The 5 Best Places in Kentucky to Hunt Morel Mushrooms This Spring
It's huntin' season in Kentucky but not for deer! Morel Mushrooms are in season and we've got some great tips on where to start looking so you can get a good haul.
WHAT IS A MOREL MUSHROOM?
I'm sure some of you are thinking what in the actual heck is a morel mushroom and this was exactly me a few months ago.
According to foodnetwork.com;
The morel, or Morchella, is actually more related to the truffle than it is to other mushrooms and, like truffles, is the fruit of a fungus that sprouts in the moist soil of woods and forests. There are debates about the number of different types of morel, but the most common ones are black morels and yellow morels. They both have a stem and a conical body that is covered with pits and ridges like a honeycomb, which makes them instantly recognizable to anyone who spends time hunting for them.
Apparently, they are the mushroom of all mushrooms because I am seeing photos all over my social media feed of friends tracking these things down.
When I asked my husband, Joe, about them he said OH Yeah they're called Hickory Chickens here in Kentucky!
And he was right I looked it up and sure enough, the name originated in Eastern Kentucky where they are often found in the mountains.
Joe says he heard they taste like chicken and that is good enough reason for me to want to try them.
WHEN ARE MOREL MUSHROOMS IN SEASON?
Unlike deer, morel mushrooms are actually in season at the exact opposite time of the year. Food network says;
Morels are a spring mushrooms that can usually be found between the months of March and May. Because of this very short growing period, they can be quite expensive when they are in season, costing upward of $20 per pound.
BEGINNER TIPS FOR HUNTING MORELS
If you're thinking you'd like to try your hand at morel hunting here are some insider tips to the best experience.
- LOOK FOR THE TREES-Morels are found near trees and giant leaves. The main four types to be on the lookout for are; hickory, ash, elm, and sycamore.
- JUST RIGHT-The conditions have to be just right; wet weather and mild temps. Morels like wet weather and this Spring has been a major wash so they are popping up!
- NO EASY TASK-It isn't easy finding morel mushrooms. They don't jump out from under the leaves and wave their stems. They actually blend in well with their surroundings so you may want to go in numbers to have the best luck.
WHERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO HUNT IN KENTUCKY?
So let's start where you don't want to hunt and that is private property. You should never try to look for morels on another person's land. Make sure you have permission or try to find them on public land.
There is a website called the Great Morel.com and you can actually find a map like the one below and click on a spot on the map to find the best locations.
Five Places To Look In Kentucky
- Mammoth Cave
- Bowling Green
My friend, Brian, said he found a great haul in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, and he's the third person that posted that area.
Here are some photos of his finds.
Look at the size of that morel in the palm of his hand.
It doesn't matter the size of the morel they all taste good according to friends I have talked to.
This morel nearly blends right in with the color of those leaves.
Morels apparently go good with Blue Moon beer, who knew?!