Morel mushrooms are some of the most prized and delectable of the world's edible fungi. In Ohio, their emergence in woodland duff defines the spring season and prompts wild-harvest gourmands to comb the undergrowth.
Tips & Warnings
Take along a stick on your hunt. You can use this to gently push away groundcover, which, when dense, often conceals morel jewels beneath. A pocketknife can be handy for cutting the morels at ground level.
Place the mushrooms in a good container, like a basket or bucket, to transport them without getting them damaged.
Heed any regulations or restrictions on harvesting; morel-gathering should be a sustainable activity.
Always be absolutely certain of the identification of a wild mushroom you harvest. Once again, searching with mycologists or experienced amateurs is a great way to go. False morels, which somewhat resemble true morels, are poisonous raw and may also be disagreeable to some people when cooked.
Ohio's wild turkey hunting season overlaps with morel emergence. Check with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for specifics, and wear orange if you're sharing the field with turkey hunters.
Article Written By Ethan Schowalter-Hay
Ethan Schowalter-Hay is a writer and naturalist living in Oregon. He has written for the "Observer," the Bureau of Land Management and various online publishers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and a graduate certificate in geographic information systems from the University of Wisconsin.