How to Hunt Morel Mushrooms
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How to Hunt Morel Mushrooms

November 17, 2019

well hello and welcome to outdoor
oklahoma i’m Todd Craighead springtime is an exciting time in
Oklahoma with the warmer temperatures and longer days well they just seem to
usher in a whole host of changes and for the outdoor enthusiasts well it can seem
like everything’s happening at once the sand baths are running crappie are spawning and turkeys are
gobbling but for some the most anticipated spring event is the
appearance of the morel mushroom morels are considered to be by many one of the
greatest wild growing edible delicacies in fact it’s likely that you drive by
some each spring that’s because morels naturally occur
all over our state and with a sharpened sense of what to look for it won’t take you long to fill a basket
yourself so to help you enjoy morels this spring we’re going to introduce you
to mushroom enthusiasts and hunter extraordinaire Marty Leigh my name is Marty Leigh I’ve been an outdoors person my whole
life and that’s 50 plus years and I’ve been I was taught to hunt morels as a small
child so it’s possible that i’ve been doing it for almost 50 years I think that morale mushrooms are very
special because they’re very delicious to eat number one but number two they’re
special because they only come up during a really small window early in the
spring usually three or four weeks in the
spring and the morels are gone it gets too hot and and they stopped the
fruiting so you have a very limited time frame to go out and find them and
that makes them extra special one of the things that I look for when
i’m looking for likely places are little drainages like this with a hillside
there’s a couple more right here when you find one you should always search
really good when you’re out hunting for morels and you’re looking scanning the
leaves are going to be very difficult to find but when you find one you should
always stop don’t move and look around because morels a
gregarious where there’s one there are typically more and where there is one that implies that
that’s a spot where they’re more likely to be than other spots the conditions that make one grow or
going to make several of them grow in that particular area I haven’t seen any more yet there may
not be any more but we’ll check this area pretty good before we leave this slope
right here is perfect because it’s south-facing it’s going to warm up first
in the spring and there’s one right there behind your boot I either cut them or pinch them I don’t pull them up because i don’t
want to deal with the dirt there’s there’s also some controversy
among the morel enthusiasts whether you should rip them out of the
ground or cut them off or pinch them off personally I either cut them or pinch
them I don’t that the presumption is that if
you rip them out of the ground you’re damaging the the mycelium the body of
the mushroom that’s going to provide you mushrooms year after year you’re
damaging that under the ground when you rip out a mushroom by the roots I don’t necessarily i personally don’t
feel that that’s so important but what I don’t like about pulling them
out of the ground is that if I leave that dirt on there and put it in my sack
or my baskets I’ve got dirt in with my morels and it
causes every all the morels to get dirt on them or not and it just requires more
cleaning when you get back to your kitchen yeah yeah hackberry’s cottonwoods ashes in east of
i-35 sycamores in in northeast Oklahoma morels have associations with lots of
different trees I would go to those trees and I know or
in general hosts for morels found Barry’s cottonwoods ashes in east of
i-35 sycamores in in northeast Oklahoma I focus my efforts mainly on sycamore
trees and i rarely find them elsewhere where they’re not a sycamore tree if you
find one there’s going to be a sycamore tree
somewhere within 20 feet this Elm is damaged you can see the bark
healing back here it may just be this one limb in particular dying trees and
or damaged trees because it’s important to remember that the body of the morale
mushroom and actually lives under the ground in a web of my Celia this entire
area could be covered with morel my Celia and one of the things that
mushroom mycelium feed off of is those those dead and excuse me those dying
trees and that knew that new source of of nutrients and so the mushroom starts
feeding on those those dying roots and consumes those roots and a lot of times
with a particular dying tree maybe for a couple of years the Morales will fruit incredibly around
that tree and I’ve found flushes of morels for a couple of reach of years
around a particular tree and then and then nothing they’re gone no it’s it’s very possible that the my
Celia are still there in the ground but there’s not enough nutrients to support
the the fruiting of of the morale which is the part that we like to harvest and
you assuming we have plenty of rain and
temperatures are warming up into the sixties and seventies during the day but
it’s probably most important that we have warm nights the average ground temperature when
Morrell’s start fruiting is from 45 to 50 degrees and typically that that’s
when they’ll start rooting their websites you can look at the Oklahoma
mesonet and they will they have a graph of the entire state with ground
temperatures at each of their polling stations here in Oklahoma and southern
Oklahoma morels can start as early as the middle of march and a
couple of weeks later by the end of march first part of April here in
Central Oklahoma they’ll be coming on by the by mid-april in northern Oklahoma
and and on through April and May up through Kansas and and continuing on up last year I found over a hundred right
here in this little 10-yard by 10-yard clump of trees these are little damage downs and they
were just in here thick I’ve never found them right here before
and there may not be any here this year either but we’ll have to check it really
good a lot of people that are new to more l
mushroom hunting and and ask me questions you know where where should i
go look and you know my vague answer is well
just go outside and start looking like they can theoretically be anywhere you
can find them in your backyard you can find them at the city park you can find
them at your near your favorite swimming hole if you know of an area where a lot of
trees have been damaged by storm or and could be tornado high winds or ice
storms and they will flush around those damaged trees typically not that year
but maybe the next year same thing for a burn if you have a
friend or colleague at work that you know does it and and has some experience
and is willing to take you out and share their potentially secret spots with you I think that’s the best way for someone
to be introduced and a person new to morel mushroom hunting could potentially
wander around in the woods for two to three days without finding anything just
because they may be unfamiliar with the particular kinds of habitats that morels
like and someone with more experience can can look at the landscape in the
woods or near a creek and say right over there is potentially a good spot I think if if anyone is interested in
