How To Look For Morel Mushrooms? (Personal Experiences And Tips)

No wonder the search for mushrooms is called “silent hunting”. Today we will discuss tips and helpful guides on how to look for morel mushrooms.  An experienced mushroom picker is never in a hurry in the forest. Entering the forest, first of all, look around, and carefully study the edge of the forest. Even if other mushroom pickers have passed ahead, try to carefully examine the traces of cut mushrooms and determine:

  • where the mushroom is hiding today,
  • on which side of the tree, at what distance,
  • the degree of its maturity, and
  • abundance. 

And only then proceed to the search for mushrooms on the basis of thorough intelligence.

how to look for morel mushrooms

You may also like our guide Best Time To Find Morel Mushrooms.

How To Look For Morel Mushrooms?

I will discuss My Personal Experiences how I look for morel mushrooms during the hunt and what precautions I take.

minimum number of mushroom pickers

Like most experienced mushroom pickers, I don’t like the numerous neighborhoods during the search process itself. Most often I had to pick mushrooms in the evening, after work. So I perfectly recovered from work, put my thoughts in order, found great solutions, while my eyes “darted” through the bushes, and my hands “groped”. Sometimes he came to the forest on a bicycle. But at that time I did not encounter other mushroom pickers and calmly “created” my search.

time and season of morel hunting

An experienced mushroom picker always knows what weather and season, what forest to go to. Each mushroom picker has his favorite “places”. The richest time of the year for mushrooms is the end of summer and autumn. Particularly impressive are the 3rd waves of mushrooms: on trees and stumps, around trees and in the grass, and flying leaves. As soon as the first mushrooms appear on the market, I rush to clearings or logging. As a rule, especially on weekdays, I find a lot of mushrooms and devastate my “plantations” by the weekend, if “time” allows.

places for morel hunting

But most of all I like to collect morels in the spring. With the onset of warm weather before the appearance of wildflowers and grass, I go to the logging site, which has been quite numerous in recent years. I carefully examine all the nearest old, fallen trees (birches), until I find morels or traces of carved mushrooms. As a rule, I quickly find intact families, study how they grow, and carefully cut them off. For about 2 weeks (April) I enjoy an abundance (at this time of the year mushroom pickers are rare in the forest) of morels. I clean the morels from debris, as a rule, in the forest, and at home, I wash them well, finely cut it and wash it again, as slugs like to climb inside the morels. Then I boil, remove the foam, drain the water and wash the mushrooms. And then I fry or put them in plastic bags in the freezer. In this form, I eat at any time of the year.

looking morel locally

At any time of the year, starting from June, I pick mushrooms, and without going deep into the forest, often on the outskirts of the city. Regardless of the number of mushroom pickers, I am always with mushrooms. I like to pick mushrooms in the territories of rest houses, recreation centers, sanatoriums, pioneer camps, etc., even in vegetable gardens! I just pick mushrooms that many do not take, calling them “grebes”, rows, for example. And rowing, by the way, is the most numerous mushroom of the end of summer and autumn. It is the rowing that grows with “witch loops”, when in “one sitting” you can pick up half a bucket of excellent mushrooms (bluish).

In summer, I often look into the spruce forest (landings) in the depths of the forest and cut off the summer honey agarics on wet stumps. Of course, it is much smaller than the autumn one, but it is very fragrant and it is enough for a family for dinner.

I collected morels

Today I collected the first morels this year. In the south of the region, in a birch forest among a windbreak, rotten birch logs are half-grown into the ground. Examination of the edges did not give anything, it is useless to look into the spruce forest, but in the depths of the forest on the lawns covered with last year’s leaves, I saw familiar yellow convolutions. As I expected, these were the first young morels. I think that in a week you can go on a “quiet hunt” for morels, but there are already a lot of flowers in the forest, which means that the grass will soon rise, and then there will be only problems with mushrooms. Because of the weather, morels appeared much later.

I looked into the forest again. As I expected, there were very few morels. Moreover, only under the nuts among the foliage, because there is grass all around. It’s a pity, usually, I didn’t have enough baskets or even two for an abundance of large morels. And here… a few…

Read out Best Way To Store Morel Mushrooms.

Where and when to collect morels?

where and when to collect morels

It happens that the snow has not yet melted, and people are already heading to the nearest meadow or forest in search of “happiness”. But nevertheless, everywhere and massively “for morels” mushroom pickers come out in late April or early May. That is, now is the time.

Morels grow along roads and on the edges of mixed and coniferous forests. In our village there are young plantings of pines, all the inhabitants call them “Christmas trees”. So, in these very “Christmas trees” you can make a good profit from morels in good weather

Look for morels in lowlands and ravines these mushrooms love high humidity and soil rich in organic matter, as well as earth with a pronounced alkaline reaction for example, on the site of former fires, you can find whole colonies of these delicious mushrooms with a delicate taste.

One more thing: did you know that the morel is a conditionally edible mushroom? This means that it should be collected only in proven, reliable places, far from “civilization” – highways and industrial production, because the body of the fungus, like a sponge, absorbs all the “muck”. Well, you get it, right? Be careful with this, because any mushrooms can be easily poisoned, including early, spring morels.

We also prepared guide Polish Mushroom Picking Guide.

Safety precautions for collecting morels in the forest

safety precautions for collecting morels in the forest

Despite the fact that the forests are near you, even in them, you can easily get lost. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, when collecting morels, you need to follow a number of simple rules:

  1. You shouldn’t go into the forest alone. Even if the mushroom picker goes alone, he must inform his friends and relatives about his intentions and the approximate time of return. It is also worth discussing the approximate route.
  2. You need to take with you the minimum, extremely necessary supply of things – matches, some food, water, a compass, and a knife.
  3. A mobile phone will not be superfluous either. It must be fully charged at the time of leaving the house, with enough money in the account.
  4. If an elderly person or someone suffering from any disease goes to the forest, it is necessary to take medicines with you, even if, according to the mushroom picker, the time for taking them will come after returning from a quiet hunt.
  5. From clothes, it is better to choose something bright and catchy. A great option is things with reflective elements.
  6. When moving through the forest, it is important to remember some features – broken trees, flowing streams, and so on. This will help rescuers more accurately determine the location of the mushroom picker if he does get lost.


I have shared my personal experience of how to look morel mushroom. What safety measures you can take during morel mushroom hunting. Best of luck for morel hunting.