10 Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Morel Mushrooms
As the excitement builds to a frenzy for another morel mushroom hunting season, we thought we would look at some of the most frequent questions and misconceptions regarding morels.
How fast do morels grow?
The morel usually takes 10-15 days to reach maturity. It is highly unlikely that you will spot the morel in the first days of growth.
What are morels worth?
There are many factors that that contribute to the value of morels. Like most everything it is a matter of supply and demand. If you live in an area that does not produce morels, you can expect to pay more due to transportation costs. The average grocery store typically sells morels for between $20 and $30 a pound. An average pound of mushrooms typically contains between 20-30 mushrooms.
What animals eat morels?
Morels are eaten by deer, turkey, and squirrels. In the western states elk will also munch on morels.
Is there a best time of day to hunt morels?
Typically, morels grow best when daytime temperatures are right around 60 degrees and overnight temperatures stay at or near 40 degrees, although morels can be found anytime of day mid-day is the best time. During mid-day you will have the best lighting conditions making them easier to find.
Can morels pop up overnight?
Many times, after a fresh rain people will comment that the morels popped up overnight. Although scientifically proven false rain does increase the growth rate and may also increase the visibility to find them.
How long does a morel mushroom live?
Weather plays a huge part in answering this question. Providing weather cooperates morels usually live about 15 days and then rapidly start declining.
Do morels need rain?
As many veteran morel hunters know there are no absolutes. Morels can grow without rain though during times of draught their growth is usually delayed by several weeks.
How long can I keep Morels in the refrigerator?
Morels are best when eaten within 4 days of when being picked. The best way to store them short term is to place them in your refrigerator with a damp paper towel covering them. If you can’t resist the urge to hoard them they can be dried or frozen for long term storage.
How do you start mushroom hunting?
Do your homework and be 100% sure that you are familiar with the different types of mushrooms. Outside of knowledge there is not much needed except a mesh bag, pocket knife, and tick protection. If your finances allow a GPS unit is also advisable.
Where do I look to find mushrooms?
Outside of deer and bass hotspots very few secrets are as closely guarded as favorite morel hunting hotspots. If you do not have permission to search private property keep in mind that Ohio's state parks, state forests, and state wildlife areas allow mushroom hunting. It is recommended to speak to the park office before hunting to see if any special rules apply.
Once you have found a location focus your efforts on oak and elm trees and edge areas. Another high percentage area is around dead or dying trees.
If you have never hunted mushrooms, we highly suggest that you give it a try. It is great exercise both physically and mentally and will be sure to delight at the dinner table! Please remember to be wary of ticks when in the great outdoors!