The allure of mushroom hunting

 Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Mushroom hunting season lasts for only a couple weeks each year. Sales can go for as high as $35 a pound.

Mushroom hunting season lasts for only a couple weeks each year. Sales can go for as high as $35 a pound.

It’s that time of year again when mushroom hunting is all the rage.

In Missouri there are three main types of mushrooms that are commonly sought after.

These include oysters and lion’s mane, which appear in the late fall, as well as the infamous and highly prized morels.

It’s the morels that appear in the early spring, but they tend to have a rather brief and specific growing season.

“The season is already dwindling,” said Elsberry resident and mushroom lover Shelly Ligon. “The window for getting mushrooms only lasts a couple of weeks.”

Ligon and her family purchase their mushrooms from local morel hunters rather than searching for them on their own.

“We’re scared of snakes so we don’t go in the woods,” said Ligon.

The short growing season helps explain the passionate pursuit that morels are generally subjected to courtesy of the region’s more dedicated mushroom hunters.

“They’re kind of like Girl Scout Cookies,” said Ligon. “You can only get them once a year so there’s a real demand.”
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