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Woods and Water Rat
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Prior to this year, I've never intentionally hunted for morels.

I'd find one here or there - in my yard, or in the woods out scouting for deer in the spring -but never enough that I'd bother picking them. Maybe an average of 1-2 a year.

As a way to get out in the woods a bit more this spring and force myself to do a little more scouting - I figured I'd give actively hunting for morels a go. I wasn't expecting much, but figured with some effort I'd at least find 10-15, enough to bother picking and eating.

Lets just say that hasn't happened.

I read all kinds of stuff on the internet and in books. I've concentrated my efforts on areas that fit the description...

Dead/dying Elm, Oak, Ash
Dead trees/stumps other deciduous trees (oak, hickory, birch, beech...)
Burned areas
Creek beds
Controlled burn sites in/around deciduous trees
A group of old abandoned apple trees on state land
Mossy areas.... mayapples... trilliums...

I've hit tons of state land between Harrison and Gladwin, as well as looking in Ypsi/Arboer around where I work at lunch every day (lots of dead decidious trees, in areas that get controlled burns every couple years), and at the parks near my house (also deciduouswith regular controlled burns).


I figure - I've got 15-20 hours in, and I haven't seen a single morel. Not a tiny one. Not an old dried up one. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

Either I'm looking in the wrong places, or I'm just missing what is there - but I'll take any tips I can get.

Note: I am mildly red-green deficient, so I might have a harder time seeing them than some folks.
Not the best time to be a beginner morel hunter.....most of the past several seasons. Though the white variety does seem to fair better most seasons.

The key is the woods they grow in, you won't find them just anywhere. And the description of where they will grow isn't absolute.....that means they can grow where they "shouldn't" and will not where they "should" grow.

Find a spot and keep it to yourself and only the most trusted of friends, and hope the saws don't find it and the WX is right for the season.
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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23,964 Posts
... and I don't gamble.

If the answer is that it's just a throw of the dice until you find spots, it might not be the game for me. I have a strong preference for things where process and practice lead to improvement.
There's no real logic to why they grow where they do or do not.
I've given you a slight advantage. You can try your luck or put your skills to the test now.....and I wouldn't wait very much longer if it doesn't rain.

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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23,964 Posts
I never perceived that.
He's definitely been provided an advantage, where they grow. He only has to do the driving, leg, & eye work should he desire. It's gonna be crowded, but it's 100% morel woods if he applys the obvious to his walkabout. And doesn't walk into a field and hope they are there.....though they could be!
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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23,964 Posts
It's a hillside with -

Creek bottom full of skunk cabbage.

Deciduous forest, lots of dead trees, lots of it ash. Previously controlled burned.

Mayapples, trillium, and jack-in-the-pulpit popping up all over the place.


Seems to fit most descriptions of morel habitat, but I ain't finding anything...
Yeah but that is the enigma, that the morel is......may be a bit too wet though?
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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If you're talking XXXXXXXXXX - it's just way too far away. 4+ hours from home, and 2+ from my cottage - where we only have one vehicle and I'm not allowed too disappear with it for more than a couple hours.

I appreciate the suggestion, but it just isn't doable.
Well, I wasn't gonna post it...but it's on TV every year.
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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Loamy, sandy soil with a thin but rich black topsoil, well drained. But again conditions seemingly right do not a morel woods make. My buddy esg and I each had definitely different ideas of what a "perfect" morel woods should look like. It got weird at first. We'd pull into each others spot quietly thinking the other guy was nuts, until we hauled back the mushrooms!

I wish I knew the formula though.....

Covers about 150' of elevation. It's a bit mushy at the bottom (but still dry enough for tennis shoes), dry as a bone at the top. Trillium and mayapples are middle third of slope
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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23,964 Posts
This is why you can find fresh Hen of the Woods in stores all year now and morels in a handful of stores for a month selling for $75 a pound. I'm a "process" guy too, at least on some things, but it doesn't work here..... Really, it doesn't work.

Pescy, realizing he ain't finding any morels on his own.

Nose Eye Cartoon Human body Jaw
 
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