Shroomin' Sticks, Accessories, and Lore

Discussion in 'Iowa' started by shroom god, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Having done this literally since I was old enough to remember, probably like many of you I've developed a few rites and rituals and through experience and observation over 50 seasons my mind has also conjured up some "lore."

    My most prized shrooming-associated possession is a maple stick that I found in 1991 amid a massive bounty of morchella deliciosa while taking my daughter (now 30) out .Another stick, of hickory, seems to possess special power in its capacity to lead me to a few mother lodes each season. Another, osage orange, was given to me by my neighbor in 1996, a retired farmer who was killed in a tractor accident that year.

    Does anyone have special sticks like this, bags, or even rituals? Or am I eating the wrong kind of shrooms?!
     
  2. shroomtrooper

    shroomtrooper Morel Connoisseur

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    I have a special knife that it just doesn't seem right if I do not have it along. Also, the guys at work made me a cardboard gun I hang up every year by my dehydrator. They thought it was funny I would actually take time off to go mushroom hunting.
     

  3. shroomtrooper

    shroomtrooper Morel Connoisseur

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2017
  4. stcroix rob

    stcroix rob Morel Connoisseur

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    Got me a beaver stick that followed me outta the BWCA Years ago. On the practical side a stick is handy to keep the ticks off. When walking through the grass I sweep it back & forth in front of me, kinda like a blind person does, thus knocking ticks off the grass, same thing when crawling through thick brush, I tap the branches out in front. That stick goes every where with me!!
     
  5. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Good to hear of ya again, OldElm. It's been a long year. That sounds like a pretty sweet stick with a few seasons on it. Is the BWCA decent for shrooms? I've never been that far north, but guessing the soil is rocky and red and it's pretty piney. But pines can be sweet a year after a burn. Montana was crazy that way a couple years ago. Had to have a permit and also split 'em when you picked 'em, and the daily limit was a 5 gallon bucket. It's a<strong> totally </strong>different world out there. The morels are darker and just don't have the same flavor as ours in the Midwest.
     
  6. shroomdawg

    shroomdawg Morel Connoisseur

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    Shroom God, normally I'll grab a Sycamore stick on one of my 1st trips out and if it's a good one I'll keep it for the season, at the end of the shroom season I throw it away. :wink: Maybe one day I'll find a stick worth keeping after the season.
     
  7. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    shroomtrooper, that pic is making me want to drive to Missouri where it's on. I could...I'm only 150 miles due north of where the action is down there. Drying shrooms is a seasonal ritual for me. I started that back in 1980--just laying them on a wooden bookshelf and open-air drying, turning them once or twice a day. They dry nicely. I've been drying a few that way ever since then and putting them in an antique 2 quart Globe fruit jar, and it's about 3/4 full now. About 10 years ago one of my kids was with me on a hunt and found a "Siamese" shroom, conjoined with two caps. I dried that one. I'll try to post a pic of that stuff in a day or so.

    On the matter od drying, last year I wanted to overnight some fresh ones to a friend in Massachusetts and FedEx wanted about $100 for it. Blew me away. So I dried the suckers, open air method, and sent them, no problem. They freshened right up when soaked for an hour. She saved the water to season soup, too.

    Morel hunting, caring, preparing, and savoring is a religion to me.
     
  8. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Man, ShroomDawg, sycamore makes for a good stick--and a good stick is mighty important in countless ways. I scored a real decent sycamore stick a couple years ago on the north side of the English River in NW Washington County--real sturdy and straight but it's pretty thick. It was too good to just leave behind. I've had to work it a bit--strip it a bit and pound down some little nubs up toward the handle end so they didn't mess with my concentration. It took some work to get that one in shape, and it's still a bit on the heavy side but it's loaded in the Jeep with some others and ready for action. I have 7 different sticks and each sort of "talks" to me during the course of the season. Certain days are just right for certain sticks. Nature talks to us and I hear it when I take the time to listen.
     
  9. shroomtrooper

    shroomtrooper Morel Connoisseur

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    I use the dehydrator but found just turning on a fan with morels on table actually works better, taste a little better when re hydrating. Unless you use them for a cream sauce, then dehydrating works fine. Sounds like your sticks have a chakra, not in body but in sense. Which one have you had the most success hunting morels with, or haven't you kept tabs.
     
  10. shroomtrooper

    shroomtrooper Morel Connoisseur

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    Putting dried morels in glass is the only way to do it. They look so good, I think its disrespectful if you dont.
     
  11. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Chakra indeed, either they or myself are aural or sensory extensions of one another, or perhaps both. It's powerful stuff. I seriously feel the energy of the stick. Of course, these are "chosen" <strong>mushrooming </strong>sticks--sticks of high karma who serve a purpose beyond that of the ordinary clutter of the forest floor. They are not mere random sticks! Among the billions of counterparts that fall and turn to humus, these are the "select." You know what I', sayin'.... I suspect your sticks exude such force as well, for you have selected them. The mere intersection of the conscious (you) with the unconscious (the stick) creates a quasi-spiritual energy conducive to the purpose for which you selected that stick; in a very real sense you have imbued it with part of your consciousness, hence it attains chakra.

