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Where, When & How to Score Morel Mushrooms in the Woods

Top 5 Morel Mushroom Hunting Tips & Myths morel mushroom recipes and hunting season indiana by johnny klemme

Mother Nature, Science, & Wive’s Tales to help you find morel mushrooms.

It’s been said that timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance and in this post we help you learn the best time of the year, locations and areas to avoid so you can find more morel mushrooms this season & beyond.

TOP 5 TIPS & TRICKS

Depending on where you live, the time of year that is best for finding morel mushrooms can vary. Latitude has a lot do with when mushroom season starts & stops. Here in Indiana, the season generally starts in mid-April and lasts through May. Spring time!

QUICK, What does an Ash, Elm or Sycamore tree look like?!? If you don’t know, well, you better start learning how to identify them. It’s very common in Indiana to find gray, black and yellow sponge morels near these species of trees. Slippery bark and even trees that are recently dead are tell-tale signs to finding morel mushrooms. Pro-Tip: Learn to identify trees by the bark & tree buds. Remember, it’s early Spring, the leaves aren’t out yet, so take the extra time to study up!

North. South. East. West. Not only are these compass points helpful to finding your way in & out of the woods from a safety perspective, but certain north or south facing slopes can hold more mushrooms.

Soil moisture content is key to the development, growth and size of mushrooms. One of the best methods and key tips to locating mushrooms is to search for moist soils. Areas where you may see large patches of green growth (grasses, native species plants and flowers, may apples, Dutchman’s breeches, etc) have a higher probability of growing mushrooms – especially if these moist areas are near the trees mentioned above.

Slow down. That’s right, the best advice and tip for finding morel mushrooms is to take your time. In it’s purest form, hunting mushrooms hearkens back to the day & age of the hunter / gatherer.  More & more, it’s necessary to unplug, disconnect and #optoutside – in learning how to find morels, patience is truly a virtue. When you find your first mushroom of the season, STOP. Don’t rush in, take a moment to look around as where there is one morel, there is likely to be another. If you go in too fast, you’ll risk stepping and crushing the surrounding morels.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

When picking sponge mushrooms, remember to pinch the mushroom off at the base, right at ground level. Do not uproot the mushroom! Call it a wive’s tale, science or myth, but it has been said that if you uproot mushrooms that they may not grow back in the same location the following year.

Sponges, Morchella, Yellows, Greys, Blacks & Snakehead Mushrooms

The true holy grail of springtime in the forest, Morels are just as fun to hunt as they are to eat. Highly sought after by cooks, chefs and restaurants around the globe, these gourmet mushrooms are a key ingredient to sauces, pasta dishes and on the side with a steak.

Ecologists and mycologists tend to agree on one thing… no one truly understands how, when, why and where sponge mushrooms grow. Certain species of morels like grays and yellows tend to be found under deciduous trees like elm trees, ash trees or sycamore trees and stump or deadfalls. Some experts believe that burned forests (prescribed burns or wildfires) have some effect on sponge mushroom populations.

At the end of the day, mushroom hunting is about simplicity, getting back to nature and in many cases, camaraderie with family & friends.  We hope you are able to get out on some wooded property this season and have great luck in your mushroom hunt.

See you on on the land!

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Yes, it’s only February, but it’s always good to think Spring! Finding fresh morels in the woods and forests is my favorite time of the year. When the conditions are right, mushroom hunting season begins as early as Mid-April and lasts well into May. Pro-Tip: Mother’s Day is often one of the best days of the year to find yellow sponge morels. What better way to make Mom feel special than to cook her dinner with those fresh morels?!?!

The weather in Indiana during mushroom season is simply beautiful and filling the lungs with fresh air is a feeling right next to beatitude. Spending time outdoors with family and friends on wooded property is one of the most satisfying outdoor activities I can think of  and the window of opportunity doesn’t last long. As such, this further adds to the mystique of gathering morels from my favorite spots on the forest floor and the satisfaction one receives from preparing and cooking a fine meal with them.

Organic Sauteed Morel Mushrooms REady to Eat morel mushroom recipes 2016 Morel Mushroom Season Indiana morel mushroom recipe red wine reduction sauce

Fresh Morel Mushrooms are best for any recipe!

