Morel Mischief?

Discussion in 'Maryland' started by ohdoepel, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. ohdoepel

    ohdoepel Young Morel

    Hey ya'll!

    It's my first season hunting, so I'm a total newbie. I live in eastern Washington County, and have been hunting in my back yard for the past week or so, even though it hasn't been quite perfect conditions (excited I guess). We're approaching the necessary temps, and though the surface duff is dry, it seems like the soil has a fair amount of moisture to at least check.

    So I've been going to what I think is good morel habitat - a small grove of tulip poplars near a creek with good, slightly filtered light. I've seen mayapples and jack-in-the-pulpit around as well.

    In areas that seem just perfect, I've noticed the duff has been disturbed - scraped to the side, some perfect little volcano shapes, some just obviously kind of ruffled. I haven't found anything that looks like the remnants of a stem, but what are the chances that morels have been fruiting but being eaten by something? If its a deer or some wild animal, how early do I have to be to beat whoever may be munching on them? Can I deter this in any way?

    Another note - my neighbors (whose woods connect with my woods) have free range chickens and guinea hens - have these foragers been known to eat morels?

    Any advice is appreciated - I'm so anxious to find one of those suckers!
  2. redfred

    redfred Morel Enthusiast

    Hey ohdoepel,I have never seen signs of animals eating morels but have read that turkey,deer,squirrel,chickens,box turtle and others will. I have found morels that the bugs seem to enjoy as much me.As far as the scraped duff that could be any of the fowl or squirrels and I don't know how you could stop them short of death. It's still may be early so keep looking. Also it sounds like you are looking in the right kind of place but I would try and find more that are similar. There is a spot near me that I would say is ideal for morels that l have searched for years and found none. When you do find them take note of the surrounding and look for similar .. One thing for sure if you don't look you don't find.. Good luck...