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Old 03-24-2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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Morels?

I am guessing this is where this thread needs to be. Here in central Oklahoma the wild morells will be coming out any day now. Does anyone else hunt them?

We absolutely love them and do not pass a chance to gather and then immediately cook and eat them. Each year I say I will dry and save some but it never happens.

I am in fresh morell withdrawal and need my annual fix.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:00 AM   #2
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DW wants to go morell hunting here in IL, but doesn't know much about it. She asked around on a garden forum she belongs to, but everyone there said it was a dumb idea or a bad idea because she might pick the wrong mushrooms and get sick or worse. Others said it was just a waste of time.
She still wants to go, and even if we never found any I can think of worse ways to spend a day with the kids. Besides, its not like we couldn't take along picks and info on them to be sure we get the right ones, LOL.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #3
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Mioguy Eastern Iowa is great for hunting Morells.. Don't care how you fix them they are dlish,.... Ask some one who has hunted them to describe them. Or Google and see what they have to say.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:53 AM   #4
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yep, I hunt morels every spring down behind the house. But we are at least one month from morel season here. We get three varities here, the black, browns and yellows.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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Bethzaring, I live in Steubenville. Where do you look for them? We have some woods behind our house, oak trees, maple and evergreens. Can they be found in that environment?
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:38 AM   #6
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Ah.. I love Morels. Finding them is the hard part. They don't always grow where they did the last time you found them.. Morels are pretty safe to pick. There is only one other mushroom that is even close in appearance, the false morel. If it's ugly, it's not a morel!

Here is a URL describing the false morel.
The Great Morel - False Morels

One thing when I am going through morel withdrawal, take a can of french style green beans. dredge them through egg and flour like you would morels and pan fry until crispy. They have a very similar flavor and texture....
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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The larger morels dry very nicely, but the little black ones just sog up and smell bad.

You can't beat a day in the woods in April. Get a field guide for mushrooms, and you might as well get one for wildflowers, too, because there will be lots. Peterson's guides are readily available, and have drawings/paintings, and the Audubon guides have photographs.

In Southern Illinois and Missouri, where I hunt, mushroom season coincides with turkey hunting season--if you are going to a hunting area, wear something blaze orange.

First most important thing to remember about mushroom hunting: there are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are NO old, bold mushroom hunters. When in doubt, throw it out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #8
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I went out briefly and didn't find any. Last year at this time I found nearly 30 morels in less than an hour on the creek behind my house. It has been a bit too cool at night the last few nights for them to come up I think.

One source for wild mushroom identification help can be your state wildlife and game department. It could be worth checking out. Your newspapers outdoors editor will also likely know who and where the closest local experts on edible fungi can be found.

Sparrowgrass, hunting safety experts actually advise against wearing blaze orange in the turkey hunting woods. There have been too many instances of inexperienced or over-anxious would-be hunters blasting at flashes of red or bright orange color (same color as a tom turkey's waddles when engorged with blood) resulting in deaths and injuries.

If I ever have to hunt morels where people are turkey hunting I think I'll just take a friend and keep a good conversation going. Failing that, I'll sing out loud. In our state at least hunters are restricted to shotguns and archery equipment for turkey. Both require the shooter to be very close to the target.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortchef View Post
Bethzaring, I live in Steubenville. Where do you look for them? We have some woods behind our house, oak trees, maple and evergreens. Can they be found in that environment?
Our property came with a known hot spot for mushrooms. It is a north facing slope with oaks and other hardwoods. The mushrooms do move around but stay in the same general area. The indicator around here are the mayapples. When the mayapples start to flower, the mushrooms can be found. The mayapples are not even up yet. Yep, definitely give it a look see.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:35 AM   #10
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Hey, another Okie! Nice to meet you.

I've been wondering when they're going to pop. I used all the dried morels at work, and my chef hasn't replaced them yet. Last year, one of the other cooks (no longer working there) had a friend that new of a hotspot. I managed to get a handful of morels, as the chef didn't want them.

I used to live in Michigan, and from what I've read, Michigan, and part of Canada, are really hotspots for morels. There was a website I was reading one winter, michiganmorels.com, I believe. I learned some good things from that website. Morels tend to grow around dead or dying elm trees. Lacking those, tulip trees will do, as will old apple/cherry trees. Guess what? There are old orchards all over Michigan. I forget what other trees morels tend to grow near.

I have a picture of a white morel that came in with a shipment of fresh morels a couple years ago, while I lived up there. That thing had to be at least 8" long!
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