Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mistaken Identity of Mushrooms can be Dangerous

Mistaken Identity of Mushrooms can be Dangerous

The extent of my knowledge when it comes to mushrooms is ordering a mushroom swiss burger from a restaurant. However, with the lack of a turkey permit, what better way to spend a spring day then walking around the woods looking for these elegant mushrooms.  With family and friends telling me stories about how good these mushrooms are I decided to go out.

The best hunting buddy anyone could ask for. 
This past weekend I found my first morel mushroom.  It was an accident but thankfully there were six total, so I picked'em.  Now I have the mushroom hunting bug.  Just like the fishing or hunting bug, all I can think about are mushrooms.  One night this week, I hit the woods in search of this succulent mushroom.

After about 40 minutes looking I stumbled upon some morels.  It was great.  There was one, two, three, four five, six and seven.  What a find!  You can even ask the wife I was doing my happy dance in the middle of the woods.  Well, at least I thought they were morels.  

After posting a picture on Facebook several of my friends mentioned that these were not morels but Half Free Morels also known as Peckerheads.  After those comments, I started to do some more research and realized just how dangerous mushroom hunting can be.  Not only do you have to pay attention to the kind of mushrooms you're picking but in many parts of the country you have to watch out for snakes.

Half Free Morels or Pecker Heads
Being the first season that I'm actually looking for morels, I'm still learning the basics.  I know a lot about hunting and a lot about fishing, not a pro by any means but I do have a decent amount of knowledge in those areas.  However, I'm not afraid of admitting when I'm wrong or need to learn something and this is very true when it comes to mushroom hunting.

Our first batch of morals
A big thank you to those that helped me learn something about the outdoors.  Now this knowledge will be passed down to not only my family but to our readers as well.  That's what Capitol Outdoor is all about!  Education, learning and sharing information about the great outdoors.

New or a veteran to mushroom hunting?  Here is a good site (Michigan Morels) that I found that might help you out.  There is a saying in mushroom hunting that is relevant to any experience level.

When in doubt throw it out!

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the follwoing during the April 2017 News Bits.

Mushroom Collecting: No license is required for mushroom collecting in Illinois, but mushroom collectors always need landowner permission. On public sites, mushroom collectors must adhere to approved regulations and hours. Collection of mushrooms is allowed in many IDNR state parks, fish and wildlife, and other recreation areas, but it is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated nature preserve. Areas under the jurisdiction of the IDNR that offer spring turkey hunting are not open to mushroom collecting until after 1 p.m. daily during turkey season to ensure the safety of all site visitors. Mushroom collectors should call ahead to the IDNR site they intend to visit to learn of any site-specific regulations.

This article is in no way to solely be used in identification of mushrooms. I wanted to show you that even we make mistakes and how when it comes to safety in the outdoors there are no secrets.

Remember Enjoy the Outdoors, Good Luck and Stay Safe

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