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For early season Morels unless you know how to spot them, slow down . If you're walking then you're moving too fast to spot them. Stop. Scan. Repeat. Get down low. Then they will magically appear.

I like aspen stands.
Many is the time sightings fell off and I'd stop and lean against a popple , then start a slow dissecting from it's base out to depending on density of trees ;fifteen yards or so.
When they were up , multiples would be spotted again. But I'd keep looking for more.
Having to relocate them ,but knowing they were there helped slow my progress.
No sense blowing past or stepping on any.
 

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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.
Multiple approaches.
Find one and there must be more. Umm , maybe.
There are bold maverick pioneer type specimens. What are you doing here little guy? The wind blow a spore and it landed in just the right spot?
Then there are those just on the fringe.
But...

A colony of shrooms is dependent on what is below them. And the niche of environment that can measure from square feet as small as a bathtub , to acres.
I moved a white pine to the front yard where I lived before (no I seldom associate white pines with black morels. Have picked blacks around a couples driplines in a poplar forest though) and instead of morels around my compost pile out back where I scattered my rinse water (And yes I know some folks say never wash a mushroom , I do my morels) they would grow under that pine.

You want to be in/on a colony.
That is dependent on the ground/soil /niche environment. And importantly the right conditions of moisture and temperature. You are picking fruit. But what that fruit comes off is important. It may not fruit well when conditions are not right. But if it does alright after fruiting season there is the future years.

One site was picked over 40 years until logged. That is what you want to start out in. Once you get the hang of spotting them you can go find lots and lots and lots of ground with no morels on it.

Inspect the ground on a known producing site of a colony. Under the surface is the real life form. But everything above supports it. Yes , slipped bark can sometimes be right where to look. But the source of the fruiting that is positively affected by certain events and conditions has to be there first.

You find morels up good , note the wind/air flow direction.
Next year check below /that direction where you picked the previous year.
I had blacks cross a trail into oak scrub doing that. Did they really? Heck I've never associated blacks with oaks and I don't even like seeing oak leaves blown onto where I pick. But there they were after the usual black picking area was fading for the season. At least they were one year. Maybe two.
 
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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.
Enjoy the adventure when starting something new. Or even pursuing something old.

We have dinosaur bones in Michigan. Should I pout if I go looking and don't find any?
We have black bear too. Seeing many?

Get a mushroom stick.
A proper mesh bag or basket..
You don't need one , but have a mushroom knife. Once it's tasted a mushroom , sanctify it for such. Heck I even have a mushroom hunting , what looks like home sewn camo heavy shirt. It has seen too many morels to not want to hunt without having. Even if it's warm out.
There are morels "out there." They look like a sponge at the right angle.
Your color challenges are not a handicap. As colors vary by sunlight , backlight, shade, background.
More than once I've insisted morel pattern would make a good camouflage.
Other times they stand out. But not in my shadow.
 
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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".



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.



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.



Black bears are up 2-0 on morels this year.




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.
Sometimes a struggle in a challenge is good.
The first of the season can be hard to spot. But then if color dependent , color changes and varies. Which can and has confused the seeker. Or certainly has me.

A gal I got started sat on a breaktime . Frustrated with no findings.
I told her there were multiple in arms reach and not to get up till she found them.

IN successive years , whoever found the first one would leave it. Then any/everyone else would then be put to work till they found it.

Like the freak 3-D picture you have to look at just right or long enough from the right angle and then it jumps out at you.

One friend used to spot them from a moving vehicle before stopping to pick. No , I didn't kick him in the shins.

For you....Timing is likely #1.
Followed by how it is YOUR eyes can pick them up. From a distant angle? From directly above? In bright light or dim?
Only by your head not moving? By the edge of your sight? By studying by the square foot? Or yard? Or yards?
Or only on wet ground /leaves? Or dry? (I dislike dry immensely. Better it be raining for me.)

