Safety Tips for Michigan Morel Hunters
Best practices for harvesting mushrooms:
When collecting mushrooms, hunters should pinch them off at the stem, slightly above the soil. This technique minimizes the amount of dirt on the mushroom and encourages regrowth.
Avoid raking the forest floor, because raking has a negative impact on the ecology of the forest and overharvests the mushrooms.
Proper collection encourages the growth of new mushrooms the following year.
Beware of poisonous mushrooms:
Some false morels are poisonous and can cause people to get sick, sometimes fatally. The Michigan State University Extension has identified at least 50 types of poisonous mushrooms (PDF) that grow in Michigan.
Location guide for mushroom hunters:
In forests where there has been a prescribed burn or wildfire, there is typically a larger crop of morels the following year. Check the Mi-Morels map for prescribed burn and wildfire areas.
You can also find maps with suitable ORV trails, public lands available for mushroom picking and types of vegetation, on the Mi-HUNT map application.
Those who wish to search for mushrooms for personal use on state land do not need a permit. Mushroom hunters who use off-road vehicles to get into state forest lands are reminded that ORV use in the Lower Peninsula is restricted to designated and signed trails, routes and use areas. Persons who use state forest lands for camping are reminded they must fill out and post a camp registration card, available at most DNR offices.
Citizens who plan to sell mushrooms are reminded to take advantage of the Wild-foraged Mushroom Identification Certification Program.