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Ricomorelo: doing so (or any soaking for a long period of time - i.e., > 5 min) will ruin their delicate nutty flavor. The best way to conserve them is dehydration - this process also removes the undesirable dwellers (insects) and the toxins naturally occurring in the fresh morels. Dehydrating them also concentrates their flavor, which truly comes to light when they are revived in milk or cream. Morels can be kept fresh a max of 2 weeks in a cool dry place. Also rules #1: never eat morel raw and never fry them.
 

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Hey Okie, Yeah I've been out. Staying too busy to post much. Usually working or going to soccer of baseball practice with one of the three boys. So every free minute I get I spend in the woods. I've even flash lighted a few this year. I have been having about an average season. I thought this past weekend was going to be the best weekend of the season. It might have been for some people. I tried 3 of my best spots and someone had beat me to all of them. I knew I should hit them earlier, but couldn't find time. I still managed to find about 3 pounds on Friday, 4 pounds on Saturday and about 15 on sunday. I didn't have a full day to hunt any of those days. I think that farther east in the state is still going strong. My spots closer to OKC area seemed like almost everything was old. It also seemed like the soil was more dry on average. So I think central Oklahoma will still have plenty to pick for the next week or two not that there is widespread moisture and cooler temps. Good luck everyone.
 

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Also I was wondering. Has anyone ever seen a black panther in Oklahoma? I am almost positive I saw one while mushroom hunting near a little rocky creek. I heard something and turned just in time to see a black streak for just a bout a second before it entered into a large hallow log. I mean a huge log, bigger than when I make a circle with my arms and touch my fingers together. I stared at the log for a second and it poked its head out at me few times. Not all the way out of the log but just enough so I could partially make it out. Looked like a cat to me, but jet black and larger. I jumped on the log and beat it with a stick, but to my relief I couldn't scare it out. I then looked at some of dirt on the path I suspected it would have had to been using if it was going to the log and seen a track similar to a raccoon's front paw but bigger. It was dry so I couldn't get as good of a look at the track as I wanted. Later by accident about an eighth of a mile away. I saw some kind of feces that I have never noticed in the woods before. It was jet black itself about the diameter of my middle finger. One longer piece about 7 inches with a shorter piece about 3 inches laying neatly beside each other. I have looked online and both the feces and the print look like they could be from one. Most people believe they are a jaguar once indigenous to the southern plains and the south including Florida. Their range now is basically mexico down through S. America but they were frequent in Arizona and other southern states before the last few were killed by hunters in the 70's or so. Some people think with the growing deer populations they are migrating back, some people think they have been here all along, some say they are just over grown domestic cats, and some think they are just exotic pets that have escaped. No matter the reason if a few of the animals made it here we have more than enough wildlife and forest to suit their needs. The reason some of the Jaguars and leopards over seas appear black is just a rare thing that happens supposedly. There have been no proven cases of cougars displaying this trait. Interesting stuff. I am going to set up a game cam today were I saw the thing go in the log. Online it says they seek large hollow logs and caves to have their young in the spring. if this is the case I should have a shot of snapping an image of it coming or going. We will see.
 

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When I was a teenager in Stillwater my mother and I saw one (or at least a black cat the size of a large dog). To this day we swear we saw a black panther even though many, including my beloved wife, have made fun of us for claiming so. I personally think it may have been a jaguar. I've read that they've caught some on camera in Texas using motion detection cameras. The assumption is that they're migrating from Mexico. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to assume they've extended their range northward.
 

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hahaha, nate, you are one brave man, lol. from my understanding, the furthest north documented jaguar was at the ok/tx border and i'm pretty sure that was in the the 1800s. cougars don't have a melanistic phase so it can only be a jaguar or a jaguarundi. i kind of think it's more likely the latter but you never know. us okies that are in the woods a lot understand that oklahoma has some pretty dense forests. i've only seen one bobcat on foot and they are everywhere. now think of a cat that's rare. plus i know of a ranch in the arbuckles that has game cam photos of melanistic jaguarundis and in s.w. woodhouses a naturalist in oklahoma (1849-1850) he observed more jaguarundis in oklahoma than bobcats. my two cents.
 

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Absolutely there are - http://m.newson6.com/story.aspx?story=15941076&catId=112042

The wildlife department confirms a couple of sightings/encounters a year. Every few years there will be a mountain lion sighting flap around Tish. Personally, my wife and I saw one crossing highway at blue river bridge just north of Connerville. No way it was a bobcat, had a tail at least a few feet long, and way sleeker.
http://m.newson6.com/story.aspx?story=15941076&catId=112042
 

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cougars in these parts (texas oklahoma, arkansas) do not look like your rocky mountain western cougar. They tend to be smaller and darker (can appear black in the shade of forest in dim light). 100 years ago the people around here called them panters and that is how they spelled it, but just a mountain lion. As long as you notice them before they pounce on you, they are really know threat.
 

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Well i think i should have posted before i tried submerging them from Saturday.Actually there all still nice and very firm. Now however i pulled them out of the fridge, and there are 100's of little white larva floating on top of the water? What the heck are they? Do all morels have them? Are they safe to eat, because IDK if there is anyway to possibly get rid of all of them? Now I'm not even sure i want to eat morels ever again? Darn they taste so good....
 

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Discussion Starter #632
Hey ricomorelo Its just alittle extra protein ;) Just think you've been eating all this time and nothing bad has ever happened ;)

As for the black panthers iv heard of people seeing them here in oklahoma and I think the History channel had something on them a few years ago but iv never personally seen one but it wouldn't surprise me one bit. I know we do have regular mountan lions, we got one that comes around western Pontotoc county every year usually From Fall - Spring. Its an eerie sound when your out at night and hear one scream. It will makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Here was something giving some reports about the Black Panthers - http://texascryptidhunter.blogspot.com/2011/04/black-panther-reported-in-pocasset.html
 

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ricomorelo - those are morel embryos ... how do you think shrooms reproduce?? You must have had several females in that batch.
 

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Ironically enough, those little larvae/worms might even be healthier that the morels themselves ;) -Soil temps are now below 60-58F throughout the state (and probably lower under dense cedar patches) and will probably remain so until tomorrow afternoon - Wonder if this would be long enough for the mycelium to fruit a last small batch of fresh greys in Central OK?...mmmh. I doubt it but it never hurts to hope !
 

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Interesting article (based on 30 yrs of field research):
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320705004726#
 

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What county VC? I found 3 small just popped grays 15 mins east of Ada. In a small cedar thicket around an ash tree.... Maybe isolated spot... Hopefully first risers
 

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wow vc, those are surprisingly fresh looking for south of 40. just walked a creek in creek county and around lake keystone and for every morel that was still fresh enough to pick there were probably fifteen rotten ones. maybe got a lb; if i would have been five days earlier i would be loaded right now!!! also found my first large clusters of morels the biggest contained twelve or so morels.
 

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Thanks for the approximate area info vc -- means there's still a glimmer of hope here as I am just North of the 40 and East of the 35.
 
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