Mushroom Season is here, tips and tricks for a better hunt


Why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he’s a fungi.

Mushroom season is nothing to joke about.

Spending the weekends hiking through the woods, bag in hand and granola bar in their back pocket, many people hope for a glimpse of the edible goldmines.

Eli Major a naturalist at the Brown County State Park told the Democrat that the park is not off limits for ambitious mushroom hunters who plan to cook the fungi.

“You are permitted to collect mushrooms in the park, but just not for commercial reasons,” Major said.

He said that the morel season typically starts when the ground temperatures reach degrees in the low 50s, commonly seen in late April and May.

Major said that mushroom hunting is the only permissible reason people are allowed to hike off the trails, but they are still not on horse trails.

Major grew up in rural southern Indiana and has been mushroom hunting since he was a child. He said that the best way people can find mushrooms is by looking for elm, ash or oak trees or in sycamore groves.

“If you use a mesh bag, the spores can shake out onto the woods to propagate more mushrooms,” Major said. “Another way to propagate is to keep the water you use to wash them in. Instead of just letting it run down the drain, keep the water and pour it in your yard.

“With the right conditions, people can have mushrooms in their own yard.”

Brown County State Park is not the only public area people are allowed to mushroom hunt. Indiana Conservation Officer Joe Tenbarge told the Democrat that Yellowwood State, Hoosier National and Morgan-Monroe State forests are also available for mushroom hunting.

“The only thing you can hunt (in the parks) is mushrooms; you can collect fungus,” Tenbarge said.

He said that because they are public property, he advises people to visit them early if they hope to find many morels. Tenbarge said that one thing people should take into consideration is that Brown County also has many nature preserves such as Ogle Hollow, Steele, Ten O’Clock, Trevlac Bluffs, Youngman Woods and Whip-poor-will Woods Nature Preserves. Tenbarge said all hunting is against the law in nature preserves.

“Bring plenty of water, know where you are, plan your hunt. Bring a snack and water and be familiar with your surroundings,” Tenbarge said. He added, “The leaves are off the trees still, so that should make it easier to find your way back onto the trails.”

Private property is also off-limits unless specifically stated otherwise by the homeowners.

“You can hunt them on private property if you have oral or written permission by the homeowner before hunting,” Tenbarge said. He added, “If you get permission, that’s you that got permission, not all your friends.”

He said that they often run into cases where people can be accused of trespassing because one person in the group had permission by the homeowner, and brought a group of people who was not granted approval.

The Community Foundation and Kim Robinson will be hosting the annual mushroom sale on May 24 and 25 in the IGA parking lot. It will be open from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. on May 24 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until supply runs out on May 26. Current prices are $60 per pound, $30 per half pound.

Robinson told the Democrat that people interested in ordering pre-sale for the event can text or call her at (812) 345-5047 or email Shirley Boardman at [email protected].

She said that the proceeds from the sale will go toward local charities, after the supplier is paid for the mushrooms. Buyers will be able to choose what local charity receives their leftover money so that organization will receive it directly.

Major told the Democrat that the Brown County State Park will be hosting a corresponding Morel Mushroom Festival with guided hikes, arts and crafts and presentations by Invasive Species Specialist David Mow. He said that all information will be updated on

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