Mushroom hunting season is short, you’re competing against whitetail deer, neighbors and the occasional trespasser for that rich, earthy goodness and texture that words can’t describe. I’ve been told that you can always buy dried morels at the grocery store, but that my friends is a serious error of judgement. Getting out into the woods of Indiana is the only way to truly appreciate this wilderness wonder. Whether you prefer them pan fried in butter or the key ingredient to a rich steak sauce, the morel mushroom is the holy grail of Spring time in the forest.

I am dedicating the 2016 morel mushroom hunting season to all the cooks and chefs that are satisfying appetites everywhere. Below are my own favorite ways to prepare and cook morels. Happy hunting in 2016!

Tried and True. Whether you are a traditionalist or connoisseur, the simplicity of a cast iron skillet, a pad or two of butter and crackling morels is truly satisfying. My preferred method is to halve the morels, rinse and remove any bugs, then gently roll in seasoned flour. Crispy golden brown and occasionally some burnt edges are sure to make the taste buds smile.

As soon as the word gets out about the start of morel season, you’re bound to have people dropping by just around dinner time. It never fails 🙂 That big mess of mushrooms isn’t going to cook itself and to feed the masses, my go-to is the fry daddy. Halve or quarter the mushrooms to take care of all the appetites, rinse (or if planning ahead, soak overnight in water), roll in Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour and fry them up in large quantities. Golden brown to perfection is always a crowd pleaser.

Morel mushrooms are famous for their rich flavors and the perfect compliment to sauces of all kinds. A creamy Alfredo with garlic, shallots, wine and fresh Parmesan will stand up to most any Italian restaurant. Pour the Alfredo over pasta and top with grilled chicken – Congratulations, you’ve just taken mushroom season to a whole new level. Get the recipe below.

A tender, juicy, marbled Ribeye steak. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Seared on high heat to seal in those juices and topped with a red wine morel mushroom reduction sauce… you officially have a winner. Whether you prefer a thick cut or State-Fair thin cut, a sizzling Ribeye fresh off the grill is the perfect companion for those hard-to-find morel mushrooms. When the opportunity to cook such a fine meal only comes around once or twice per year, the anticipation alone is enough to make this your new favorite too.

Soon it will be Spring and April showers are just around the corner…for more woodsy wisdom, folklore and science behind finding morel mushrooms read the 5 Signs it’s Morel Mushroom Season. If you don’t have a place of your own to hunt mushrooms, here are several public NICHES Land Trust properties and nature preserves, open to the public from Dawn to Dusk.

Remember a few rules of thumb:

Location is Key (know your compass, know your trees, know your soils)

Don’t trespass on someones property!

Be patient!

Have fun!

Best of luck this year and as always, give me a call and let me know where you found that big mess of shrooms last season!

Happy Hunting!

– Johnny

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We are very proud to bring to market a unique, curated collection of wooded, riverfront and hunting or conservation properties in the infamous Wabash River Corridor.

For more information on these parcels, Call Land Broker & Advisor, Johnny Klemme at 765-427-1619.

When it’s time to buy or sell wooded property and land, talk to the land brokers who understand.

As specialists in wooded land in West Central Indiana, we’re very fortunate to have this great opportunity to explore, share and help you our valued buyers with the purchase of your dream property in rural Indiana.

 

Agricultural Tillable Acreage

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It’s that time of year when all of the woodsy wisdom, myth, fact, fiction and wive’s tales about morel mushroom hunting make their way into conversations. Whether you are seasoned mushroom hunter or new to the chase, here in Indiana the morel mushroom season is part of a culture that cherishes the hunt as much as the mess of mushrooms frying in a pan.

5 Signs it’s Time to Look for Morel Mushrooms

Flowers Blossom / Trees in Bloom
Spring must be in the air to find morel mushrooms. As the early season flowers make their way out of the forest floor, all signs point to the start of the season. Take note of the trees that are budding! Whether you hunt near elm trees or fallen trees, mid to late April is typically when you’ll notice mushroom hunters recant tales of the holy grail they once found in their secret spot.

The Thunder Rolls
Moist soils are a key ingredient to finding morel mushrooms in the woods. The seasoned mushroom hunter can often be found in forest areas where good drainage and sunlight go hand in hand. The spring rains should lift your spirit in anticipation of the great bounty of mushrooms that will soon be popping out of the ground! In Indiana we often find that sandy soils and clay loam soils are indicators of morel mushroom areas.

