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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.
It's hit and miss right now. I've been out twice and have only found 44. Usually I would have a couple hundred by now in those two spots. If we get that rain that they are giving us a 30% chance of getting tonight, it could be on fire Friday / Saturday. But if it stays dry, this season may be a wash. At least for the blacks that I prefer.

Edit: A couple people have mentioned it, but take your time. Lean up against a tree and scan 20 yards in every direction. Investigate closer any cone shaped object. Walk past where you just were and then look back at the area you just left while again standing absolutely still. Look for something odd sticking up. Sometimes when you are right on top of them, they are almost impossible to see. I like to search in an uphill pattern. It gets your eyeballs on a better level.
 

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Woods and Water Rat
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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.
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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And you know what's funny? You can go back home and find some growing in your lawn, or in the firepit at the cabin, or in the ground that was tore up by a bulldozer that put in a gravel drive.

In the words of Joe Minaldi: "Life is stranger than shiiit, that's all. It's a pisser."
You're a shroomer that is infatuated with Pescy's facts and figures. Throw the man a bone and haul him up to your deer camp. Imagine the stories on the ride north.
 

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There is some luck involved chasing morels….

More of an experience game than just luck…

we don’t chase them like we once did, but I still remember how it felt and smelled. We would get that smell and just start looking. Some ramp smell and some trillium sticking up….. In the old days some Ash trees around..

We had a Forester look an 80 we owned and as a throw in he pointed out where there should be morels. We already knew that is where they were in May. So some guys know….
 

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I started out about 5 years ago I believe. There are well-known areas that produce Morales and the weekends I'd drive them looking for the cars. Imo it's the best way to get started. Sure once in awhile it ends up being a turkey hunter but I've got to where I can usually pick out the shroomers. They can't find them all and they never do. The main thing is you're learning the preferred Woods type.

Me it's all about the blacks, BTA'S bigtooth Aspen Groves. And once I found some blacks in these popular shroom Woods, I would get on onyx and look what those BTA stands look like from the overhead view (foilage). They are easy to pick out from the other various tree types Imo. And sure it takes a lot of scouting 2 find a good Woods that produces blacks but with this procedure I can find the farther back off the road bta's where a lot of people don't like to go for some reason. And for me my most successful scouting has came towards the end of season where they're Standing Tall and some even falling over (morels)but I can walk fast and cover a lot of bta's Woods compared to early-season when they're small in hiding. Good luck
Slope Terrestrial plant Plant Asphalt Grass
 

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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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You picked a terrible year to start looking for morels. There are definitely more blacks than yellows between Harrison and Gladwin.
For blacks you want to look for stands of big toothed aspen and black cherries. I have not heard any reports of findings in your area this year. They are definitely late, yellows have been late in Oakland county. I am finding very few in areas that usually produce good.
Good luck and keep looking.
 

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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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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.
Yes, because it's hunting/fishing. It if were cut and dry it would take away from the sporting aspect. Way to many variables to take into consideration. Not some algebraic equation with a finite answer
 

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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 deciduous with 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.
I'm not good at formally identifying most trees or other plants.... It's just not something I ever got into and a lot of my outdoor pursuits are self taught, so nobody along the way told me what was what. That said.... Mushroom hunting, most definitely morel hunting, is a lot like grouse hunting to me. I don't necessarily know why I say something "looks good," but I feel confident in identifying spots after years of trying to identify spots...... This is just me, I'm sure others may see it differently.

To start, one thing I'd say is that "up north" morel hunting is different than "down here" morel hunting. I haven't hunted up north in years. But, I did a fair amount when my grandparents and parents lived up there. Up there, I found a lot of black morels, which is something I do not find in abundance down here (other than in my backyard, which is another story....). As others have mentioned, it seems like Aspen was a predominant theme up there, with particularly good spots being along creeks, gently sloping hills, the occasional conifer mixed in, etc.

The spots down here I hunt are almost exclusively the yellow variety. Two of the best finds I've ever had, where you get into a patch of like 50+ in a small area, were gradual east facing hills, softer hardwoods (softer hardwoods???) when the forest floor is getting green. I have heard others say southwest facing hills, or even north facing hills later in the season. Just stating my personal experience of east facing hills, sloping down toward wetland, on the edge of a field even better. I have always associated the stage of mayapples with morels, ramps as well. If the ramps aren't out and ready to pick I generally don't get too excited about seeing morels. Same if the mayapples haven't fully grown. I also associate the general color of the forest floor with seeing them. No green at all, I'm probably not even going. Full blown green, it's too late or there is maybe even too much vegetation in the area. Somewhere between 50-75% of the full blown vegetation that you'd see at the end of May, that is when I feel like I'll find some. I generally avoid a lot of oak when hunting down here. I've had good luck with overgrown fence rows down here, ones with trees. As with many other things, I like edges, edges of fields, edges of swamps. But, if I see skunk cabbage I feel I'm too low and will go elsewhere. I don't dismiss small amounts of raspberries, or even thin patches if the surrounding areas look right. One of my better spots has a few raised peninsulas that jut out into a swamp that has small bushes/trees with raspberries mixed in. They're a pain to pick, but every one is worth it.

Anyway, this is just me. I can't say enough that it's just looking at some ground after years of hunting and having the instinct to say "Yeah, that looks good." I'm sure there are more exact and scientific methods that could be used, identifying flora, sun exposure, weather, etc., but this is how I do it. The other thing is IT'S A MOREL. The other mushrooms I pick, extremely predictable. I've found 50 morels in an area 10yds by 10yds and never seen them there again over 15 years..... Good luck.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
Your best bet if you are looking for a cut and dry system.
Food White Ingredient Cuisine Dish
 

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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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