By Jason Herbert
The annual morel mushroom craze is sweeping most of the country. I'm by no where near an expert mushroom hunter, but I've had consistent luck looking following advice from the old timers.
I always look near dead trees because the mushrooms love to live near decaying root material. They don't necessarily like big hardwood oak and hickory stands, but rather softer "whitish" looking trees like elms. Also look in old orchards, burnt areas, pine stands, and poplar clumps.
When mushrooms are found, be sure to freeze and have any helpers come take a look to get a visual reference of what they look like. It's also important to stop and look because it's almost a guarantee that there are more then just one.
They tend to grow in lines or "veins" so try to see a pattern, find a few points of reference and leave no stone, or in the case leaf, un-turned. The last piece of advice we can offer is to keep looking! Usually the black morels come first followed by the yellows or whites.
As always- be safe, have fun, and enjoy another one of Mother Nature's wonderful gifts!