When I first started about 15 years ago that is pretty much what I did is wander and hope. I didn't really have much help. In different areas they grow around different tree's or environments. I have found that for our areas in MO they really do love the Elms and Ash and Apple. At first I didn't know how to tell Elm and Ash from all the other hardwood so I would look under all dead and dying trees I could find. And I have hardly found the little black ones mostly the yellow ones. They are peculiar in where they decide to come up. When I was kayaking down the Jacks I would put in where I saw dead trees and walk up the banks looking. They are easier for me to see looking up the hills. But, I have found them on the hills as well, just not in the quantities and size of the bottoms. Most years here in the hardwood and pine hills of Missouri they seem to get going around the first to second week of April, but this year is different I think. I think they will get going later because of the long winter and really cold temps. It rained here last night and is warming a little bit. I will be off work some this coming week and next weekend so I am going to spend some serious time out looking. My Dad has some significant land here in the hills with about 1/3 in game plots in a valley and the other in some serious hill country with hardwood and pine. I am also going down in the swamp at Mingo. I will let you know what I come up with. So far no May apples or trillium and just redbud and plum starting to bloom. Who knows, lol, but it should start going pretty good in the next 2 weeks. Good luck..