I came across an interesting status update on Facebook from an old friend from high school. Doug Peoples posted:
"Another successful morel hunt Saturday. Found alot more than Friday and Lins got tons of great pictures. Will post later. I have a feeling its gonna be a great year for morels because this is way early to be finding this many."
Now if you have spent any time in North Idaho, you know that Idahoans love to hunt! Our local paper regularly features stories about the achievements of local hunters and their prize trophies.
Recently, a story and photo announced the killing by the son of a friend of mine - of a wolf! The hunter held it in a kind of bear hug for the photographer, and the thing was huge! Yes, there is even a wolf hunting season here in beautiful North Idaho.
Last week an 11 year old girl was featured, she had killed her first turkey. She proudly knelt with her shotgun, dressed in camo, for the photographer. Her turkey was displayed in front of her, and again, it was HUGE!
But I had never seen nor heard of anybody hunting for morels. I wasn't even at all sure what a morel was. So, I Googled it. Whoa! It's a MUSHROOM! I found the internet FULL of websites and stories of morels and 'Shroomers who go 'Shrooming - hunting for morels! Recipes, tips, mushroom humor, clubs, gifts and heartwarming mushroom stories. Who knew! Very fascinating, a whole world of mushrooms and 'Shroomers I never knew existed!
Apparently, it's morel hunting season in North Idaho. Something the 'Shroomers have in common with their game hunting counterparts is that they are very protective and secretive about their hunting grounds. But as I followed the thread on Doug's facebook page I learned a few things. Morel season lasts about a month. They grow in wooded areas, on the north side of a slope, in the underbrush. You should pinch them off at the ground rather than pull them up, so they will grow back the following year. And apparently, according to Doug's most recent post, 'Shroomers are harvesting a bumper crop this year:
"Came home with about 8 lbs of morels today. SCORE!!!"
Photos courtesy of Dougs niece, Lindsey Saffeels