Spring means a couple things. One, it’s time to start thinking about chasing turkeys. The thought of a spring morning set up on a long beard hammering in a tree waiting on him to fly down is one of, if not the best part of spring. Next up, baseball! As a dad I’m spending a ton of time watching t-ball, baseball, and softball and the professionals are getting it going and nothing beats a baseball game and a bag of peanuts. Another awesome part of spring is crappie fishing, or just fishing in general. Got to love catching some slabs. But our focus today is the hardest for me to conquer. I can call a turkey, I can wet a line, I can easily watch a baseball game but finding morel mushrooms has been my spring nemesis.
I see on social media people finding them by the dozens and I can’t find a single one. I can only think of a handful of times I’ve actually found them. I love to eat them, if you haven’t ever had 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 so I can have a couple to fry up every year. So, writing this article on finding morels would be like me writing an article on how to perform open heart surgery, I got no business giving any advice (except on maybe what not to do) so I asked my buddy Reed Boettcher, the Advertising Director for our friends at Great Plains Kubota, a guy who I consider a morel guru, at least by social media pictures 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. The Morel wild mushroom resembles a brain or something from outer space, but what it lacks in attractiveness it gives back in flavor. Mushrooms aren’t for everyone, but for those who do eat them, the Morel reins 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 Morels often just enjoy the time spent searching for them in woods. 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 talk about strategy on finding these wild mushrooms. “Hunting for these delicate delights starts with study. It is important to know exactly what Morels look like since other poisonous mushrooms grow during the same time of year. The photos in this blog are of a Morel. One could take it and use it to identify Morels in the field, but 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 to me to lose my mind and end up in jail. He confirmed it was a Morel growing in my yard. Reed 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.