois isn't charging fees and regulating the hobby this spring.
The Natural Resources Department tried to assure hunters Wednesday they do not have to get a state license and pay a $16.75 fee to hunt mushrooms.
Department spokeswoman Gayle Simpson said the agency received dozens of calls last week complaining about the purported change. She said the department discovered someone had taken a press release from the Internet and used it to craft a fake announcement of the new license and fee.
The hoax urged hunters to visit vendors that sell hunting and fishing licenses to get a mushroom license and said the proceeds would benefit biological and archaeological research in Illinois, Simpson said.
She said the agency doesn't know when the hoax was sent or by whom, but e-mails and faxes have spread it "like wildfire" through central and southern Illinois and the agency is investigating. here