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To This Late Season There is a Morel

Don’t give up as there are still plenty of morels left to find.  With the new bout of rains and the warm temps, there should be a nice batch for the picking!  This year has been spotty with the weird weather but if you hit your old haunts a few weeks ago and did not fine what you were looking for, I highly encourage you to return in the next day or two as you may be surprised at what you find!

Around April 1 I start salivating heavily for them and can’t wait to fry up the first batch.  This year has been spotty for many due to the colder temps.  Then over the last few weeks we began finding them here and there.  Some gave up as it just was not like past years.  Get back out there and enjoy!   Below are a few late season morel tips that will help you find the last few morels left in the woods.

Morels are interesting critters.  The mushroom we have all come to  know and love is actually the fruiting body of  the fungus.  The fungus lives with a host such as a cottonwood tree.  When the tree is damaged or in poor health, the fungus sends up a fruiting body to deposit spores and help the fungus leave the host site in search of a new more suitable location.

Morel Hunting Tips

1. Bring bug spray….lots of it!

2. Stroll the woods looking for trees that exhibit some sort of injury or weakness – cottonwoods and elm trees seem to be the most suitable host sites with ample fruiting bodies suggesting the fungus is looking for a new host and trying to leave the area.

3. Train your eye on what to look for – I focus on the cream color and the brownish heads

4. Pinch the morel at the base to gently remove from the soil

5. Place morels in an open air mesh or paper bag

6. Once you find a batch, tell no one of the location (not even your grandmother)

7. I like to bring a hiking stick along which gives me something to lean when bending down constantly to pick morels

8. Don’t forget to share with friends (the food not the location you found them…never share that)

9. I have tried morel decoys but for me they just don’t work 🙂

10. While hitting the late turkey season make sure you spend some time looking for these tasty critters in the woods

Easy Fried Morel

I like to slice them lengthwise and clean them under cold water.  Then I make my seasoning from sea salt, flower, crushed black pepper, and garlic-pepper seasoning.  Mix with the flour and set aside.  Pour half and half in a second bowl.  Now simply dip the shrooms in the milk and then into the flour-seasoning mix.  Once all coated, place and skillet with cooking oil and butter and fry until golden-dark brown.  Use spatula to flip occasionally.  I generally use medium to medium-high heat.  Enjoy!

Brother-in-law after a successful hunt…notice the morel hunting drab camo!
Morel Nirvana!
Fishing for morels? A fishing net makes a great carry bag for hauling out the loot as demonstrated by my father-in-law!

About jeff rawlinson

Jeff is the Education Manager in the Communications Division with Game and Parks where he has worked for the last 15 years. He oversees the Hunter Education, Boater Education, Hunter Outreach and Shooting Range Development for the Commission and is a devout hunter, angler, wildlife viewer, naturalist, father and husband. He holds a BS and MS from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been a Hunter Education Instructor for over 20 years, NRA firearms instructor and range officer, National Archery in the Schools Program Archery Instructor Specialist and member of the National NASP Board, sits on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunter Recruitment and Retention Committee and Education Committee. Jeff is an avid handgun hunter, loves to chase turkeys in the spring, squirrel hunting enthusiast and philosopher of the outdoors. He is an avid shooter and loves to spend outdoor time with family and friends. He has a passion for exciting others about the outdoors. A history buff, Jeff is a strong supporter of our North American Model of Conservation and tries to spread the message of its importance and relevance every chance he gets.

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