    On the matter of the most productive stick, it pains me somewhat to answer; it's a long, thin hickory (with thumb-smoothed butt-end), and a long story. But it was broken last year during early season...

    :cry:

    Having taken my daughter and her boyfriend out, I'd lent him the stick to use. Somewhat disengaged from the spiritual experience of the hunt, and excessively prone to using it for lopping off dandelions in the pasture en route the timber, I imparted the essential tutelage to the effect that "the stick was meaningful, important and must be respected." A reminder was necessary along the way, and adding "Don't break my stick, damn it."

    Well, I might as well have been talking to a dead elm. Upon the occasion of our first productive tree he was manic. My daughter and I were finding and picking large grays by the dozens, but apparently his eyes hadn't adjusted to the vegetational nuances and contrasts of the forest floor deep in those woods. While flailing and thrashing about with the stick among mayflowers I heard a "CRACK" and "oops"...he had broken the stick about one foot up from the end!

    I cursed and rushed toward him, grabbed the stick from his hand, bent to pick up the end, and exclaimed "I told you not to break my stick! DAMN!"

    He apologized, meekly, looked down, clearly forlorn.

    "Damn it, Tyler, sticks are important--and this was my best one! You need to listen and get serious and get with the program if you're going to hunt mushrooms with me. This really pissed me off."

    "Uh, um, I'm really sorry man"

    "Well, damn it, listen then!" Glancing and pointing down toward the area where I'd picked up the broken end of the stick, I commanded, "Now focus, dude. And pick those right there. Slow down and <em>look</em>!"

    I took that stick home and repaired it with wood glue and three strips of duck tape--black, yellow, and red--for extra measure. It looks MEAN. It's seasoned. Battle tested. It's going to go the distance this year. I doubt it will go with me on the first outing though. It's more of a mid-to-late season stick.

    Now that I think of it, maybe that was the problem: in my impulse I failed to listen to the stick last year and broke it out too early. Perhaps it broke itself in response to my failure to listen to it?

    Hmmmm...these 'shrooming sticks acquire a mind and personality of their own.


     
  12. shroomtrooper

    shroomtrooper Morel Connoisseur

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    Well better wake up the sticks because its almost showtime, starring the elusive Morel. I myself do not have a stick because I take my dog most of the time and have to keep a leash handy, Black Lab, he would want to play fetch. My lab has learned to lay down and not move when I find a morel, probably senses the excitement in my voice. I think I will keep my eye open for one, could come in handy.
     
  13. woodsguy13421

    woodsguy13421 Morel Enthusiast

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    Shroom God..I use a very different stick I bought years ago..I got it in Arizona from a old indian guy along side of the road.Its the heart of the sorrel cactus it very strong and light and never breaks,
     
  14. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Dang, ""...the heart of a sorrel cactus." That's a far-out source I'd never have considered! That's downright SACRED, you know? I need one of those! There can't be too many shroomers with such a stick. In fact, that may be unique. Would you say it's "lucky"?

    shroomtrooper, a lonnng time ago I used to be able to smell morels just like a trained hog smells truffles. Once the word got out, some adults would take me along just to sniff them out, seriously. After hauling the equivalent of a garbage bag full out of a place one time, the guy promised he'd invite me to a huge mushroom fry. I whiffed out all those shrooms and--SURPRISE--never got the invitation. Got treated like a dog--which brings me to yours.

    Dogs can be trained to sniff anything out, right? So, you've got me wondering if that's your secret up there. Hmmmm... imagine breeding a bloodline of registered "shroomdawgs." Certain breeds would be better at it than others. A lot of folks would buy those.
     
  15. woodsguy13421

    woodsguy13421 Morel Enthusiast

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    Yes Shroom..I bought my parents each one also..They no longer hunt.yes they are very lucky sticks..Good Luck this year.I live 15 minutes from lake Red Rock.Im ready to go out soon
     
  16. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Good deal, woodsguy. I checked eBay and saw some sticks allegedly made from the ribs of dead saugaro cacti. They are hollow with a "lattice"-like structure. Does that sound similar?

    Red Rock is awesome space. I'll be checking a few local Washington Co. spots tomorrow and heading down to southern Keosaqua Co. Looking forward to getting out then coming back and hearing how people did. Good luck there.
     
  17. rx40107

    rx40107 Young Morel

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    What is your gut feeling this year for morels? Is their adequate moisture?
     
  18. woodsguy13421

    woodsguy13421 Morel Enthusiast

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    Shroom God..These are soild but very light like bamboo but much stronger..Good Luck in your hunts..Ill keep updating also