It happens every spring in Iowa. Mushroom hunters enter the woods seeking out the elusive and delicious Morel mushrooms. If you've always wanted to join the hunt but were a bit unsure on how to do it, let this be your introduction. But proceed with caution, not all mushrooms are edible. Many could make you sick or even kill you. So it makes sense to study up and be careful. Better yet, buddy up with an experienced friend.
Once the daytime temps regularly hit 60 degrees and the nightly lows remain in the 50s, you can expect better results. Check out more great tips from Mike Krebill's article in Iowa Outdoors Magazine magazine, found on the Iowa Department of Natural Resource's list of 50 Tips to Spot Morels. Three other quick tips from Mike:
- Look for morels near elm trees and ash trees.
- Do not store morels in plastic bags, they will quickly spoil.
- Always cook morel mushrooms, it is not safe to eat them raw.
The Great Morel Mushroom Sightings Report is another terrific resource of information. It includes maps, photos, and links to share details of morel sightings. Southern states have already begun to report sightings. Morel hunters in Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia have posted some tasty pictures of their early catches.
The Iowa Morel Report Facebook page recently posted a soil temperatures graph that can help guide you to places where the earth has warmed to 53 degrees, considered an optimum soil temp for morels, according to the DNR's 50 Tips to Spot Morels.
There's isn't a lot of new information yet on the latest Iowa mushroom sightings from Morels.com, but it is still pretty early in the season. Morel mushroom hunting begins in early April and can run through mid-May in Iowa. Good luck!