When Your Morel Spot Gets Compromised

Yesterday, Eliza, Rayna, Evan, and I went out morel foraging.  This was the first morel forage of 2012 for me and Eliza and Rayna (Evan has gone out a few times so far) and so we were excited to go and check one of our favorite spots to see if any of the delectable fungi were popping up yet. 

Within about fifteen minutes of searching the spot I had spotted our first morel, I nice medium-sized blond.  This was very exciting and occurrence for optimism, however, only about a foot away from this morel was a sign for concern, a cut stump from another morel.  We had seen a few foot prints near the stream that runs through the area we were searching but hadn’t thought much about it until now.  But that stump, was it just a fluke, or had somebody else been searching the area?

Rayna found the next several morels (including one of the largest finds of the day).  We made our way to what we have known to be a prime location finding a few more here or there.  Then we came to “our spot” and found tons of cut stumps.  We collectively cursed the circumstances.  Our golden location had been compromised and now we have competition for the ripe fruiting of an ideal morel area.

This is a constant concern for the mushroom hunter, especially when it comes to relatively more rare and desirable fungi like morels.  It is for this reason why so many morel foragers guard their bests sites with absolute secrecy.  However, no degree of planning, besides perhaps actually owning a site and making it a “Posted” area can prevent somebody else from discovering it’s bounties as well.  This is simple the innate risk in the hobby, that there will be other people looking for the mushrooms too, and sometimes they will beat you to a catch.

Sure we were disappointed, but fortunately we were still able to walk away with some morels (our first finds of this season).  All around, we concluded that we are still a bit early, as only one tiny tulip morel was out and these are the ones we seem to have the greater luck with.  We’ll keep searching over next several weeks, and will, undoubtedly find a good number more.  However, it is a sobering realization that we are not the only ones out there looking for morels, and chances are we’ll stumble upon some more stumps in time, and have to sigh in irritation that we’d been beaten to a spot again.

~ by Nathaniel on March 19, 2012.

4 Responses to “When Your Morel Spot Gets Compromised”

  1. Boo!! We had that happen last year at one of our spots. There’s greater pain in the mushroom foraging world than finding cut stumps at your super secret morel (or chanterelle) location. I feel your pain. 😦

    • Thank you for empathizing with my suffering.. Also, thank you for doing your part to make it that both your husband and you have commented on my blog today. I have achieved my 100% von Frank commenting quota this Monday.

  2. This won’t happen again. Mark my words.

    Next year I will visit this location at the break of dawn upon the first signs of morel season. Someone else will feel the bitter sting of morel stumps and I will revel in the the satisfaction of knowing that our competition will see the evidence of our triumph. Those future morels will be the best tasting morels we have ever feasted upon for they will be sauteed in the succulent disappointment of out vanquished foes.

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