Morel Mushroom Hunting
Most people like to keep their best hunting places a secret, but this is especially true when it comes to hunting for morel mushrooms. Understandably, morels can be hard to come by so it makes sense that people prefer to keep quiet about the best mushroom spots. For those interested in searching for the delicacies though, it can be difficult to find much information on where to even start. Here are some tips for when and where to look for morel mushrooms in Michigan.
Where to look:
- When asking many mushroom hunters where is best to look for morels, dead elms seems to be a popular answer. Areas that have been forested or burnt in the last few years are also popular spots, as well as south-facing hilltops, and near choke cherries. Many times morels are not found in the same spots as the year prior, but it is difficult to predict where they will grow.
What to look for:
- Black morels grow first, then greys and yellows. Morels are easily identifiable; however there are false species that are not good to eat that look similar to them. It’s important to be familiar with what true morels look like. Northern Michigan is behind the southern part of the Lower Peninsula, so morels can typically be found there later into spring.
When to look:
- Ground needs to be fairly wet; they won’t grow in drier conditions, so it won’t do much good to look after a stretch of dry, sunny days. Days that reach temps between 60 and 80 degrees are the best for morels to grow. Morels can be found as early as the beginning to mid-April, but there’s a higher chance of finding them after the first of May.
It’s best to pinch or cut the stem at ground level, in order to leave the root system intact. Use mesh bags if possible to carry morels while hunting so that the spores are spread elsewhere while walking. Remember that this will be a prime time for ticks to be abundant too, so dress appropriately. Most importantly, have fun. Morel mushroom hunting is a great activity for families and a very enjoyable pastime to partake in.