Gobble Gobble of Turkeys
Another sign of the season is the gobbling of wild turkeys. While your mission may be to find that mushroom score of a lifetime, it’s just as enjoyable to be serenaded by gobbles, clucks, and the dance of wild turkeys. A bag full of gourmet mushrooms is certainly top of mind, but the simple pleasures of spring time in woods of Indiana is a feeling you’ll never forget.

Warm Sunny Days
Much has been written about ideal soil temperatures and many mycology experts tend to agree that 45 – 55 degrees F is an ideal temperature for morel mushrooms. I make no claims to be an expert, but when mid-April rolls around and it’s t-shirt weather…I believe we are on to something.  In 2014, I found my first mess of morel mushrooms of the season in late April (the 23rd to be exact) and continued finding them on into mid May.

Love Your Mother
This is a shout out to Mom’s and Mother Nature! As Mother’s day falls on May 14, this is a great time to combine family time with an adventure for morel mushrooms! Yellow morels (Morchella Esculenta) are often at their peak during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of May, and what better way to supplement Mother’s day dinner than with gourmet mushrooms?!? May is often considered the best time of the year for yellow morels in Indiana.
2017! Found my first morel mushrooms of 2017 – April 17th at 1:00 PM

My first morel mushrooms of 2015  Morel Mushroom Season in Indiana morel mushroom season April 2015 indiana

Found my first morels of the 2016 season on April 17

Whether you own a wooded / recreational property in Indiana or simply have permission to go out on the family farm, we want to help you get started on a great mushroom hunting season in 2017! We’ll do our best to sort facts vs. fiction so you can get a better idea of when the best time and where the best locations for finding morels in Indiana are at.

Some people enjoy the hunt more than the mushrooms themselves (in fact these are the folks I prefer going to the woods with 🙂 ) and this is a major part of the experience.  For me, it’s about getting out into the woods, breathing in the fresh air, clearing the mind, and spending quality time with family & friends – adding a full sack of mushrooms is the icing on the cake. For many mushroom hunters, this time of year is equal parts tradition & folklore, and as the season takes shape I look forward to the campfire stories being retold from seasons past.

If you are looking for a place to hunt mushrooms, NICHES Land Trust properties and preserves are open to the public from Dawn to Dusk.

I wish you the best with the 2017 Morel Mushroom season and when you get a chance, let me know where you found that bag full of them last season, thanks!

If you are looking to buy, sell or invest in wooded property in Indiana, ideally suited for morel mushroom hunting, call or text 765-427-1619 today

67 Acre Wooded Property for Sale. Offers accepted on smaller parcels of this wooded land in Tippecanoe County, Indiana

We specialize in wooded property in Indiana where you can hunt morel mushrooms in season! In 2016 we sold over 400+ acres of Indiana wooded land that were prime morel mushroom hunting spots!

If you are looking for 10 acres, 20 acres or even hundreds of acres to hunt, recreate or build a home or cabin, on…call Your Land Man today!

About the Author

Morel Mushroom Season in Indiana Johnny Klemme Geswein Farms for sale

Avid Outdoorsman, Author, Land Broker & Advisor

The Back Forty is regular column written by Published Author, Purdue Graduate and Farmland Broker Johnny Klemme. His reporting, interviews with Ag Experts and more can be found at www.PrairieFarmland.com/blog

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As an avid outdoorsman, I truly appreciate wooded land and the forests of Indiana. I have a passion for helping people find their ideal wooded property or hunting land so they too can enjoy the peace and quiet of mother nature. At Geswein Farm & Land Realty, we specialize in recreational property that is ideal for hiking, building a home or cabin as well as hunting deer, turkey and other wildlife. No matter your interests, we truly enjoy helping buyers and sellers of recreational wooded land in Tippecanoe, Warren and surrounding counties!

Wooded Hunting Property for Sale Lafayette, Indiana Okos woods and farm 65 acres

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Buyers & Sellers of Wooded acreage in West Central Indiana Call Geswein Farm & Land today!

We understand how to help you buy and sell wooded land, as we own and manage our own wooded properties in Tippecanoe and Warren county!

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These photographs document my interest in the wildlife, forests and the natural resources of the state of Indiana and the Hoosier Heartland. From the productive agricultural land producing corn and soybeans to the state parks and conservation easement properties that preserve the quality of our water and soil.

Agricultural Tillable Acreage

High Quality Soils for high yield corn, soybeans & wheat farming in West Central Indiana.

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Wooded/Hunting/Fishing/Recreational

Woods, native prairie & upland bird habitat, fishing ponds and the perfect place to build your cabin in the woods.

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