So you've brushed up on wild mushroom identification and now you're ready for some morel mushroom hunting tips. Whether a novice or veteran hunter, it's helpful to review some commonly held beliefs about finding morels.
Remember that these are just suggestions, nothing is written in stone. You may find them in unusual places, or somewhere not listed here. Nothing's guaranteed, but the thrill of the hunt is what makes it fun!
Below is a list of morel mushroom hunting tips I've compiled from research and experience. There are lots of different theories regarding these mushrooms. I've grouped together some of the main ones by time of year, habitat, environmental conditions, and etiquette/personal safety. For a more in-depth look at the practice of the sport, see this page.
Enough talk. Let's learn the secrets of morel mushroom hunting!
The shortest answer of all the morel mushroom hunting tips: spring.
Although the reality is that "spring" varies.
Spring can be February and March for the West Coast and the Southern US. The Mid West sees the most fruitings between late March and early May. In my area on the East Coast, morels usually fruit from late April to early June.
Parts of Canada and the North Western US will see fruitings into June. Other parts of the world may see some at other times of year, depending on when their spring is.
The most logical advice I can give for time of year is to start searching during the two months when spring is considered to be at its height in your area.
Although if you're truly morel-obsessed there's nothing stopping you from mushroom hunting for the four months around spring!
Some of the most useful morel mushroom hunting tips deal with habitat.
Start by searching near certain trees. Morels are thought to be mycorrhizal, meaning they form mutualistic relationships with the roots of trees. For this reason, you must learn about the trees in your area. These are believed to be the trees favored by morels:
Another good place to look is in areas of disturbed ground. Mycelia produce mushrooms in response to environmental stress, so morels are often found around:
Soil composition is another thing to consider. You may not know what's in the soil in your area, so consult a local amateur expert or a geologist (ask around at the nearest college). Morels are often found in these types of soil:
More morel mushroom hunting tips exist in regards to soil temperature, air temperature, and humidity. Morels seem to be most commonly found during these environmental conditions:
I would be remiss if I didn't mention a few things about safety. While not morel mushroom hunting tips exactly, they're on here in the hopes of keeping you and the forest safer:
Lastly, here's the best of the morel mushroom hunting tips that I can give:
Hope springs eternal. Don't give up. Keep looking and researching. Most of all remember to have fun and enjoy nature!
Sick of the hunt? Say it isn't so! Check out the dried mushrooms page.