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Last Call for Morels

After a morel mushroom hunting adventure with a buddy along the Elkhorn River this weekend, I am issuing a final call for harvesting morel mushrooms, at least in the river bottom woodlands here in eastern Nebraska. Head to your woods for morels as soon as you can! They’re there, most likely in good numbers due to the heavy rain event we had this past Sunday.


We did find fresh morels.




However, some were dry and had brown tops to them. Fungi/mushroom expert Mark Davis, Writer/Photojournalist for the Omaha World-Herald’s Outdoor Section, says these are fine to eat as long as you trim off the brown tops and there appears to be no mold.


Mark says to leave the moldy ones in the ground.


One reason to hunt morels in your favorite woodlands this weekend is that the wildlife of the woodlands might beat you to them! Wild animals from whitetail deer to fox squirrels will nosh on morel mushrooms.


Another reason to hunt morels soon — thicker foliage. It seems the vegetation is getting lusher by the day. Just look at all of the greenery in our Elkhorn River bottom woodlands.


Besides taking the necessary precautions to prevent tick bites, it’s time to be very vigilante for poison ivy. Remember, “leaflets of three, let it be!”


Stinging nettles are rampant in the woodland habitat as well, so avoid them, too!


Also, take time to experience nature/conservation while you’re hunting for morels. There’s always cool things to see like these hardwood tree burls (tree growths in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner as a result of stress).


I wish you a safe and successful morel mushroom picking journey! Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the same success as my buddy Andre and I had!


Regardless of success, it will be nice just to take a spring walk in the woods for some fresh air!



This blog post is dedicated to our good friend, the late-David Heilman, who had a passion for morel mushrooms like no other!


About greg wagner

A native of Gretna, NE, a graduate of Gretna High School and Bellevue University, Greg Wagner currently serves as the Communications and Marketing Specialist and Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission's Service Center in Omaha. On a weekly basis, Wagner can be heard on a number of radio stations, seen on local television in Omaha, and on social media channels, creatively conveying natural resource conservation messages as well as promoting outdoor activities and destinations in Nebraska. Wagner, whose career at Game and Parks began in 1979, walks, talks, lives, breathes and blogs about Nebraska’s outdoors. He grew up in rural Gretna, building forts in the woods, hunting, fishing, collecting leaves, and generally thriving on constant outdoor activity. One of the primary goals of his blog is to get people, especially young ones, to have fun and spend time outside!

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