Where to hunt 2020

Discussion in 'South Carolina' started by davyg, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. davyg

    davyg Morel Enthusiast

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    I'm trying to find some public lands in SC to hunt on without getting in trouble from the powers that be. State and National Parks don't even want to talk about it. Trying to find possible locations from Google Earth is not easy but I am finding possibilities close to restricted parks. Any ideas would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mushroom Hunter

    Mushroom Hunter Young Morel

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    Try the National Forests in the state. You are allowed to pick for personal use as the National Forests are intended for multiple use management, unlike National and State Parks.
     

  3. davyg

    davyg Morel Enthusiast

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    I'm going to make a quick trip over to Francis Marion this week to scout the area. Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
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  4. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    The rules on hunting mushrooms of any kind in national forest vary by area. Some western National forests make people buy permits, usually low cost to amateurs but higher for commercial pickers. I myself do hunt Frances Marion but don't make myslef too visible.
    Shenandoah National Park in VA allows people to pick up to one gallon per person per day, but only recreational.
    The Blue Ridge Parkway which connects to Shenandoah Park allows NO picking of anything unless you have a pre-approved scientific collecting permit.
     
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  5. redfred

    redfred Morel Connoisseur

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    check out the USDA soil survey map and find the pH readings for soils where you are looking it may help...
     
  6. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    The Soil pH has little to do with where one will find morels. I did a detailed survey years ago with dozens of samples from SC to VA to NJ and even some from Idaho. All were sent to my local extension service for a complete analysis. To my surprise all eastern samples were from acidic soil. It had always been told to me that they liked sweet soil. Some soils were only 4.3 pH! I couldn't find anything one thing or nutrient in common that was all or most spots morels had been found.
    A well known local botanist told me they used ti find morels along the south branch of the Cooper river before hurricane Hugo toppled most of them in 1989. There are some huge Poplars still standing in spots along the river, including at Mepkin Abbey. Look for either Tulip Poplars or Ash trees. The same botanist said he had occasionally seen them near a boat ramp in Huger, which is next to the Frances Marion national forest. I looked in that area but didn't see any habitat that I'd wade thru.
     
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  7. redfred

    redfred Morel Connoisseur

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    I agree with you trees are important and maybe the most important. When I read your response it reminded me of an article I read awhile ago. So I decided to find it again I’m glad I did. The article was titled MORELS AND HOW TO FIND THEM by Tim G.(I won’t put the last name Incase my hunch is right) great article. I’m in Maryland and if people ask about morel hunting I suggest they read it. My question then as now is if you are testing pH just where the morel is could it be that the mycelium have run from a more desirable to a less desirable place hence the fruiting?
    The next question would be how far would they run? I use the map as a guide to find a place to start looking and find it helpful but not 100%. If you have some spare time you may want to look at the Huger boat ramp and the Cooper river using the soil survey map you may find it interesting.
     
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  8. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    Yes, that was one of my papers. I've learned even more about when and where one might find morels since I wrote that. I have my own pH meter. In all the samples I took myslef the trees and understory shrubs were the same over a wide area where morels fruited. I seriously doubt the pH changed every few feet. The mycelium is generally thought o associate with the roots of trees and spreads out connecting trees as many other myceliums connected to other tree species do. In a mature forest every step you take can be on over 300 miles of mushroom mycelium. 8 miles per cubic inch!!! Trees can share nutrients and alarms of things like insect attacks thru the mycelial network. I took my own pH readings at a private plantation near Charleston in many places, both where morels were found and where morels were not found. The ph was consistently very acidic. The morels on this plantation were only found every few years. most years there were none, perhpas due to lack of cold winter temperatures. Even in the best year there weren't many, but up until then all field guides said they didn't fruit in the coastal plain. WE proved they did and it backed up the botanist who said they fruited in the Frances Marion area.
     
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  9. redfred

    redfred Morel Connoisseur

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    Thanks for all the info then and now. We all want to learn and best of luck to you in all your morel endeavors
     
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  10. Kevin Jordan

    Kevin Jordan Morel Enthusiast

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    What about game management land?
     
  11. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    I've and many other hunt National Forest Game Management areas. I've never heard of anyone being hassled or even checked.
    If you do happen to go and are stopped by a ranger, play nice and dumb. Don't say you were told it was OK. Even in many places where it not allowed rangers will tell you it's not allowed and let you go if you're nice. There is one park near DC where one ranger is pretty nasty but still lets people off with dumping their mushrroms and told not to do it again.
     
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  12. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    State game lands are another matter. I don't know about them. State Heritage preserves are a different matter. When a club I used to run asked to pick for ID purposes only we had to get a permit, which was easy to get but required us to provide a list of fungi picked to the DNR preserve manager.
     
  13. Kevin Jordan

    Kevin Jordan Morel Enthusiast

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    A permit? Wow. Most DNR around here seem pretty cool but I don't know if they walked up while you were picking mushrooms. This is the first year for me morel hunting. I can think of several Game Management areas that I HAVE to go check.
     
  14. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    In many places the rangers won't hassle you and many seem interested at most, specifically if you say you're just doing it non-commercially.
    There are some though that may not be so nice. We go hunt every fall along the Blue Ridge Parkway with 40 other mycologists and they insist we get signed scientific collecting permits. one year there was slight delay in getting the final signature on our permit. A few of us were collecting anyway and got stopped by a new to the parkway ranger corps. It took 45 minutes and calls to a seasoned ranger before we were let go on with our collecting. The seasoned ranger knew our permit was on the way as usual since we had got one for the prior almost 20 years.
     
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  15. Kevin Jordan

    Kevin Jordan Morel Enthusiast

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    Well, I'm going to have to go somewhere to find some Morels! I can't seem to find any in the woods around me. I really thought it would be perfect.
     
  16. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    What are do you live in? The best habitat in SC is now heavily hunted and a good area can be cleaned out by just a one or a few people.With many out of work due to the virus it allowed more people to look on weekdays rater than just on weekends. Many people from the Clemson Sc and Asheville NC clubs now hunt the good areas in SC. It may be better to wait until the Tulip Poplars in NC and upstate SC start fruitng to look. I think most of the lower elevation morels are over for this year. I had a good year in SC but saw lots of other pressure.
     
  17. Joel G_420

    Joel G_420 Morel Enthusiast

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    Pursue higher elevation and you may be on to something. Good luck!
     
  18. TimG

    TimG Morel Enthusiast

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    You might try the area near Saluda NC. Lots of Poplar woods.
     
  19. Nettie611

    Nettie611 Young Morel

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    Have I missed the Morel season already? I live near Landrum, SC and Columbus, NC boarder? I’ve been looking since March almost every other day, but with flooding, and crazy weather changes I thought it would be about Mid April, basically now, but not having luck. :(
     
  20. Joel G_420

    Joel G_420 Morel Enthusiast

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    The season is over
    Yes the season is over for the year.