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ST. LOUIS – More Missouri counties found morel mushrooms this week.

Morel mushroom hunting season is in full swing. It usually starts in late March and goes until early May.

Most hunters won’t share the locations of their best hunting spots, but there are some Facebook groups dedicated to the pursuit. The Missouri Morel Hunting Facebook page says morels begin fruiting when the soil reaches consistent temperatures above 50 degrees.

Their map posted on Friday at about 7:30 a.m. shows more morels have been found since their last post on Wednesday. On Wednesday, morels had already been reported in Missouri’s southwest corner. Others had been found in Douglas, Pulaski, Howell, and Ralls counties. The updated map posted on Friday showed morels had been found in Laclede, Cedar, and Scott counties.

Before setting off into the forest, make sure you know how to correctly identify morels. Misidentifying and consuming toxic mushrooms can cause anything from mild stomach issues to organ failure or even death! There are several mushroom species in Missouri, including the big red false morel, which are considered toxic and not recommended for consumption. Consult with field guides or a professional mycologist to be completely confident in species identification before consuming any mushrooms.

Browse MDC’s mushroom field guide for photos of the more common and noticeable fungal species in Missouri. Click here for tasty recipes using Missouri’s wild mushrooms!

Missouri Department of Conservation

The Missouri Morel Hunting Facebook page will have another update on Monday.