Damin and I often speak of how there is never a “down time” in the whitetail woods. Granted we may be entering the slowest time of year for a whitetail hunter (late spring and early summer) there is still much to be done. In fact, I just got in from putting the trail cameras back out for off season scouting. Also, Damin and I preach being as low impact as possible, sometimes doing nothing, means doing something. Still, I have stumbled upon a new passion in the great outdoors that really took up a lot of time the last couple weeks; mushroom hunting.
This time of year is simply too beautiful to remain inside for any length of time with spring green up in full swing and the snow white flowers of dogwoods dominating the forest. Unfortunately, I haven’t been bitten by the gobbler bug yet, so this past year I hit the woods hard for Morrell’s Mushrooms. Honestly, I have no scientific or biological knowledge of this ‘shroom, expect they are tasty when fried! It doesn’t take a lot of experience or skill to find these tasty little fungi, just a little time, and effort and boot leather (similar to shed hunting). Actually, it is very similar to shed hunting because it is fun, rewarding and just a great way to spend time outdoors regardless of your level of hunting experience.
I think that may be one reason I was so drawn to ‘shroomin (as I call it, the phrase will catch on sooner or late, I know it). I have always really enjoyed walks through the woods. Be it early season scouting for a mature buck, shed hunting in late winter or just a casual summer stroll, any time I am in the woods in pursuit of something I am in a special state of mind.
I’ve learned that the best location to find a Morrell’s mushroom is in a nice poplar or walnut stand, preferably poplar as Dad told me they grow in ideal soils. Also, this may be pure coincidence or an exact science, but I have also found a good deal of them around skunk cabbage. Again, I wouldn’t go basing my search on that criteria alone, but I would make sure to check it out.
My good friend Mike Willand of Illinois, monster buck slayer and expert shed hunter (he also won the Campbell’s Outdoor Challenge this past year) always said of shed hunting, “sheddin’, like pimpin, ain’t easy!” Well, in the world of mushroom hunting I offer this simple phrase, “shroomin, like sheddin, is fun!” Okay, not as witty, but you get the idea. Morrell’s mushrooms are best picked in mid-late April after some good rain and a couple warm nights. I urge you, though, to get out now and experience some fun in the woods and some tasty, fried mushrooms!