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HeartlandFungivore - Really great pics - thanks for sharing your thriving grow-out of both the Shiitake and Lions Mane!!

It looks like you've taken the time to create an idealized grow space. Are you controlling Temps? Humidity? Light? Anything else noteworthy for your grow environment?

Congrats and this was inspiring to me. Just yesterday I again bought a bag of compressed hardwood stove pellets thinking I might do some cultivation again. The last few times (growing Morel mycellium) I've deconstructed the hardwood pellets into sawdust.

I've found that I can pour boiling water over them and let them deconstruct into sawdust and they are already sterilized. I then, don't have to use a pressure cooker for sterilization as I've done for years. I understand that the heat of compression during the manufacturing and the absence of any moisture effectively creates a sterilized beginning point. Then, if the grow conditions are right, the desirable mycellium gets a fast enough start that any contamination doesn't have a chance.

With the Morel mycelium, I add amino acids (protein-Braggs Aminos), liquid colloidal minerals and Molasses (sugar) with this, the Morel mycelium start/grow so quickly that they outgrow any potential contaminents. Occassionally there are some but by the time I'm ready to inocculate some flower beds, the contaminants still haven't grown enough to do any real damage. The sugar gives a great quick start and the protein and minerals give sustained vibrant growth beyond initial quick colonization.

On another note: Happy hunting everyone! 😎 🌞

Oh . . . and Happy Holidays! 🎄🌟🌞🍷
 

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HeartlandFungivore - Really great pics - thanks for sharing your thriving grow-out of both the Shiitake and Lions Mane!!

It looks like you've taken the time to create an idealized grow space. Are you controlling Temps? Humidity? Light? Anything else noteworthy for your grow environment?

Congrats and this was inspiring to me. Just yesterday I again bought a bag of compressed hardwood stove pellets thinking I might do some cultivation again. The last few times (growing Morel mycellium) I've deconstructed the hardwood pellets into sawdust.

I've found that I can pour boiling water over them and let them deconstruct into sawdust and they are already sterilized. I then, don't have to use a pressure cooker for sterilization as I've done for years. I understand that the heat of compression during the manufacturing and the absence of any moisture effectively creates a sterilized beginning point. Then, if the grow conditions are right, the desirable mycellium gets a fast enough start that any contamination doesn't have a chance.

With the Morel mycelium, I add amino acids (protein-Braggs Aminos), liquid colloidal minerals and Molasses (sugar) with this, the Morel mycelium start/grow so quickly that they outgrow any potential contaminents. Occassionally there are some but by the time I'm ready to inocculate some flower beds, the contaminants still haven't grown enough to do any real damage. The sugar gives a great quick start and the protein and minerals give sustained vibrant growth beyond initial quick colonization.

On another note: Happy hunting everyone! 😎 🌞

Oh . . . and Happy Holidays! 🎄🌟🌞🍷
Hey @sb , very cool about your morchella approaches. Do you use black morel spawn or gray/white or have you tried both? Do you get successful outdoor fruiting after burying your colonized blocks? I am going to do some outdoor plots this spring and I've read a good article a few times from successful Japanese growers who only colonize black morchella strains (which aren't my preference). Thus, I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to try growing both. Also, I've read that morels benefit immensely from comfrey plantings aka they are good companion "plants" albeit mushrooms aren't plants...teehee... The real trick invented by the Japanese, to my understanding, is the implementation of a second nutritional bag after the mycelium has colonized their outdoor trenches of soil. They trench around the raised soil and flood it with water and keep a humidistat around to maintain proper humidity in the area. They also create false canopies. The second nutritional bags are much smaller like 1/8 of the colonized bag and they were using a blend of like corn husks, soy bean hulls, nitrogen rich supplements but I'm sure this could be hay, alfalfa, wheat, etc.... Successfully producing kilos and kilos of morels each year but only blacks from what I've seen.

As to my grow parameters. I went ahead and purchased a grow tent. My intake and exhaust air come from and exit outside to circumvent contaminating my wooden garage. I do attempt to control CO2 levels but I don't have a CO2 meter yet so this is just by increasing or decreasing my exhaust fan according to the mushrooms preference i.e. if they can withstand more CO2 I just turn my exhaust fan down or even I may put some bags of mushrooms that prefer higher CO2 to grow under bags that prefer less CO2. Since CO2 is heavier than O2 it will fall to the ground and hit the lower bags before being sucked out with the exhaust vent.

