Illinois Outdoors at
RulesIllinois Outdoors at

Prairie State Outdoors Categories

Top Story :: Opinion :: Illinois Outdoor News :: Fishing News :: Hunting News :: Birding News :: Nature Stories :: Miscellaneous News :: Fishing :: Big Fish Fridays :: Big Fish Stories :: State Fishing Reports :: Other Fishing Reports :: Fishing Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Fish :: Fishing Calendar :: Hunting :: Hunting Reports :: Hunting Tips, Tactics & Tales :: Where to Hunt :: Tales from the Timber :: Turkey Tales :: Hunting Calendar :: Big Game Stories :: Nature and Birding :: Birding Bits :: Nature Newsbits :: Critter Corner :: Birding Calendar :: Stargazing :: In the Wild :: Miscellaneous Reports and Shorts :: Links :: Hunting Links :: Birding Links :: Video ::

Big Buck Stories

1960s :: 1980s :: 1991-92 :: 1992-93 :: 1993-94 :: 1994-95 :: 1995-96 :: 1997-98 :: 1998-99 :: 1999-2000 :: 2000-01 :: 2001-02 :: 2003-04 :: 2004-05 :: 2005-06 :: 2006-07 :: 2007-08 :: 2008-09 :: 2009-10 :: 2010-11 :: 2011-12 :: 2012-13 ::


Flathead's Picture of the Week :: Big bucks :: Birdwatching :: Cougars :: Dogs :: Critters :: Fishing :: Asian carp :: Bass :: Catfish :: Crappie :: Ice :: Muskie :: Humor :: Hunting :: Deer :: Ducks :: Geese :: Turkey :: Upland game :: Misc. :: Mushrooms :: Open Blog Thursday :: Picture A Day 2010 :: Plants and trees :: Politics :: Prairie :: Scattershooting :: Tales from the Trail Cams :: Wild Things ::

Illinois hunting and fishing

The streak of 80-plus-degree days in late March has brought out morel mushrooms at an unprecedented date. Longtime mushroom hunters say this late-March emergence is the earliest for the fungus to surface in central Illinois. Photo by Matt Buedel.

Morels popping up early in central Illinois

March 24, 2012 at 08:48 PM

Peoria Journal-Star

PEORIA — To the list of unexpected sightings in an unseasonable central Illinois spring, add another item: morels.

The forest fungus made an unprecedented appearance this week along with some farm equipment on rural roads and blossoms on trees that by now usually only have buds.

Following a string of record-high temperatures ushering in the first day of spring, the brain-shaped mushrooms popped up in small numbers a few weeks to a full month ahead of traditional times.

“The earliest I’ve seen them or heard of them being picked is March 28 . . . so we’re a good week ahead of that,” said Tom Nauman, the purveyor of Morel Mania in Magnolia and organizer of the Midwest Morel Fest.

Now Nauman, like other mushroom hunters who anticipate an unpredictable season, is looking to the weather forecast.

The early bounty that has arrived brought with it variables that could cut short the morel harvest. Now that the fungus has emerged, a second heat wave could end the season prematurely.

“As long as we don’t hit 85 degrees for three or four days in a row, we should be all right,” Nauman said.

But the possibility of a hard freeze also exists. That scenario could damage morels that have already surfaced, though it wouldn’t necessarily equate to a season-ending phenomenon.

“Even though it’s early, it looks like it’s going to be a fair year if not a good year,” Nauman forecast. “Now we’re getting the rain, and it’s cooling off, so that’s a good thing.”

If that climate continues, the season could even be prolonged. Nauman even said he was confident there would be mushrooms still around for the morel hunting competition in conjunction with the Midwest Morel Fest on May 4 and 5 in Ottawa.

“There will still be mushrooms there, so I’m not worried about that,” he said. “Right now, it depends on how much rain you get and what the ground temperature is.

“It could get hot or cold, and nobody knows.”

Matt Buedel can be reached at 686-3154 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

No mushrooms today..I guess I need to use mushroom decoys.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/28 at 08:29 PM

Comment Area Pool Rules

  1. Read our Terms of Service.
  2. You must be a member. :: Register here :: Log In
  3. Keep it clean.
  4. Stay on topic.
  5. Be civil, honest and accurate.
  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Log In

Register as a new member

Next entry: Farmland prices still rising

Previous entry: Bear cub photo opportunity shut down at Deer and Turkey Expo

Log Out

RSS & Atom Feeds

Prairie State Outdoors
PSO on Facebook
Promote Your Page Too

News Archives

February 2020
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Copyright © 2007-2014 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Some Rights Reserved
Original content available for non-commercial use
under a Creative Commons license, except where noted.
Creative Commons