This year the Morel season was challenging for this Morel hunter. As the season kicked off a few weeks earlier than most had anticipated. The Illinois winter was a case of extremes, in fact, for most of the state the residents were left anticipating the winter storms that never came. A warmer than usual winter would most certainly mean an earlier or limited Morel season.
The southern counties experienced an early season with first reports of few Morels sprouting in mid February. Folks in Hardin County were reporting the worst morel season in years, and only a select few were enjoying any success.
As the season began to kick off here in Central Illinois I took to the field with several new items I have been wanting to field test. The first being a new app for my mobile phone called Backpacker GPS Trails by Trimble Outdoors, the same company that makes my favorite hunting application called Cabela’s Recon Hunt. The second being a new knife I had made over the winter. I will save my opinions on both of those items for another posting.
I had the luxury of going out several times in the early season, and hit a few new spots. The morel season here in Central Illinois was very surprising as we got into a mess of morels in all of our regular spots and a few new spots we had been watching.
After harvesting more than 5 pounds of mushrooms over three days on the first weekend, I had a pretty good case of poison ivy on my hands and fore-arms. Morels were growing everywhere we had looked, even in areas that we hadn’t seen mushrooms in several years. Seems this season is going to be more bountiful than expected.
Check the Soil Temperature to see when Morels are popping in your neck of the woods.