Confidence in knowing they are there can be paramount to a doubtful eye. Thus the timing needing to be right.
That can evolve into finding old morels. Or small ones. Or spotting the hints of other life that are related to that timing.
Check today , nothing. Check tomorrow nothing. Check two days later and bingo!
Or check for a week. Or two weeks. Here's that confidence in site again. Or else a willingness to gamble. And gambling can be how it's done.
More than one jackpot has resulted.
 
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... 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.
Whatever.

You don't believe I improved over half a century of finding morels without gambling?
Heaven forbid it takes work to locate new sites and have to check progress frequently. It's just too hard.
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?

Maybe you should head West.
After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn' | NCPR News (northcountrypublicradio.org)
 

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Numerous small woodlots and grasslands, ~2-10 acres in size, interspersed among campus. Burns done by a company that specializes in "ecological burns and native plant restoration".
Have you checked for whites/big footed yellows late season there?

Storms last night in Northern Lower.
I ran the leaf bagger yesterday evening and the dust cloud was impressive. No mushrooms.
 

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I was pushing 2 swings at the park when I received the photo LOL!
Last time I was doing that the kids parents came and yelled at me.
(Kidding , kidding.)

Good on you.
They're only young for a while. ( Kids too.)
 

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Funny you say that. A group of 5 or 6 siblings rushed the park. The same ones that kindly shoved my son out of his electric pickup last year because they wanted to ride it. The youngest 2 asked me to push them (high on the swing) as well. Being that the parents were nowhere in sight, and people are so damn weird nowadays, I made excuses as to why I couldn't push them. In reality it was because 1. You ain't my kid. 2. You ain't my kid and if you get hurt, it's my ass. 3. You ain't my skin tone and I don't want to be posted on the front page of every website or have a thread about the white guy who touched a minority child while his/her parents were not there. Society made me feel like I was being racist when in reality I was terrified if being accused of whatever the hell anyone would want to turn it into.
A veteran I think very highly of promoted kayaking.
Worked with physically disabled folks for /towards an annual big deal event.
But he would dodge youths on his home water when alone.
He didn't want any accusations.
Not due to his character , but the times. And that was a decade plus ago!

I'll entertain behaved kids when metal detecting. IF a parent is close and approves. Rarely they don't get the hint first though that they can leave me alone.
But kids are kids and some are curious more than others.
Where's your leg? Does it hurt?
Parents then want to shush them but I tell them let the kid(s) ask. It's how we learn. By that time the kids usually ogling the metal detector mystery thingy and wanting to know what I'm doing and what was I digging.

One duo hung a while all interested in the detector recoveries in a park. "Helping " like kids do , but not being grabby and tempting a one sided game of mumbly peg with my digging (plug cutting) tool.
Quite a while. (Impolite kids get run off. "Go tell your mother she needs you!" She's not here Mr.. "Exactly. Go find her". Works on neighborhood kids too. l.o.l. Thanks old Tom for teaching me that one.)
When the kids finally realized evening was nigh they acknowledged they had a mother still. She got over it.
As they headed towards the parking area Mom looked back over her shoulder with a big smile and mouthed , Thank You!". She got a smile in return.

Sure were polite kids. A pleasure to introduce to detecting. But I understand not being alone or isolated with others strange (not strange , but stranger strange) kids today too. Or with most other people for that matter!
 
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I will say -my color deficiency doesn't help.

Even after seeing them, and knowing right where they are... I still have to be within 3-4' to see them.
No problem with colors for me. You don't have my full pity though cause you spotted some again.
But your pics show they do blend in well. And those are some easy ones!

I'm so good at spotting them you know....
Proven one year by my partner ( an ex. now) calling my attention to one "somebody" had stepped on.:cautious:

Blacks coming up first just makes it easier to see whites. If blacks can be seen first.
Except there are other colors in between too....Not that I would discriminate. But I get an eye for one , and they all go all chameleon on me and I'm back to looking for sponges or bits of sponges of any color .
Squish. Ooops.
 
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