Look out…Here they come!!!
You can hear the sound of coolers being packed & maps being unfolded as they prepare for their journey. You can heart the hum of their tires on the highways leading to Northern Michigan. If Paul Revere were alive, he would be riding the hills shouting, “The Mushroom Hunters are coming!” because just like the California Gold Rush of the 1800’s the mighty Morel will soon be luring thousands to the area woodlands & fields in search of the elusive fungi.
For your own safety, you need to be able to tell the difference between a novice & a professional mushroom hunter. You may even want to know which category you fall into. So here are some clues to distinguish between the two:
- Professional hunters smell funny…a kind of blend of bug spray & sunblock.
- Novices just smell like normal people.
- Professionals often have smooth foreheads because they have the uncanny ability to stare at the ground while avoiding trees.
- Novices often sport large bumps on their foreheads from said trees.
- Professionals often lie. When asked about the hunt, they’ll reply, “Nope not much luck yet”, while hiding a huge sackful behind a nearby tree.
- Novices don’t lie, they just annoy you endlessly asking, “Where do you find those things anyway?”
- Professionals can endlessly discuss the locations & conditions of every major find…ie…”Remember the year we found 82 whites by that old elm stump, 100 yards past the creek, on the left, next to the fallen poplar tree that the woodpecker attacked, on a Tuesday? It was cloudy & cool, kind of drizzly, but the bugs weren’t too bad.”
- Novices just don’t have those kind of stories.
- Professionals carry net bags folded on their pockets until they need them.
- Novices walk along swinging plastic or paper bags.
- Professionals are often seen wandering quietly with a walking stick & a compass. They have lunch & water in the car.
- Novices often bop along, sporting an I-pod & an I-phone GPS. They stop often to Google the location of the nearest McDonald’s.
And here’s the litmus test…Look at this picture…
If you think this is a sponge from the kitchen sink…sorry, you’re a novice.
But if your mouth is watering…congratulations!
At the end of the day, it’s not about being a Pro or a Beginner, it’s about being out there in the fresh air, getting some exercise, & enjoying what Mother Nature has provided. Here are a few of the other things you may see on the hunt.
Me…I’m off to check my own secret spot!!!