I also regulate my temperature. It being so cold I went ahead and purchased two IR thermal lights usually used in aquariums and this helps me adjust my temps in my tent by 2-4 degrees depending on how many I plug in. I went this method after doing my senior chemistry and neuroscience project on the fourth phase of water. To simplify, water is energized by IR and this interaction may in fact be the driving chemical reaction permitting mushroom mycelium enough force to break through asphalt and concrete. So I do control light lux levels, the type of wavelength hitting the mushroom, and humidity. I made a quick DIY humidifier using ultrasonic disc kits from House of Hydro and bought myself a big plastic tub and use a humidistat relay to keep the humidity fluctuating within range as most mushrooms prefer fluctuating humidity not stagnant.

I make my own grain spawn and blocks and inoculate in front of a laminar flow hood. I do use an all American sterilizer to sterilize my blocks but I am creating what's called "nutrified" blocks. I either add alfalfa pellets or wheat bran and a little bit of gypsum. I use about 1/2 100% oak wood pellets and 1/2 local wood chips I've chipped myself as I've read mushrooms like the variation in wood size. You are totally right, to my knowledge, in that most contaminants can't out beat the mycelium depending on how much nutrition you've added as well as how much spawn you put in each bag i.e. if you put in a 1/4 cup spawn to a 10lb bag where 20% of that bag is nutritional content and you didn't use a sterilization method I think it's pretty likely you may get a contaminant vs. spawning 1-2 cups of grain spawn to a 10 lb bag with less/no nutritional content and you will likely not see any contamination.

I'm very grateful you shared with me your methods for morel cultivation. I am excited to share with you what more I learn in the spring when I try my own approaches and will probably implement some of your techniques too :) :)
 

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Hey @sb , very cool about your morchella approaches. Do you use black morel spawn or gray/white or have you tried both? Do you get successful outdoor fruiting after burying your colonized blocks? I am going to do some outdoor plots this spring and I've read a good article a few times from successful Japanese growers who only colonize black morchella strains (which aren't my preference). Thus, I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to try growing both. Also, I've read that morels benefit immensely from comfrey plantings aka they are good companion "plants" albeit mushrooms aren't plants...teehee... The real trick invented by the Japanese, to my understanding, is the implementation of a second nutritional bag after the mycelium has colonized their outdoor trenches of soil. They trench around the raised soil and flood it with water and keep a humidistat around to maintain proper humidity in the area. They also create false canopies. The second nutritional bags are much smaller like 1/8 of the colonized bag and they were using a blend of like corn husks, soy bean hulls, nitrogen rich supplements but I'm sure this could be hay, alfalfa, wheat, etc.... Successfully producing kilos and kilos of morels each year but only blacks from what I've seen.

As to my grow parameters. I went ahead and purchased a grow tent. My intake and exhaust air come from and exit outside to circumvent contaminating my wooden garage. I do attempt to control CO2 levels but I don't have a CO2 meter yet so this is just by increasing or decreasing my exhaust fan according to the mushrooms preference i.e. if they can withstand more CO2 I just turn my exhaust fan down or even I may put some bags of mushrooms that prefer higher CO2 to grow under bags that prefer less CO2. Since CO2 is heavier than O2 it will fall to the ground and hit the lower bags before being sucked out with the exhaust vent.

I also regulate my temperature. It being so cold I went ahead and purchased two IR thermal lights usually used in aquariums and this helps me adjust my temps in my tent by 2-4 degrees depending on how many I plug in. I went this method after doing my senior chemistry and neuroscience project on the fourth phase of water. To simplify, water is energized by IR and this interaction may in fact be the driving chemical reaction permitting mushroom mycelium enough force to break through asphalt and concrete. So I do control light lux levels, the type of wavelength hitting the mushroom, and humidity. I made a quick DIY humidifier using ultrasonic disc kits from House of Hydro and bought myself a big plastic tub and use a humidistat relay to keep the humidity fluctuating within range as most mushrooms prefer fluctuating humidity not stagnant.

