How'd you find your "spots"

Discussion in 'Arkansas' started by jarodmorrison, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. jarodmorrison

    jarodmorrison Morel Enthusiast

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    I know every seasoned morel hunter has their "spots" that they check every year. This will be my 3rd season to hunt and I've yet to find a morel. I know the last 2 seasons haven't been very good in NWA because of late frosts and either too much or too little rain. However, this season seems to be shaping up well. I'd love to hear how others discovered their secret spots. I think it will give me some motivation to keep looking!
     
  2. albert

    albert Morel Enthusiast

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    I hunt mostly in the hills. I learned to recognize trees by their bark. This really helps. Instead of just ambling through the woods and hills, I stop and look around for trees that are more liable to have morels under them (my experience is ash, wild cherry and water oak are the best). I might spot four or five trees from where I am standing and then I plan a path to get me by each tree the easiest way. In these hills you can wear yourself out just ambling through the woods. When I approach the trees I get on one knee and try to look "across the ground" instead of straight down at the ground. When I do this I see the profile of mushroom sticking up out of the leaves. When you look straight down they are harder for me to see because they just blend in with the forest floor. I like to think there is a method to the madness. LOL.
     

  3. jerry ludwig

    jerry ludwig Morel Enthusiast

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    Like Longbeard I learn to recognize trees by their bark. But I also look at the shape and color of the trunk and the shape of the branches and how secondary branches sprout. For instance ashs branchlet come out opposite each other and are often somewhat stubby compared to other trees. The brances are not crocked like oak or hickory that has a somewhat similar bark. In deep forest the ash trunk often has a curve in it and often is dark because of moss growth. Ash often grows more abundantly on the end of a hill before it drops off but can be scattered through the woods. I frequently find ash associated with red cedar that often grow in bands that follow where limestone layers are in the Ozarks. I've found many mushrooms around distressed or dying cotton wood. They are predominantly in lowlands and along streams and have very deeply furrowed bark. Some people sware that sycamore produce the most , they may in some areas but I've seldom found morels around them unless they are distressed (like a stand of big saplings that was just bush-hogged). I don't find saturated soils conducive to morel growth but the soil has to be moist. I've looked a lot of great ash stands that had frequently saturated soils (in SE Ark) and have not found morels. the same stands in well drained soils in the Ozarks would be an excellent place to find them. I seldom find morels in oak/hickory forests, unless ash is present. I follow Longbeard's suggestion about getting close to the ground. I also carry a walking stick with a carved morel on the end to constantly keep a search image in my mind. Good luck!
     
  4. jarodmorrison

    jarodmorrison Morel Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the tips guys. After 2 years getting skunked I finally found a few this year. I've marked the spots on my GPS and hopefully next year I can hit them in the prime time.