Spring means a couple of things. For one, it’s time to start thinking about chasing turkeys. The thought of a spring morning set-up on a long beard is a classic part of spring for many sportsmen. Listening to him hammering in a tree and waiting for his descent is one of, if not the best part of the season. Next up, baseball! As a dad I’m spending a ton of time watching t-ball, baseball, and softball this time of year. Even the professionals are getting it going and nothing beats a baseball game and a bag of peanuts. Yet another awesome part of spring is crappie fishing, or just fishing in general. You have to love catching some slabs. But our activity of focus today is the hardest one for me to conquer. I can call a turkey, wet a line, and easily watch a baseball game, but finding morel mushrooms continues to be my springtime nemesis.
On social media, I see people finding them by the dozens, yet I can’t find a single one. I can only think of a handful of times I’ve actually discovered them. I love to eat them and if you haven’t tried one, you have no idea what you are missing. They’re delicious! I usually have a friend or two that feel sorry for me and spare a few here and there. Therefore, I can at least fry up a few every year. So, for me, writing this article on finding morels is like writing one on how to perform open-heart surgery. Simply put, I have no business giving advice on the subject (except on maybe what not to do) so I asked my buddy Reed Boettcher, the Advertising Director for our friends at Great Plains Kubota. I consider Reed to be a morel guru, based on his social media pictures and descriptions on not only where to find them but how they come about in the first place.
Reed said, “Every spring, usually during the months of March and April, a curious looking fungus graces the greening ground: the Morel. It resembles a brain or something from outer space, but what it lacks in attractiveness it made up for by flavor. Mushrooms aren’t for everyone, but for those who do eat them, the Morel reigns supreme. These mushrooms signal the coming of warmer weather and are a welcoming site to many avid mushroom hunters. People who don’t even enjoy eating them enjoy combing the woods in search of them. They are a sign that winter is over and spring is upon us.” Once again, if you haven’t tried them then you have no clue what you are missing! Reed went on to discuss the strategy for finding them. “Hunting for these delicate delights starts with study. It is important to know exactly what Morels look like since other poisonous varieties grow during the same time of year. The photos in this blog are of Morels and one could use them to identify them in the field. However, further research on this fungus is strongly suggested.”
I was actually lucky enough to find some Morels growing in my yard and to confirm, I FaceTimed Reed to make sure I wasn’t stumbling upon a look- a-like mushroom that was going to cause me to lose my mind and land in jail. He confirmed it was a Morel growing in my yard and went on to say, “Morels aren’t always found in the depths of the forest. Some of the best spots are in plain sight. Look for Morels under Cedar trees or in shaded areas where organic decomposition is prevalent.” So if you are like me, you love Morels but struggle to find them. Hopefully this will help a little in your efforts! So here is to baseball, turkey hunting, crappie fishing, and finding lots of Morel mushrooms!
Author Brad Clay is the host of Final Descent Outdoors and a licensed and ordained minister in Oklahoma. Brad served for 12yrs in vocational ministry before stepping out to do full time outdoor ministry in 2013. Brad resides in Edmond, OK and is married with four children.