I make my own grain spawn and blocks and inoculate in front of a laminar flow hood. I do use an all American sterilizer to sterilize my blocks but I am creating what's called "nutrified" blocks. I either add alfalfa pellets or wheat bran and a little bit of gypsum. I use about 1/2 100% oak wood pellets and 1/2 local wood chips I've chipped myself as I've read mushrooms like the variation in wood size. You are totally right, to my knowledge, in that most contaminants can't out beat the mycelium depending on how much nutrition you've added as well as how much spawn you put in each bag i.e. if you put in a 1/4 cup spawn to a 10lb bag where 20% of that bag is nutritional content and you didn't use a sterilization method I think it's pretty likely you may get a contaminant vs. spawning 1-2 cups of grain spawn to a 10 lb bag with less/no nutritional content and you will likely not see any contamination.

I'm very grateful you shared with me your methods for morel cultivation. I am excited to share with you what more I learn in the spring when I try my own approaches and will probably implement some of your techniques too :) :)
@sb your morel approaches are inspiring to me!
 

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@sb Something fun about the shiitakes is that they sit for a long incubation (3 months) and then to initiate them there's a variety of things you can do- some people cold shock and just move them to a refrigerator between 35-41 degrees, some people dunk the blocks overnight in cold water, some people spank each block, some people have an electric pulse generator and using electrodes apply specific volts in pulse format. I went ahead and moved my blocks into the non-heated part of my garage overnight for 14 hrs letting them hit that 37-41 temperature range then the next day I had the man I live with slap each of them on the bottom of the bag. I, a bit of a weaker female, slapped two bags as a control. The bags he slapped are producing massive fruits much faster than the bags I smacked making me think the smack was the best initiation (vs the cold shock) and that the harder the smack the better. I've read online that the cold shock is mimicking winter time and the smack is mimicking the frozen branch snapping from the tree in the spring as the ice thaws and hitting the ground. When the branch hits the ground the mycelium realize their host tree is dying so they jump to form fruit bodies so they can spread their spores looking for a new host habitat!
 

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HeartlandFungivore - I soak my shiitake logs overnight and then smack the end of each log 4 times with a good sized sledgehammer. It works wonderfully. I have some logs that I've gotten 'shrooms from for 4-5 years.

My use of the deconstructed pellets wouldn't work as well with the 3 month grow for the shiitake grow bags.

When I used it with the Morels, I used a Q-tip (these are already sterilized) and dipped it in distilled water and wiped Morel spore prints (saved in a jar or on folded aluminum foil) and pressed them into numerous spots in the sawdust in the grow bags. In those cases, 15-18 innoculaton spots of spores directly in the deconstructed sawdust was sufficient to get a good grow and without high amounts of contamination. Again this was just for use in inoculating my flower beds. Even as it wasn't perfect, it was "Good Enough".

I found the idea appealing of not having to take a major part of a day to pressure cook grain or sawdust. So, I've done the same with rye grain, also, just boiling it.
 

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HeartlandFungivore - I soak my shiitake logs overnight and then smack the end of each log 4 times with a good sized sledgehammer. It works wonderfully. I have some logs that I've gotten 'shrooms from for 4-5 years.

My use of the deconstructed pellets wouldn't work as well with the 3 month grow for the shiitake grow bags.

When I used it with the Morels, I used a Q-tip (these are already sterilized) and dipped it in distilled water and wiped Morel spore prints (saved in a jar or on folded aluminum foil) and pressed them into numerous spots in the sawdust in the grow bags. In those cases, 15-18 innoculaton spots of spores directly in the deconstructed sawdust was sufficient to get a good grow and without high amounts of contamination. Again this was just for use in inoculating my flower beds. Even as it wasn't perfect, it was "Good Enough".

I found the idea appealing of not having to take a major part of a day to pressure cook grain or sawdust. So, I've done the same with rye grain, also, just boiling it.
How exciting about the morel approach! And unique. I love the sledgehammer to the logs! That's wonderful. Do you do subsequent flushes from the logs each year? I've heard you can soak the log after the first flush and then stimulate a second flush within the same grow period just like the bags in the grow but this reduces the amount of years you'll get flushes from the logs.

