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I am hard up to find any forum where there are more than 1-2 people that post about mushroom hunting in northern illinois/indiana/etc. and would be happy to post my finds/info hoping that others would be interested in the same.

So I'll just start by reporting my recent finds thus far. FYI I am located near the Palos/Orland park area in the southwest suburbs of chicago.

Hens- found my first of '15 around 10 days ago in a parking lot with a grass section of a lot of oaks. Most of all of the hens I've found up til now have been quite exposed(lots of access to sunlight). It was a bit larger than a softball and was beautiful and growing up.

About 2 days after I found 2 more hens, a little smaller than a basketball, in the woods tucked next to a big white oak that was hugged up to a wash. Was a little smaller than a basketball and in perfect condition.

Went out 2 days after previous find and had a heavy rain. Scouted another lot with lots of oaks in a grassy area. Found 1 small baby, and then 4-5 waterlogged hens about the size of a basketball. They must have been in a low lying area during that rain b/c they look like they would have been good if I found them prior.

Chickens- I have found more chickens early on this season than I have in any year since. Found both Laetiporus cincinnatus and Laetiporus sulphureus . First few were found after the first 2 days of heavy rain that we'd had in awhile. Seemed like everything from chickens, hedgehogs, chantrelles, black trumpets, etc popped up everywhere. First few Laetiporus cincinnatus were found near the base of a large oak in a grassy area with lots of oaks. Other recent chickens were found literally everywhere around the Palos area.

Chantrelles have been on and off following rains. I have my best luck finding a network of washed on a gentle slope, and depending on amount of rain I locate the elevation and walk parallel. Especially good finds in between washes in the mini "islands created. I'm not sure of the plant's id but I have found this very thorny shrub that seems to go hand and hand with washes to be an indicator species of good chantrelle areas. I'll try to post a pic.

Found about 2 lbs of black trumpets at my only known trumpet spot in the end of august. However, I've returned to check on it several times since and hadn't spotted any more yet.

Hedgehogs have been rampant and I haven't been able to identify a pattern in finding them. I've just been returning to known spots with great luck. If you do locate a good spot, remember it, bc I generally find them in the same locations year after year.


Good luck to everyone and I'll try to keep you posted. I hope I'm not being too long winded. I'm just trying to help others out and will give any specific info to anyone who asks, except for my spot locations obviously. Though I'd be interested in trading some good hen/hedgehog/chicken/chantrelle spots for a few good oyster spots. I'll work on posting some pics as I'm used to uploading them instead of using a url to do so.
 

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Photobucket works about the best, just use the HTML Code

<a href="http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/mushroomjack1/media/IMGP0024_zpsf2qjoicw.jpg.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
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<a href="http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/mushroomjack1/media/IMGP0023_zpsb6f0k2hj.jpg.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">
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Found my first ever giant puff ball near Elgin last evening. Also found a small hen that needs more time. I came across a homeless man about a half mile into the woods living in a tent. I'm sure I freaked him out. I just ask if he was ok and he said yes.

<blockquote>View post on imgur.com</blockquote>
<blockquote>View post on imgur.com</blockquote>
 

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Found 1 nice hen this morning near Joliet. Found one that was way to small, about the size of a tennis ball. I thing it's about ten days to two weeks to early, but soon there should be lots! How long will it take such a small hen to grow?
 

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Well I picked the exact same one I took a photo of on October 25th last year. So I knew exactly where to go. It was over 2lbs. I made a video of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=143&amp;v=tTnLAiLgVS8
 

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http://s359.photobucket.com/user/danmando87/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse4dqlhbl.jpg.html%5D%5BIMG%5Dhttp://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo39/danmando87/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpse4dqlhbl.jpg%5B/IMG%5D%5B/URL%5D
 

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Saute' them lightly and freeze them, juice and all. When you go to cook them, cook them frozen. at least that works well for me.
 

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Huge hens found last two days and stocked up suppliers have about 40lbs left I will sell at a fair price. 15 to 18 per pound.. more to come soon I still have spots to check. If your looking for chicken of the woods please contact me at [email protected] put your orders in before seasons over. I don't yet know how to add photos but will send apon request.. Happy hunting. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" /></a>
 

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Lol, last year, I saw a giant hen grow right next to this one oak tree, in my back yard. I've had other types appear as well, besides the morels I successfully grew. Powder-puffs in the front yard &amp; an assortment of different kinds of mushrooms as well. :wink:

I should definitely do some good mushroom hunting, before the snow, starts coming down. :-o

Happy hunting everyone! :mrgreen:
 

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Hello Mattolsen, I live in the OP/Palos area too. Just getting started but if you ever want to hit the local parks, feel free to hit me up at [email protected] I've grown up eating foraged hen of the woods my whole life (originally from Ohio) and I figure it's time to get off my butt and find my own. Always been an avid hiker and now that my kids are a bit older, I finally have the time to hunt around the parks here. Drop me a note if you are ever going out. Can also trade homemade spirits for foraged mushrooms if you ever want to trade.
 
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