Morel Mushroom Season Picks Up in Illinois

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A stretch of warm, sunny weather has many in the state thinking about the morel mushroom season. It’s been a slow start to the season due to unseasonably chilly temperatures in April, but picking conditions should improve soon, says Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“In the central part of the state, folks who are usually out and have had a productive time in the woods already have been stunted a little bit by the cool weather,” he told the RFD Radio Network®. “They haven’t had a bountiful spring as they would like, but we’ve got to hope with a little warmup that things will start popping.”

Although picking is well underway in far southern Illinois, Schweizer expects things to improve for the rest of the state within the next few weeks. Moist conditions so far in April should pay dividends later.

Schweizer reminds that mushroom hunting is permitted at state parks without a license or permits.

“We need to remind those mushroom collectors that at a lot of our state parks and state fish and wildlife areas and state recreation and conservation areas, that it’s also spring turkey season,” he said. “And turkey hunters have dibs on those sites until 1 p.m. each day during turkey season.

“So if you’re planning to go out mushroom collecting, please wait until afternoon and evening.”

The spring turkey hunting season runs through May 10 in the southern zone of Illinois and May 17 in the northern zone.

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