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Registered: 01/25/05
Posts: 6,485
Loc: precious
Morels, worth a read
    #4122724 - 05/02/05 12:09 PM (16 years, 18 days ago)

Hunting for morel mushrooms

All over the region, morel mushroom hunters are champing at the bit.

A week ago, the wily fungus was starting to show its face in the warm sun. Then, the weather cooled, and hunters had to cool their heels along with it.

"Believe me, Mother's Day is the ticket,'' says Keith Marshman, who runs the Elba Valley Express in Elba with his wife, Patty. "We've had tons of local hunters go out, and they've come back empty-handed. It's too cool. When the heat comes on again and hits 70 or 80, there'll be mushrooms.''

Marshman and the Whitewater Sportsman Club held a morel mushroom festival for five years but discontinued it this year because the club's floor is too weak for the crowds. So, he's inviting hunters to stop by his gas station for tips and maps of the area.

Just west of Winona in bluff country, it's known for good mushroom hunting, largely because there are 28,000 acres of state-owned land on which to hunt, including Whitewater State Park and Wildlife Management Area.

"We always tell people, 'If you've found one, don't move; you've probably already stepped on three or four,' '' Marshman says. "You've got to stop and get down on your hands and knees. A lot of hunters don't want to get dirty, but remember, you're actually hunting for gold. They don't stand up and say, 'Here I am.' You've gotta hunt for them.''

Southeast Minnesota has many other good hunting spots; try the vast Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest and the Weaver Bottoms, around Wabasha. The Wisconsin side of the river also has many good spots in state and county parks and forests. As the season progresses, northern forests will yield mushrooms.

For updates on this year's crop, check the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa message boards at www.morels.com, whose respondents offer many tips, if not exact locations. Here are a few of the basics.

Where to look: Morels will show up first in recently burned areas, because the black soil warms up first. Then, look at the top of sunny hillsides around recently deceased trees, especially elms. The tree should still have some twigs and bark hanging on. Look for white speckles on the bark. The season lasts two or three weeks; toward the end, look on the northern edges of woods, in ravines or on bottomlands.

What to wear: Ticks and turkey hunters will be out, so wear a blaze-orange cap and long sleeves. Tuck trouser legs into socks and spray with bug repellent. Gloves protect hands from nettles.

What to bring: A mesh basket or bag (not plastic) and a cooler to transport the mushrooms home. Serious hunters bring a good map and a pencil and mark sites where they find morels.

What to do with the mushrooms: Don't wash them; brush off the dirt. Then, either dry them or use immediately in pastas, omelets or sauces. There are some nice recipes at www.muscoda.com.

Learn more: The Minnesota Mycological Society will have its annual Morel Madness meeting at 7:15 p.m. May 9 in Room 490 of Hodson Hall on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. 651-699-1263, www.minnesota mushrooms.org. There is an identification guide at www. mushroomexpert.com.


these long agonizing months without you...have been long and agonizing..
"War Doesn't Decide Who's Right... It Only Decides Who's Left."

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Registered: 12/24/99
Posts: 8,946
Re: Morels, worth a read [Re: flowstone]
    #4122804 - 05/02/05 12:25 PM (16 years, 18 days ago)

thanks for the read. :thumbup:

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Fellow Traveler>^..^<

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 657
Loc: Upper Midwest
Re: Morels, worth a read [Re: GGreatOne234]
    #4123539 - 05/02/05 03:48 PM (16 years, 18 days ago)

Yup, this is my neighborhood here. Damn cold weather.

Truckin' ain't for Sally's

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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Hunting and Identification

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