I am soon to be opening this as a full fledged business so I dig the whole less time approach but when it comes to USDA/FDA regulations I'd rather get adjusted to the sterilization cycles now (before I order my large autoclave) and ensure less risk of throwing bags out for contamination
 

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HeartlandFungivore - I will stress them to flush at least twice a year. Usually I wait until I find mushrooms flushing in the back yard or even a Shiitake fruiting on the inoculated logs stacked under some pines and then I will soak, smack with the sledgehammer and cover with burlap which I keep moist with a daily drench.

This pic below is my first flush this year on logs inoculated May 2017.

Plant Camouflage Leaf Terrestrial plant Wood


Happy mushroom hunting everyone. There are still late fall shrooms to be found. 😎 🌞
 

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HeartlandFungivore - I will stress them to flush at least twice a year. Usually I wait until I find mushrooms flushing in the back yard or even a Shiitake fruiting on the inoculated logs stacked under some pines and then I will soak, smack with the sledgehammer and cover with burlap which I keep moist with a daily drench.

This pic below is my first flush this year on logs inoculated May 2017.

View attachment 41063

Happy mushroom hunting everyone. There are still late fall shrooms to be found. 😎 🌞
That's amazing!!!! I love it. Those are some massive fruits! How nice they keep producing so many years later!! Do you do the daily drench throughout the year or only between fruitings?
 

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Good Morning, To Us All...🤠❤🇺🇸🦅🍄🌎
We have Such an Enjoyable Fungi Famiy here.
I am so very Thankful for, and Proud of Everyone. and How We Share our Hunt Together
I'm siting Outside drinking Coffee here in...
South-central Indiana, Monroe County... and it looks and feels exactly like a Beautiful Spring Day...
And is a Heart filling ❤ Reminder of what is just ahead..
In Only 105-days it Will be Go! Go! Go! Time here.
When we get a Day like this, it's usually a signaling that the Real Indiana Winter and Weather is about to Begin.
I Will try to be Scouting thru our Winter, as much as I can..
I Love ❤ Walking in the Woods during and after a Severe Snow Storm.. it is So Beautiful
 

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So How much, meat in the freezer has, The Deer Hunting Provided for anyone..
And is anyone Racoon Hunt'n..
Man I use have a **** or Opossum cooking in a big blue granite-ware pan, on the Woodstove about every night all winter..
" I Should have Never Sold My Dogs, and moved to town" and all those Times and stories I've left behind and haven't told of for so long..
Put um Up RED!!! ... I would Holler-out Loud...
And Man the sound of the Mouth Red had on him, Was like sweet music... When he'd Holler-back, You knew he was close behind one. And his whole Heart ❤ would sound out with every pump of blood in his Heartbeat When Red Knew that he had that Racoon tree'd for us..
Man,,...That was 42 years ago...
Those were some of the most Awesome times in my Life and this country boy knows how to survive..
But I Never did Really like Killing Animals.
So i just Enjoy walking in the Woods finding Morels and Other Fungi Now...🤠❤🇺🇸🦅🌎🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄
 

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So How much, meat in the freezer has, The Deer Hunting Provided for anyone..
And is anyone Racoon Hunt'n..
Man I use have a **** or Opossum cooking in a big blue granite-ware pan, on the Woodstove about every night all winter..
" I Should have Never Sold My Dogs, and moved to town" and all those Times and stories I've left behind and haven't told of for so long..
Put um Up RED!!! ... I would Holler-out Loud...
And Man the sound of the Mouth Red had on him, Was like sweet music... When he'd Holler-back, You knew he was close behind one. And his whole Heart ❤ would sound out with every pump of blood in his Heartbeat When Red Knew that he had that Racoon tree'd for us..
Man,,...That was 42 years ago...
Those were some of the most Awesome times in my Life and this country boy knows how to survive..
But I Never did Really like Killing Animals.
So i just Enjoy walking in the Woods finding Morels and Other Fungi Now...🤠❤🇺🇸🦅🌎🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄
Went deer hunting for the first time in years since it's muzzleloader season just grabbed myself a permit and went to my dad's land in bowling green. we were skunked- wind was terrible. didn't even see a squirrel but heard one 😂 saw a hawk and a cardinal and that was it. usually the land is covered in turkeys and deer so definitely a weather issue. i am not big on killing animals myself but started making my dogs food a few years ago and put two and two together that if i went and killed a deer again i could save a lot of money on my dog's food and be giving them better meat anyways. some night cameras have caught someone with their dogs hunting for racoon's on my dad's property- trespassing/poaching big bummer! but i bet the hunt is fun with the dogs. thanks for sharing
 

