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Morels are popping up ahead of time here in Northwest Missouri due to the early warm weather we're having.

Anybody else "hunt" these things? I'm hoping my back heals up enough I can get out pretty soon. Talk about bad timing.

 

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Yup, actually have a buddy whose farmstead is loaded with them. Wouldn't call it hunting. He's got several dead/partially dead cottonwoods. Usually just look under those the first trip or two.
Regards
Mark
 

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I'm a bit further north than you, so we're not quite ready, but getting close.. This weekend I'm going to start...
This weather is nuts..

As many here have heard me preach, I don't get bikes out until after the salt is washed off the roads.. Normally that would be mid-April.. This year everything is a month early. I haven't driven my car or truck in two weeks, and by the look of the weather, that's going to continue.

People here are starting to mow lawn.. Usually that's a end of April thing.

And with mowing lawn comes three of my favorite spring pastimes..

1. Trout fishing (can't start until first Saturday in May, by law)

2. White Sucker and Redhorse fishing (basically carp, but great on the smoker, and season's open year around, but they're spawning in the current water temps)

3. Morel season and nothing's better than morels on trout...

But this season is so screwy, I can't trout fish even though according to the weather, it's time..

Oh well, at least I've slapped a couple thousand miles on the bikes, and it's been great weather to ride!!
 

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Here's a shot of the "shroom stick" I use when hunting for morels.



We have a small gas station/convenience store here where a lot of out-of-town hunters do business during the various hunting seasons. Mushroom hunting generally coincides with the Spring turkey season. They have a bulletin board on the wall where people can post ads and stuff.

A few years ago, I made up an ad selling "French Mushroom Dogs," Beagles specially trained at a monastery in France to find morel mushrooms and morel mushrooms only. I put a picture of my dog on it, so figured locals would recognize him.

I put my friend's phone number on it. He said he actually received about 15 calls from people he didn't know asking if any more of the mushroom dogs were available before he happened to notice the ad with his phone number on it.

The number of responses was surprising considering the asking price for the dogs was $3,000 each.
 

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What part of France is the training taking place?? Are they house broken?? (the French, not the dogs)
 

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i just learned to pick chantrelles last fall, and i look forward to learning more species. any pictures and tip would be appreciated.
 

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doc3toes,
The stick is actually a great photo but more are on line. In the spring, nothing looks remotely like a morel (think - cone shaped, natural sponge). In the midwest we look for them around fallen trees (especially cottonwoods) as they need decaying cellulose-type material. Later in the year they radically change appearence and go to spore (don't eat). They're really easy to preserve as well. Normally we wash them and soak them in salt water, followed by a saute pan and some real butter. They also make great soup. If you want to save your windfall mushrooms, after they soak in salt water run a string through the stems of your mushrooms and hang them to dry (laundry line style). Once they are dry you can bag and freeze them, using some water to bring them back to life before cooking or using them dry in soups and sauces (we use them in a crockpot roast frequently).
Good Luck
Mark
 

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What part of France is the training taking place?? Are they house broken?? (the French, not the dogs)
I was the North American agent for this enterprise for a very short time. Upon parting ways with them, I was sworn to secrecy regarding the location of their facility and the training program for the dogs. Sorry.
 

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A couple of interesting photos showing how, for us, hunting morels is a family tradition.

This one is my older brother and sister and was taken before I was even born. I'm guessing it was taken in the late 1950's:



This one is my brother, his kids and me after a morel-hunting foray in the early 90's, almost 40 years later and taken in the same spot on the front porch of the house where I grew up and now live. Seems like the harvest was more bountiful back in the 50's.

The porch looks backwards because the guy transferring the slides to a digital format never saw our house and kind of mirror-imaged some of the photos.

 

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Never been Morel or any other kind of shroom hunting. But, that being said, if yer ever up washington state way we have an abundance of mushrooms. Round 20-30 varieties. Just a geographical pointer, in case ya didn't already know.
 

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Those are great shots, always nice to see where folks are "from". My kin were all railroaders, loggers and farmers. Makes me wonder if thats why I like to get outside, roll and swipe fruit of trees.
 

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Those are great shots, always nice to see where folks are "from". My kin were all railroaders, loggers and farmers. Makes me wonder if thats why I like to get outside, roll and swipe fruit of trees.
'pre gleaning'!!! love it.
 

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This thread reminds me, I haven't had any morels for a loooong time! Mebbe I have to have a look around my parents acreage when they come in season here :) (that is if the freaking snow ever melts off...)
 

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I was the North American agent for this enterprise for a very short time. Upon parting ways with them, I was sworn to secrecy regarding the location of their facility and the training program for the dogs. Sorry.
I thought that program was canceled due to some unfortunate dog attacks. Seems the mushrooms smell like toenail fungus.

:)Okay, that joke was warrantless, but I did it to fight terrorism so it's okay, right?
 
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