getting out the most important thing to remember is that it’s great to get out and enjoy nature and poke around in the
woods there’s no telling what you may find you
may find a shed white tail deer antler you may find a turtle it’s just come out
of hibernation in the early spring the plants are our budding and starting
to grow flowers are going to be coming on in the woods the insects and and animals are going to
be coming alive and even if you don’t find any mushrooms there’s no telling what you might be
able to enjoy the outdoors fortunately morels are pretty unique
looking mushroom because certainly not all mushrooms are edible so be sure to research the internet or
any other host of resources so that you can correctly identify morels also since Oklahoma is more than ninety
five percent private property always make sure you have permission
and/or that it’s legal to pick them you know the first time that I really
discovered morels for myself was on a turkey hunting trip many years ago the
buddy i was with happened to spot a bunch and he got all excited and he told
me to fill my turkey hunting vest with them and we were camping out and so
later that night he prepared them and made me a ham and cheese and morel
mushroom omelet and I don’t know if it was just the the campfire or the fact
that we had picked them ourselves but I got to tell you that was the best
omelet I’ve ever had in my life it and i’ve been hooked ever since and now for me turkey hunting is just as
much about looking for morels as it is listening for gobbles and I really can’t
think of a better way to celebrate spring then combining the two in the
kitchen and to help us do just that we’re going to introduce you to curtis
and Gaye Anne Grace who just happened to be the
parents of are Kay county game warden Spencer grace you know we always think
of the beautiful springtime with the when the redbuds bud the sand bass
run turkey season and you find those
wonderful morel mushrooms and the first thing we’re going to do is we are going
to braid our bacon this is hickory-smoked thick slice bacon we’ll start with six pieces on the
bottom and then we’ll end up weaving them all together to give us the the
braided look I like to put mine kind of close together and that way when they do
cook and they shrink up that it looks very very nice very very nice
presentation and you can also try this with maple flavored bacon or peppered
bacon the different varieties this piece of paper underneath is called parchment
paper and we like to cook on parchment paper because it can collect the juices during the baking process and then you
could rebase those juices on top of your meat keep it moist and flavorful 1 plus it
has a nice shine to it at the end so there is our are braided and now what
we have to do is we have to use some cooking twine that can be purchased and
we’re going to cut three strips of these about the width of your your parchment
paper and then we’re going to lay those across
the they can braid now to get that reverse we just put a second piece of
parchment paper over the top of it and press that down a little bit i’m going
to take this and i’m just going to flip it over and that way my cooking string
is on the bottom and my bacon braid is on the top press it out till your parchment paper it’s the is the wild turkey breast that
has been from the field and put in the freezer and I thought and now he’s going
to take it and prepare it or are delicious entre here now this is this is actually a half of a
turkey breast so if you want to to do the same thing and most folks when they
shoot a wild turkey leg either have it plucked or they will be breast it into
pieces like this one I’m gonna take this car tonight we’re
going to flatten this out with fit and around this bacon so just you have one at home most men use it for putting in stake you
get this meat flatten down and drive I think we’re about ready to do this ok
ok pick a place that meet over there to see how it kind of forms into the
square now seasonings on there huh so we’re going
to take them head country seasoning and some penzeys
for essays I mean and we’re going to sprinkle them on the
top of the meat and have a little bit of the pansies or
s that we’ve got our wild mushrooms morel
mushrooms we’ve got our sweet onion and we have the bacon braided and and we
have the wild turkey breast on top of their season with a little bit of head
country and for seasoning and now we’re ready to place this song top purpose and I like to do is we also like
to add a little bit more seasoning on top and sprinkle so I’m going to add a little bit more
head country sprinkle it on top and a little bit more
for F and now we have it and it’s ready to be
folded and then tied and then placed in our Dutch oven and take let the
parchment paper work with you whenever you’re using parchment paper to bake
with or even when you’re using it to do bread roll out your bread folding it over that was a fast move
force of gravity here now i’m gonna let Curtis he’s going to
time you don’t want to time real tight because it is going to be cooking while
while the meat is cooking the strings are going to be holding it together good so now the next thing that we’re
gonna do is we’re going to place it inside of the dutch oven and I put the
parchment paper in there with it and so that as it cooks those juices collecting
in there and we can revise it and carry it into there the at seven we want to take this the kitchen
scissors and we want to clip the excess parchment paper away and whether you’re
doing this in a household kitchen or if you’re doing it outdoors it works the
same way it’s into a nicely into it a 12-inch Dutch oven as well this will
cook and at 350 degrees and you want to reach a hundred and sixty-five internal
temp which takes about an hour and a half for that to happen and now we’re
going to venture into the oven and check on the one that we had made prior to the
filming I only you could smell this through the
cameras Oh delicious and we’re gonna wash up some of that nice broth coming
off of that turkey and puts it on the top it looks delicious and I’m going to go
ahead and take a temp reading this one has been in the oven for approximately
45 minutes it has reached 10 and so what we’re
going to do is leave the lid off and we’re going to get the bacon a little
crispy and so will return it to the oven for a short time we fixed some bacon braided stuff while turkey breath accept it with some
sweet onion and some morel mushrooms oh wow look at that if only the camera
you could smell through those cameras well I didn’t find any morels today but
i did hear a gobbler so that must mean it won’t be long now hey however you choose to enjoy
springtime in Oklahoma keep it look out for morels I guarantee you won’t be disappointed
and for your convenience we’ve put the graces recipe of bacon
braided while turkey breast on our website Wildlife Department . com from the
hunting tab go to Turkey and then to cooking your bird hey thanks for joining us for all of us
that your wildlife department I’m Todd craighead will see you somewhere new
next time on outdoor Oklahoma