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I will start hitting the woods hard with the hounds tonight. As today is the last day for the "crazy" deer hunters in my neck of the woods. All that will remain now are the true deer hunters that know running dogs on there land don't affect the deer none. I myself have walked right past some of the biggest bucks in the county on my way to the loudest dog I've ever own blowing the to out of a tree. They just watch you as you walk by and then go back to what they were doing. It puts a smile on your face. Some of those guys don't even want me in the woods to squirrel hunt till after gun season has past. It's there land, there rules all you can try to do is educate them. Happy hunting to all this season!
 

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Went deer hunting for the first time in years since it's muzzleloader season just grabbed myself a permit and went to my dad's land in bowling green. we were skunked- wind was terrible. didn't even see a squirrel but heard one 😂 saw a hawk and a cardinal and that was it. usually the land is covered in turkeys and deer so definitely a weather issue. i am not big on killing animals myself but started making my dogs food a few years ago and put two and two together that if i went and killed a deer again i could save a lot of money on my dog's food and be giving them better meat anyways. some night cameras have caught someone with their dogs hunting for racoon's on my dad's property- trespassing/poaching big bummer! but i bet the hunt is fun with the dogs. thanks for sharing
I've step foot in many woods I didn't have permission for just to retrieve my dogs. The dogs don't understand that you may not have permission in all the woods around. You can cut them loose in one woods and in less then 5 min be a mile away in another. That is how they are being bred now. I don't take a gun just run in and grab them, most land owners get more ticked off when you bang on the door in the middle of the nite to ask if you can go back to get them. If it's before 10pm and lights are on at a house I will stop and talk to land owner. I have had to go to land owners the next day because my dogs have done damage digging under barns trying to get to game. Most of the time they tell you not to worry about it they just can't believe you came back to take responsbility for it. On the flip side there are guys that will cut a dog loose on anyone's land with or with out permission. But that's no different than these guys mushroom hunting where they don't have permission. Just makes it harder for us that do things the right way.
 

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I've step foot in many woods I didn't have permission for just to retrieve my dogs. The dogs don't understand that you may not have permission in all the woods around. You can cut them loose in one woods and in less then 5 min be a mile away in another. That is how they are being bred now. I don't take a gun just run in and grab them, most land owners get more ticked off when you bang on the door in the middle of the nite to ask if you can go back to get them. If it's before 10pm and lights are on at a house I will stop and talk to land owner. I have had to go to land owners the next day because my dogs have done damage digging under barns trying to get to game. Most of the time they tell you not to worry about it they just can't believe you came back to take responsbility for it. On the flip side there are guys that will cut a dog loose on anyone's land with or with out permission. But that's no different than these guys mushroom hunting where they don't have permission. Just makes it harder for us that do things the right way.
I'd never thought maybe the dogs just ran on the property- I will definitely share that with my dad! I don't care either way but he's put a lot of effort into the land and I know it grates his nerves to think someone's taking from it without asking. and you are spot on- he's very generous if anyone asked he'd allow them to it's just the not asking and sneeking around that upsets him
 

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Back in about 2014, @Robinbluebird and Me were driving home on an old two lane road, when just ahead we see a deer step out from the right, into the front of the car just ahead of us..
The car hit the deer and continued on..
There the deer lay, about half on the road.. as We drove by it was trying lift its head, still alive
I'm like..oh Man..and say to Robin.. Darlin please turn the car around and drop me off, I'll put it out of misery and I'll drag the deer into the woods, So no Children have to see it..
She turns around, drops me off, and goes down bout 1000'ft to Turn around again and wait for me.
As I step up, I see the last of it's Life leaving its eyes, I say "I'm so sorry deer"
Then I noticed. Hey Man this deer has only been hit in it's Head...
SO... I started waving and motioning for Robin to come on!! pull up here!!
Her and I quickly loaded that deer into the trunk.
And headed for the house, still I felt a little unsure, and Guilty or just unsure of my choice.
Then suddenly after driving only a 1/4 mile
A Huge Redtail Hawk flew Down and caught a Rabbit on the edge of the road in front of us.. it was Very Dramatic.. and Beautiful.
Then just when our Amazement and Adrinaline Hightened .. As we drive only another few seconds, We are in Awe as there is a Huge Brilliant Rainbows end on the Ground in the field ahead to our left, and up thru the sky as far as we can see...
So we're driving, and as we drive we see that it is moving closer, coming towards us, Until we are driving in the bottom/ end of the Rainbow.
We Continue on our way down the road towards home..
Thinking.. that is a sign from God. and Mother Nature's Cycle of Life.
So we stopped by Walmart and bought a good sharp Buck knife.. and Skinned the deer out that evening.. And began eating Happily ever after .
 

