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Thread: ak morels?

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    Member mud dawg's Avatar
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    Default ak morels?

    could anyone that has experience hunting morels up here help me out? i have heard they should be more plentiful since the funny river fire last year. is this true? when i was a boy i hunted them in the mid west in the spring (about now). is it the same timing up here? the ones that i have found up here look very similar but a little different/darker than the ones i remembered and i have been hesitant to eat them.
    any input or pics would be greatly appreciated thanks.

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    I have not found big patches of them like you might be accustomed to, but I have found a few over the years. They seem to like soils that are recently disturbed. I have even found them in my back yard after an excavator churned up the soils. I also found them while out camping in June on the Gulkana River. Not sure why they like to grow there though.

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    Member mud dawg's Avatar
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    thanks. any idea why they look a little different? i would think a morel is a morel . i know there are yellows and greys .the ones i found here a few years ago looked like older darker yellows. i may be getting all fired up a bit early. guess i'll go fishing !

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    Member mit's Avatar
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    I found 40 in my backyard last year!
    Tim

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I find them in June in older burn areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mud dawg View Post
    thanks. any idea why they look a little different? i would think a morel is a morel . i know there are yellows and greys .the ones i found here a few years ago looked like older darker yellows. i may be getting all fired up a bit early. guess i'll go fishing !
    Maybe you found a false morel. I think they are called beefsteaks or something like that. Check out some pictures and read up on how to tell them apart. Sometimes I find those false morels around my house too, and to the best of my knowledge they are not edible. And they could potentially be very poisonous. Don't take my word for it though. I am definitely not a fungusologist (or whatever they call someone who studies fungi)

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    I got some morels 3rd wk of June near Glennallen. And the in Sept a whole gob of shaggies. Both delicious and now I will be on constant look out for them both.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Member mud dawg's Avatar
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    yeah that's what i was thinking too. i have found a good number of them over the years. i have also read every thing i can find and looked at pics.
    they look close to the ones i know are good. but close just aint cuttn it. might pick a couple this year and see if i can get them identified.
    some times i think im over cautious about things up here like cook inlet weather/tides,snowmachine trips solo way out on the refuge,deep water crossings on the quad,running the rapids in the river boat,eating only things i KNOW are good . but then again i seem to have lived long enough for my beard to get grey. so maybe im just being smart?

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    Member ergoman's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure false morels caps don't connect to the stem at the bottom. True morels do. Google will tell you for sure. I'm pretty sure I've read that Russian and Asian crews come to AK every year to collect them commercially and don't enjoy company on the burned over mushroom fields. Did see a kid by the Russian river a few years ago with a sack full. Mothers day in the Midwest is the usually the beginning, second week of June is when I saw the kid.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergoman View Post
    I'm pretty sure false morels caps don't connect to the stem at the bottom. True morels do. Google will tell you for sure. I'm pretty sure I've read that Russian and Asian crews come to AK every year to collect them commercially and don't enjoy company on the burned over mushroom fields. Did see a kid by the Russian river a few years ago with a sack full. Mothers day in the Midwest is the usually the beginning, second week of June is when I saw the kid.
    I think they already live here. And yeah, you may have to compete with them.

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    The morels you will find up here will generally be smaller than the ones you find down south. i found some false morels a couple years ago and something just didn't seem right and when i cut one in half i noticed it had a pith instead of being hollow like a normal morel. When i got home i looked it up on the internet and turned out they were beefeaters. According to the internet they probably wont kill you but they will definatly make you sick.

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    I was wanting to go and look around the area that got burned from the funny river fire last year. I'm not sure where to look or what type of ground to look for them. I know there is a lot of black spruce forrest which is kind of swampy or would it be better where it there would be more birch? cottonwood? white spruce? What is the best type of ground after a burn like that? Access is also an issue because of the remoteness, any suggestions there? Thanks in advance for any advice.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    What is the best type of ground after a burn like that?
    My impression has been that morels do best on well drained soil, so a black spruce bog wouldn't be ideal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd look in a mixed forest with some degree of drainage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    My impression has been that morels do best on well drained soil, so a black spruce bog wouldn't be ideal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd look in a mixed forest with some degree of drainage.
    You're on the right track Brian with this advice. I've had my best success both in Alaska and the upper peninsula of Michigan amongst primarily coniferous trees on South facing slopes. Don't shy away from STEEP slopes either. The Funny River burn area should produce great quantities for the next few years.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    I am planning on heading down to the Funny River fire late this month and again maybe around the 6th of June. Any thoughts on when these mushrooms will pop. Probably depends on rain, sun, etc. I have had limited success around Anchorage over the years, a couple here, a few there, usually early-mid June. I am looking forward to some quantity to fill the belly like we got every year in Iowa. Cheers!
    "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles." ~Doug Larson

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    My impression has been that morels do best on well drained soil, so a black spruce bog wouldn't be ideal. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd look in a mixed forest with some degree of drainage.
    Huh, that's funny. Because the only places I've found morels in alaska is either on clay soils (poor drainage typically) and in areas of discontinous permafrost. But that could just be dumb luck on my part. I am definitely not an expert in mushrooms at all. I am just surprised by your recommendation because it doesn't square up with my observations.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    My guess is that the Funny river fire area is going to be overrun with mushroom hunters this year.
    There is another thread going on here about it as well.
    No doubt if they are there someone here will get a few of them.
    I know I will post up if I find any. Granted the location will be absolutely confidential.
    Just as I would do with any serious berry patch etc. I won't tell others where they came from.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    My guess is that the Funny river fire area is going to be overrun with mushroom hunters this year.
    I don't think it will be overrun. Sure, there will be plenty of folks out on the hunt for shrooms, but on refuge lands access will be a limiting factor and there won't be any commercial harvest.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Yep, access will be the kicker. Most of the really hot areas of the fire are difficult to reach. Sure, the areas along Funny River Road will get hit, but if it takes a hike or a boat to get there, I figure there will be plenty of elbow room. My parents are heading down this weekend to check it out.

  20. #20
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I don't think it will be overrun. Sure, there will be plenty of folks out on the hunt for shrooms, but on refuge lands access will be a limiting factor and there won't be any commercial harvest.
    I think the access issue will be what makes it seem overrun. There are only so many access points into that area and so many parking spots.
    The refuge is huge but when you head out there to hunt Moose or Sprucehen I almost always run into other hunters even midweek nowadays.
    Then again who knows what it might be like. Only time will tell.
    One thing I do know is that there are some trails and other areas that are harder to access or are not as widely known. Maybe that will help some of us have better luck and find fewer Morel hunters.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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