The Mysterious Morel
Where the beloved mushrooms grow – and how to find them
This time every year, Logan Martin sees an influx of visitors to state parks and wildlife areas.
But many of those Southeast Kansans aren’t out to simply relax and enjoy the scenery: Hundreds are actually on the hunt for the prized – and mysterious – morel mushroom.
“There might not be as many morel hunters as there are people chasing game or fish, but there’s almost always a lot of locals out looking in early spring,” says Martin, a bio-technician with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Pittsburg office. “Usually we can tell when the morels are starting to pop up because we’ll see the same pick-ups parked out there every year.”
What makes the morel so sought-after? For one, as many hunters will tell you, it’s delicious – whether sautéed, fried or baked. It’s also typically hard to find (and, therefore, pretty expensive), and that elusiveness lures even more folks out of the house and on the hunt every spring.
“A lot of people are pretty protective over their spots,” Martin says. “If the morel is there one year, a lot of times it’ll be there the next year.”
But, of course, it’s not always that simple…
Want to keep reading about the search for morel mushrooms in Southeast Kansas? Check out the spring issue of Southeast Kansas Living, out now! It includes this story in its entirety, plus so much more. Subscribe now, or contact us to find a newsstand near you.