Southwest Iowa

Discussion in 'Iowa' started by swi shroomer, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Found a few tonight of good size and variable freshness from seemingly just-popped whites to way gone burned-up yellows. My perennial final morel slope of the year is just starting (I found four 1- to 2-inchers). I've been finding multiple dozens on this bank each season for more than 15 years and I've been waiting patiently for it to start, hoping against hope that it still has some juice. Amazing to me how consistent a producer this smallish area has been for so long. The vein typically runs 10 feet to the north of the tree, 20 feet west, 10 feet east and up to 75 feet to the south. On a nice, gentle 3:1 slope with a perfect variety of ground cover and in shade. North facing. In the long ago, the north vein used to extend much further, up to 40 feet, but this has shrunk considerably over time. Anyway, at least one more trip for me to morel heaven this year yet.
     
  2. newb87

    newb87 Morel Connoisseur

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    Hopefully I will get lucky tomorrow as well, this only being my second year I have a lot to learn and a lot of ground to cover. What would cause the veins like that shrink over time? The temperatures? The soil? I'm really hoping this 3 hour drive pays off for sure.
     

  3. newb87

    newb87 Morel Connoisseur

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    From your years of a experienced morel hunter being a seasoned vet... If I drove a extra hour farther north then the area gave me advice on would my odds be better or wouldn't make any difference? Just have been reading a lot on the farther north the better the chances.
     
  4. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Farther north definitely would be better from what I'm seeing and hearing. I hear they are good in the hills in the Council Bluffs area but maybe getting a little burned up on the bottoms, say like in the area around Lake Manawa, which was hot a week ago, from what I've been told. DeSoto, too, I think is past prime and that's bottomy. I had a direct report that it's real good south of Des Moines. But, yeah, farther north than Sidney is probably a good idea. I really hope you get some. Cruising country roads and checking the dead elms along those can be fruitful as well. I'm always careful to stay within the right-of-way when road hunting, which I used to do a lot of but not any longer.
     
  5. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

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    SW, keep that up and your legs will be like they were 35 again or your knees will fall apart. Its my feet that start getting me, then my knees, hips, etc.... But the old picking fingers will never wear out. You are right on the long season, very little hot weather. They just don't get as big as fast. SW sorry about not being able to hunt with you, I was actually about 100 miles north of you today. Decided to take the day off and go late last night. Funny how you can watch the spring vegetation go backwards as you go north. At about 80 miles the locust blooms were gone and at about 160 the lilacs blooms were back. Decided that was a good place to start. Bigger down your way. Weird how some places are just more "mushroomy". One spot was loaded with elms but only a few morels. This other place I go to always has morels if any elms have died and good conditions. They were there. Also picked almost a half bushel bag on one tree the Conser. Dep. had girdled in another spot. I use half bushel bags to hunt with.
     
  6. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Awesome stuff, kb. No problem on not getting to team up. One of these years maybe it will work out. I really enjoy your descriptions of the landscapes across such a wide region. And "more mushroomy" is such a perfect phrase. I'd love to hunt with half-bushel bags! Keep hoping I'll stumble across a monster patch this year but hopes are fading. Fun times, yes? Hope ye really kill it in the days ahead! Looking forward to more great stories.
     
  7. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    NewB, to answer the question about why I think the vein to the north has shrunk, my guess is that there used to be a couple of other trees to the north that are now gone and the particular stretch that once was in shade and had "better" ground cover now gets too much sun. It doesn't look right anymore. Move to the south just a little ways and all is like it has always been since I've known it -- a good tree, a nice canopy, perfect vegetation, etc. If you were just walking by here early in the season, you might not think it looked that great for mushrooms, But I chanced onto it a long time ago and lie in wait for the morels to come. Lots of hunters have given up on this area by now so I tend to have it mostly to myself late season. I know this because I find morels that have been up awhile that any decent hunter would find right away, so their being there unpicked tells me nobody has been by in awhile.
     
  8. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    KB, I hear ya on the feet, legs, knees, etc. I usually go after work and I work outdoors on my feet all day. My back can get to me from being bent over with my eyes glued to the ground for so long durrring an intense (yet relaxing) hunt. All I want to do is hunt morels and sleep this time of year. Work definitely gets in the way!
     
  9. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

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    Trust me I don't always fill the bags. They are mostly just very functional. Thick plastic for protection, yet perforated with air holes. Fill one about half is best. Plus its sounds old school to measure your picking by bushels. That's old time stuff there, my grandfather and L. Paden are the only two I have ever heard talk about bushels of morels. Hey go north and you get to hunt another week. Get up in those forest areas. You know what you are doing so you will do fine. Beside its just a great drive in the hills. My best luck was on NE. or NW. slopes. I am going to take my father driving tomorrow, he likes to drive the back roads. I don't know if I can get him to drive a 400 round trip to pick some.
     
  10. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

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    I did play dirty with dad, I took my box full up to show him. Knowing it would get him all fired up. At 83 he is running out of years to pick. I told him there was no big difference between sitting in the truck for 6 hours, or staying at home doing nothing and seeing nothing. He can't walk real far anymore, but I think I can still get us some easy ones and see some stuff. The interstates are the boring part.
     
  11. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    I love driving through the Loess Hills. I should get out of my comfort zone, branch out and try a new place or two. That's cool you taking your dad out.

    Leroy Paden. Legendary. Bushel baskets. I'm all stoked to find more morels this weekend. Somethin about it.
     
  12. newb87

    newb87 Morel Connoisseur

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    Found a few today not the jackpot I was hoping but it was something... Looked like they were getting close to being to far gone. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
     
  13. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Glad ye found some, NewB. Nice work!
     
  14. newb87

    newb87 Morel Connoisseur

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    Hey shroomer did the images pop up for you? All I see is the jpg[​IMG]
     
  15. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    NewB: The pics did not post. Sounds like you are getting the hang of morel hunting and learning a lot. Take care.
     
  16. thereaper

    thereaper Morel Enthusiast

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    Thinking tomorrow will be my last day out. Found a bunch this weekend some dry but mostly fairly fresh. Hoping today don't dry them all out!