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Perfect Harvest Time (NoVa)

Discussion in 'Virginia' started by andnkuhn, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. andnkuhn

    andnkuhn Young Morel

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    I am new to the wild mushroom scene but I have been introduced to/eaten several varieties that I have found to be delicious. I want to start finding my own. I have done some research but I am not entirely sure how accurate it is; which is why I am here. I have heard that around here in northern virginia (Arlington) that morels, chicken/hen of the woods typically sprout when the soil/air is between 40-60 degrees. Is this accurate? Some other sites say first week of April is really perfect time. It is 55 degrees out and rainy, I am itching to check out a few spots tomorrow when the soil is moist, but I could be embarrassingly wrong haha. Does anyone know from experience what they found is the perfect time for us Virginians to start enjoying these wild mushrooms?
     
  2. adawg

    adawg Morel Enthusiast

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    andnkuhn, I live and hunt about 70 miles west of you, and our temps are probably a bit cooler here in the Blue Ridge,
    but the earliest I have ever found morels is March 27 . Those were the small blacks, and that was a very warm spring .
    I normally start hunting the 1st week of April, but normally the 2nd week is the start . Soil temps need to be in the lower 50's . The blacks will come first, followed by the bigger blondes and greys .
    Way too early for the Hens or Chickens, 2 different species , You may find a fruiting of Oysters though .
    Good luck, and let us know what you find !
     

  3. ljbuckles

    ljbuckles Morel Enthusiast

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    Hello Fellow Fungus Finders! I recently moved to Stafford, VA from Northwest Indiana. Back in Indiana we start hunting for Morels about 2 weeks before Mother's Day. When do you typically start hunting around here? I have been hunting for 5 or 6 years now with pretty good success. I will need to re-establish my hunting spots here but that is no big deal...I just need to know the start window. Thanks!
     
  4. adawg

    adawg Morel Enthusiast

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  5. andnkuhn

    andnkuhn Young Morel

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    Thanks adawg for the advice! I guess I'll have to be patient and await a little bit longer. Ugh :)
     
  6. slerom

    slerom Morel Enthusiast

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    Yesterday got into a small mess....wonderful it was. Nice size blacks and w/ the weather actually getting to the perfect zone, should be racking them in mid to late week. Keep all post here in southwestern mountains of va.
    HAPPY HUNTING!!!
     
  7. rocketman67

    rocketman67 Young Morel

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    Im In North Stafford. I have about 15 ac backed up to quantico base. anyone want to come hunt with me? Its never been hunted. Im from N Indiana and haven't been in a few years. 434-477-6674 text me Jay
     
  8. andnkuhn

    andnkuhn Young Morel

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    Rocketman where do you live? Do you know any spots? I'm in Arlington
     
  9. funguy138

    funguy138 Young Morel

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    Hey peoples,

    I'm out in Charlottesville, freshly moved from Oakland California. I was getting a lot of fungi out there and I'm hoping to find a lot here. Don't nobody want to tell me or anyone else where to find anything, but I'm curious how scared I should be of snakes out here. Any hot tips on that front? Also, if anyone is interested in hunting together give me a yell. I have a good amount of free time and I'd love to find some goods. Twasnt138@gmail
     
  10. brandyh

    brandyh Young Morel

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    I'm in Richmond and would love to go morel hunting with anyone in Va....Rocketman, I might text you about meeting up for a hunt soon!! Any luck with anyone yet? I went up to the blue ridge parkway this weekend, but didn't find anything...
     
  11. funguy138

    funguy138 Young Morel

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    BrandyH: It sure seems like after this rain it should be perfect timing now. I'd love to go out any day this week. I'm going to try and half hide my phone number here so that I don't get weird internet spam on my phone:

    (six 17) - four two n!ne - 2888

    Anyone going out around Charlottesville or Richmond drop me a text or a call.
     
  12. funguy138

    funguy138 Young Morel

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    I found two morels today. Pretty slim for the amount of time I spent, but it was of course nice to be out in the woods. I think I came too late for the spot and others had picked it over.
     
  13. adawg

    adawg Morel Enthusiast

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    Found my first patch of blonds yesterday . Took a lot of walking and hunting to find though . I know we have
    people here hunting them commercially for sale to restaurants, so you have to get way of the beaten trail .
    I read an article in Garden and Gun where 1 restaurant here buys 100 lbs per week from locals .
    But they have started to pop here in N.W. Virginia . Good luck all !
     
  14. pauliep

    pauliep Morel Enthusiast

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    I've gotten about 4lbs so far in my early spots, but I'm worried about this cold weather. My best spots are up high and don't produce until after the first week of May, typically. I'm concerned they will be stopped by the cold temps. Anybody have any information on how cold effects them once they begin making their way up?
     
  15. greenspringcabi

    greenspringcabi Young Morel

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    I have about 20 acres on the blue ridge in NW Va and would like to have an experienced mushroom hunter describe how best to look for morels. Over the years I have found morels, usually at the edges of the woods, but finding fewer and fewer now. My woods are mostly poplar. I am at about 1200 ft. I have also found oysters and false chanterelles. Can anyone provide me on hunting advice? Are the morels out now? How long do they usually stay around? Thanks in advance.
     
  16. homeskillet

    homeskillet Morel Enthusiast

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    Greenspringcabi: Morels grow differently depending on the time of the year. Early in the year the south and southeastern sides of the hills will come up first along with black mushrooms. Later in season they get hot on the northern facing hills. I have my best luck finding them in patches around dead tress that have been down for a few years. The more rotted into the ground the better. Look up and down the edges of the downed trees, they should be within a 3-4 feet from the trees. I have better luck towards the top tier of hills although I also find them in the back yard around pine trees oddly enough. I have also found them growing off of a rock and I can’t explain how that could ever happen but I stared at that mushroom for about 20 minutes in amazement. There are also specific trees they tend to grow around ash and I’ve heard Elm but I don’t know what it looks like. The main things that’ll help you is once you find one don’t pick it for a while. Stare at it and get your eyes adjusted for a while. Literally take ten to twenty minutes focusing on finding others around you, because they usually grow in patches. Make sure you focus away from the mushroom and then make yourself find it a few times to get used to focusing on them. I recommend taking a child or shorter person as they have a little better scope being closer to the ground, trust me. You need to look about 5-15 feet ahead of you instead of straight down. Once you start finding them you’ll notice the kind of areas they grow in. I’ve found them in the wide open woods and in thickets so you have to spend time in the woods finding your patches and then get them every year before other people do. As for how long morels are out it depends on the type of winter and weather/sunlight the woods are getting along with the temps. They basically stay up for a coupe weeks but you want to get them in that first 10 days or so that they grow.
     
  17. greenspringcabi

    greenspringcabi Young Morel

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    HomeSkilet MANY thanks for the advice, much appreciated. I'm going out today to try my luck! I'm going to look on the south side as you suggest. Need grand kids here, but they are all in Oregon so I may have to rent some. I'm thinking to do a bit of visualization before heading out. I think that is part of my problem.