The Elusive Morel

morels

It’s almost time! For March Madness? For Baseball? For fertilizing your yard?

No – for Morel Mushroom hunting!

I tell people that Morels are free candy you can find in the woods.  Dip them in a little egg and flower, fry them up, and wait for your mouth to water.

I love getting out into the woods during Springtime – and Morels are a great reason to take a walk in the Iowa outdoors.  I have so many fond memories of hunting mushrooms with my Grandpa, Dad, and kids.  And I hope my wife and I will make it out a few times this spring to hunt for some Morels.

Here are my tips for finding them in Iowa…

Time  –  Start looking around April 1.  Many people just plain wait too long.  By the time you hear people are “finding them” you should have been out looking already.  The season is short so start looking early and often.  The more you’re out there, the more you’ll find.

Location – Of course real Morel hunters never tell their secret places; but it is acceptable to speak in generalities.  Look on the edges of timber, fence lines, and brushy areas (sloughs with small trees), etc.  Avoid the deep timber.  Morels like sunshine and dead ground cover (leaves, dead trees, and such).  But as in any other hunting, you find them where you find them.  I have found Morels growing in a rock, railroad bed.  Yes, growing right out of the rocks!  But that is very rare – stick to the areas I listed and you’ll have better luck.

Conditions – Warm days and moisture increase your chances.  And again, don’t wait too long.  Get out as soon as it warms up.  The season is about a month to six weeks long in Iowa (April 1 to May 15).

Another great reason to get out and look for Morels is to enjoy God’s creation.  There are few things more enjoyable than smelling the springtime flowers and woods after a spring rain. It reminds of the many places the Psalmists give glory to God for His creation…

O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:24)

Good luck hunting! And enjoy the eating!


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