Where to start searching for The Morel Mushrooms – Early Grays & Yellows
When I first start searching for the Morel Mushroom the ground is still be very moist (or too wet), the soil is not at the ideal temperature, and the ground vegetation is limited. However, based on the buds just starting on my apple trees the Morels are out there. So I start my search on the Southeast facing slopes, these are the areas that have gotten the most sunlight, allowing the soil to warm sooner than other areas in the woods. Next I look for patches of moss on the ground, as the moss will hold just the right amount of water and will be warmer than the soil.
Once on the slopes I target two levels, the level just below the top (flats) and the level just above the bottom (flats). These ridge-break areas seem to generate the first vegetation in the woods and will produce the small gray & yellow Morels (best eating) first.
Second Week Into the Season – Finding Mushrooms
After the first week you will start to see Morels popping up in other areas such as the top and bottom flats and the West facing slopes, but it’s still a little early for the large Grays & Yellows.
Third Week Into the Morel Mushroom Season
Once into the third week of the Morel Season you should be finding mushrooms in all areas of the woods, low and high. The Morels during this time of the season are the large ones and are not quite as tasty, but still good. It’s also not uncommon to find a few hundred Morels in one spot, filling up a nice bag of Mushrooms.
Hunting & Gathering Tips:
A. Early season, start your search on the Southeast facing slopes, look on the break of the hills.
B. Find the best areas of vegetation on the slopes and stay parallel to the top and bottom as you search.
C. Leave a few Morels for next years production, I like to leave one in every group of Morels I find. Typically the one with the highest elevation for the best spore exposure.
D. Use a netted bad for carrying your Morels in, as this will allow the spores to escape and drop to the forest floor.
E. Find areas of moss growing on the ground for both early and late Morels.
F. Move to the West facing slopes toward the end of the season.
G. Check fence lines, wood edges, road ditches, and along the sides of power lines cutting through the woods.
In these two videos I show how we find Morels in the roadside ditches and where to look in the woods.