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Great story. One time I was heading out to bowhunt at an area state park. Driving down on a divided highway, I see a big deer laying in the median, and about a hundred yards further on a car parked on the berm. I knew what that meant. I pulled up behind them, went to the car and asked if they were okay. They said yes, just getting over the jitters. There was a big, football shaped hole in the windshield right in front of the drivers face! I told them I'd stick around until the highway patrol showed up to get a tag for it, and the driver said he'd already been there. Just needed more time to settle the nerves! So, I drove down to the next exit, turned around, drove back to the nearest exit above the deer, turned around again and drove to it. It was still there. It was a BIG buck with half a rack. Apparently the buck got smacked in the head by the windshield of that car, knocking the right antler off. A little Pontiac Sunfire IIRC. I managed to wrestle that big lug into my pickup. Don't think I could do it today. I was strong as an ox back them. Then I drove to the highway patrol barracks to check it in. The lady at the counter said, "Oh! The one that was hit on Rt 11? I'm so glad it's not going to go to waste!" Took it to my buddy's place where we dressed it out and hung it in his barn.Ate real good off that big booger for quite a while!

I will start hitting the woods hard with the hounds tonight. As today is the last day for the "crazy" deer hunters in my neck of the woods. All that will remain now are the true deer hunters that know running dogs on there land don't affect the deer none. I myself have walked right past some of the biggest bucks in the county on my way to the loudest dog I've ever own blowing the to out of a tree. They just watch you as you walk by and then go back to what they were doing. It puts a smile on your face. Some of those guys don't even want me in the woods to squirrel hunt till after gun season has past. It's there land, there rules all you can try to do is educate them. Happy hunting to all this season!
I've seen this first hand. I had a really sweet setup on state park land. Bowhunting, I had two does come in to my mineral and bait site, and I was just watching them. We were getting close to the rut, and I figured it wasn't a bad thing to have a couple of live decoys out there. I was hunting fairly close to a two lane road that went through the park, but was facing away from it. Suddenly, there was a shotgun blast from right across the road! It was loud, and I flinched! Neither of those does did. They were in the bait, and it took about 20 seconds for one to pick her head up, look in the direction of the shot, and cock an ear. She went right back to eating.

Another time, I was hunting a hardwood ridge in the same state park. Down the ridge I hear boom! OK, got a squirrel hunter headed my way. A minute later I see a big doe prancing through the woods my way. About 100 yards out she swaps around, and I see her looking. She's watching that squirrel hunter. After about a minute, she calmly turns around and walks away off to the left. No panic at all! Some time later, I see the squirrel hunter. Let me tell you what, this guy was good! All kind of leaves down, dry and crispy, and he didn't make a sound! I can appreciate skill like that. When he drew even with my tree stand, he sees me up there and starts apologising! I told him not to give it a second thought! That he had almost pushed a big doe past me a little bit earlier, and that I liked having other people in the area that would keep the deer up and moving!
 

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That's amazing!!!! I love it. Those are some massive fruits! How nice they keep producing so many years later!! Do you do the daily drench throughout the year or only between fruitings?
Hi HeartlandFungivore - sorry for the delay-I had an operation and am on the mend and home.
I don't drench or water the innoculated logs much between fruitings. After I soak & slam them, I keep the moist/wet burlap over the logs until the fruiting is over. I'll pour a watering can over them daily to keep the moisture level up. That's all. 😎 🎄🍷
 

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I'm sit'n outside Have'n an evening coffee ☕
Looking at the bright evening stars and planets.
We are here living Breathing floating around in space.. it is So Amazing 🌏
 
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