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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Instant gratification or sucess is not the norm in new pursuits.
And should not be expected to improve with time unless effort is intelligently applied.
I'm not expecting instant success - but as you noted (and any athlete knows) practicing wrong is worse than not practicing.

If I knew I was doing the right thing - persistence isnt hard... but based on folks general advice, there is no "right thing", and the right thing varies wildly and is so inconsistent as to amount to "try everything and hope you get lucky".

Enjoy the adventure when starting something new. Or even pursuing something old.
I don't expect guarantees, but if trying really hard and spending hours doesn't at least increase my likelihood of success over doing nothing - I'll find more fruitful pursuits.

I just.... Largely don't do things I'm not successful at. If after a modicum of effort I'm not reasonably good, I quit and pick another thing off the list of thousands I want to try.

We have dinosaur bones in Michigan. Should I pout if I go looking and don't find any?
No. You should consult experts to tell if you're hunting and the right places, and what the normal number of man hours per discovery are - and then move to more likely locations, or fix whatever is causing you to have discoveries at lower rates.

We have black bear too. Seeing many?
Black bears are up 2-0 on morels this year.


Your color challenges are not a handicap. As colors vary by sunlight , backlight, shade, background.
Well... It's definitely a handicap when attempting to follow a blood trail. I can still do it, but it is much harder for me to see blood than my wife/kid.

...and looking at pictures of "how many morels can you find"? My wife always picks them out much easier than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Or else a willingness to gamble. And gambling can be how it's done.
More than one jackpot has resulted.
... 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Heaven forbid it takes work to locate new sites and have to check progress frequently. It's just too hard.
It might be. That is what I'm trying to figure out.


You've had more info given on this thread than many pickers. And yet you don't comprehend any process . Let alone any process to improve on?
I've gotten lots and lots of info in this thread. I've gotten lots and lots of info from other websites. I've gotten lots of info from books, videos, newspaper articles...

It's all over the place, regularly disagrees, or is even completely contradictory.

A process is a a systematic series of actions directed to some end, and I definitely haven't seen anyone layout a systemic series of actions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
This reminds me of the "I don't see deer" thread. Ask for advice, get advice and disqualify 90% of the advice. 🤣
I'm not disqualifying anyones advice - their experience is valid.

...but a lot of the advice (both here and everywhere else I've researched) just isn't actionable, or is ludicrously non-specific, or is contradictory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 · (Edited)
One of only a couple spots I know of... my first year produced about a pound. Every year after I got like 5 lol

That's 5 mushrooms, not pounds.

View attachment 831352
After a half hour at lunch yesterday, and about two hours last night... I figure I'm a touch over 20 hours of looking between Ypsi/Arbor and Harrison/Gladwin.

I'd be ecstatic if I found one, dried up bug eaten, morel at this point.

One of the areas I've been hunting is getting controlled burned this Friday, so no more looking there after tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Mark that burn area for next year.
No need - basically all of the natural areas around my workplace get a controlled burn every couple years. The area was burned 1-2 years ago, it'll get burned Friday, and it'll get burned again in another 1-2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I am not a morel expert by any means but that doesn't look like morel "habitat". But that probably just means my spots look different.
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...
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
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!
If you're talking ** * - 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
The “process” would be to take what you are hearing on the forum and go look. Find some BTA and go look. In the past it was find some Elm, or find some Ash. Before the Ash Borer we rarely found a white morel outside the dripline Of an Ash tree. I am sure that part of that was because that was where we looked.
So keep doing what I've already been doing for 20+ hours with no success..

plus, in many cases the actual mushrooms are secondary. We were sitting out this morning drinking coffee and we could hear, Cranes, Turkeys, two Owls, and the far away neighbors rooster.
Those are nice secondaries, but without the primary costs exceed benefits.

While I enjoy nature - I can do that sitting on my porch relaxing. No need to drive, no need to bug spray up, no need to walk miles in the woods, no. ticks, no poison ivy...

I deer hunt to shoot deer - otherwise I'd just hike.
I fish to catch fish - otherwise I'd leave the poles home and just go for a boat ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Your arrogance just bleeds through your veins
Arrogance? The thread is literally about how BAD I am at this.

Instant gratification or nothing! Why not just sit at your keyboard and hammer away
Instant gratification... I've spent 20+ hours looking and haven't found anything - and I'm still looking.

We already established you can’t hunt, will discount any help..,.wtf
You seem really bothered. I suggest you just put me on ignore if my cost-benefit approach to life drives you to personal insults.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
He needs virtual reality morel goggles. Set at home, no effort and sure of success.
I just don't get the "doesn't want to put in effort".

I've spent 20+ hours wandering the woods. I've covered mile upon mile.

I ain't asking for no effort, guaranteed success.

I'm looking for effort that leads to success, and not just randomly wasting time and effort on things that will never lead to success... and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm just randomly wasting time that will never lead to success.

...but hey, enjoy your insults.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Wayne, Washtenaw, and Jackson. It's been too dry is my theory.
I found those 3 in my photos (two good size, one thimble sized) about 5 minutes after starting to search the property.

Went back that evening to pick them - one of the two larger ones was starting to dry out, and the thimble sized one was a completely dried out mushroom.

Spent about two hours searching the rest of the property and didn't find another.

Dry? I guess I don't roam enough. The ground is pretty wet where I am
Normal for Ann Arbor April-mid May is about 5.5"... we've had less than 4"
 
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