A friend asked me the other day a very simple
question about a very complicated matter and I replied in the simplest
His question: “What is the most important part
of finding morels?”
“Trees!” I said without the slightest delay. “Knowing
He laughed. “Look.” He said. “I want to find morels,
Well you may think you are looking for mushrooms,
I said, or something of that nature, but if you find mushrooms (in most
cases, not all) the morels were there because the trees were there first.
I do not mean to infer that a morel hunter must
be blind to everything but trees until he has stumbled into a bodacious
patch of morels. I think conversely. The morel hunter should be aware of
everything in the woods, or in the field. What I would impart is the fact
that morels occur under, or around, certain species of trees more than
For example, the dead elm tree with slipping (loose,
hanging) bark is without the “shadow of a doubt” an all-time favorite.
But trees take many forms, and the thicker trees are the species to watch
for mushrooms because they tend to stop the spore (seeds) in midair and
allow them to fall to the earth.
Without a doubt, dead elm trees with slipping
bark have hosted more morels than all other species of trees combined.
But morels still occur under, and around, other species. Thus, it is important
to identify, at a reasonable distance, other species of trees, and to know
roughly which species is a good producer of morels.
Sure, the procedure goes awry now and again, but
it also pays dividends in the form of full sacks.
Mushrooms, like bass, rabbits and other forms
of wildlife, are “where you find them,” including barren spoil banks of
strip pits, your front lawn, old apple orchards and hundreds of other unlikely
places. But generally the woods is where it’s gonna be.
So what species of trees should you earmark for
special attention when morel hunting? As noted here earlier, the dead elm
tree with slipping bark is hard to beat. Others are about the same in potential
morel mother lodes, but even with this in mind, I give the nod to sycamore
trees in both wooded and non-wooded areas. After that I look for hickory,
beech, tulip tree (yellow poplar), and cedar. Still a brush-infested fencerow
has something to offer.
Boil it all down to its simplest terms, and one
must keep his eyes peeled for mushrooms everywhere. But do so with specific
trees in the background and head that direction.
House Bill 1299 passed the Senate Natural Resources
Committee Monday (March 12) unanimously and awaits a final vote for passage.
This must happen by April 10. It is the senior citizen fishing license
A little bird admits eavesdropping a Statehouse
elevator conversation between Sportsmen’s Round Table President Dick Mercier
and Speaker of the House Patrick Bauer on Monday. The topic was SJR 14,
the right-to-hunt resolution that the latter, Rep. Bauer, has stymied thus
far by not assigning it to a House Committee. The little bird had his hearing
aid turned up and he thought he heard Rep. Bauer declare he would “look
into it.” But Rep. Bauer did not pontificate on the matter. The Senate
Natural Resources Committee is where conservationist and hunters--hundreds
of thousands of them--want it.