For the mushroom enthusiasts, spring means only one thing. Morels! The morel season is in full swing within the Midwest and many hunters have been spending their days moving brush and parting grass in search of the elusive morel.
The magnificent taste of sautéed morels brings thousands of people into the woodlands every year to scour the ground and be the first to fill their bags to the brim. Parks and private lands overflow with hunters of all ages who enjoy the “chase” as much as the flavor of their find. The morel means many different things to many people. To some it is just a delicious mushroom, to others it represents the time they spend with family and friends searching through the woods and seeing nature up close and personal.
I have personally spent 5 of the last 7 evenings gathering nearly 7 pounds from our own private timber. The one thing I have learned is that as soon as someone hears that you have morels, they naturally will be more than happy to relieve you of any excess. I added a tool to my morel hunting arsenal this year and purchased a small handheld GPS unit to keep track of my hot spots on a roughly 75 acre plot of timber. Though I have been running around this land since I was young, I found this extremely beneficial.
In the past, my motivation for hunting year after year has been to see the looks of amazement from family members when trotting in with more morels than most will see in an entire lifetime. The morel for me means getting to spend time exploring nature, photographing animals, and sharing a treasure with friends and family.
Even though much of the information about morels is contested, their are many great sites that can help you learn a few pointers and maybe even find a few morels in your area this season. Check out http://www.naturealmanac.com/archive/morels/morels.html for some history and facts or http://www.morels.com for reports and tips from your area.
I did manage to get quit a few pictures and will post a few more a bit later. These are from my early trips.