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Where in Oklahoma are there dense forests like this? I thought there was more flat areas with fewer trees. Shows how little I know…

  2. If you put the string on the paper first, youll not have to flip it and waste the parchment paper. Looks good but have no idea what "Heads country spices nor 4S" is.

  3. – Can anyone just grow morel mushroom at his own hut/shack…??
    – I know in the supermarket shelves, that's … enoki ,.. shiitake..&.. oyster commercially grown..
    – As for any enthusiast,.. if able, …the morels can be available all year round right from our own backyard shack..

  4. I never have to hunt for them each year They grow among my pivot hedges. I usually find many. I never rip them out. I always leave one. I have heard if you take them all they will not return the next year. They are illusive. I am Radagast.

  5. I find a lot around elms here in Indiana but I've got really good hauls in old overgrown apple orchards and cherry trees

  6. I found a morel growing out of my driveway years ago, it was definitely a morel, but I didn't eat it and I have never seen one ever since!

  7. Morel season 2019 is here! Cant wait ! I found 155 around a single tree last year and this year is shaping up looking to be wayyy better. Good video, lots of good info. I just love these shrooms, I even started up a YT channel mostly dedicated to them. I'll be uploading tips,forecast, recent hunts and even live streaming hunts as the season progresses. Check it out ya'll. Happy hunting??????????????????????????????????????????

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