When spring comes around, McCall, Idaho, is revitalized! Days are longer, warm days are in the forecast, and the melting snow soon causes McCall’s natural wonders to spring out of hibernation. The ultimate marvel of springtime features the same calmness and diligence of a long hike but comes with a take-home pay-off – namely, morel foraging! These wild mushrooms are renowned for their earthy, nutty, and subtly beefy flavor and are among the world’s most expensive mushrooms. Since morels cannot be farmed and must be foraged in the wild, expert mushroom hunters keep their foraging spots entirely under wraps. So, needless to say, the high price tag on morels comes with the territory – literally! And with morels in abundance in McCall this time of year, you can embark on a foraging adventure all your own. Check out Whitetail Club’s tips on how to get the most out of your next morel hunt!

McCall, Idaho’s Morel Season

Morel season varies based on many factors, but soil temperature is the most important metric to look out for. Morels begin fruiting when the soil temperature four inches below ground reaches 55ºF and usually stop fruiting when soil temps warm to around 62ºF. Since McCall sits at a higher elevation, morel season in this part of Idaho tends to arrive a little later than lower altitude areas. So, you’ll have the best luck finding morels in late April through early May.

Finding Morels in McCall, Idaho

This is the ultimate question! Morels prefer conditions that are moist with warm soil. So, look for them near the driplines of trees – the part of the ground directly under the tree branches’ outermost edge. When the tree canopy gets wet during McCall’s spring showers, most of the excess rainwater falls along this perimeter of the tree, and morels tend to grow there because of all the extra moisture on the ground. Morels also have a pattern of appearing on the edges of a wooded area, where trees thin out to open fields. If you’re out morel hunting and you’ve found even just a single morel, you’re in the right direction! Since morels grow in scattered groups, there are likely others nearby your initial find.

Identifying a McCall Morel

An essential part of morel hunting in McCall and in general: you must know what you’re looking for. Though McCall’s morels vary in size and come in various colors (yellow, tan, grey, grey-black, brown, and olive-ish), these mushrooms all share several characteristics, which will allow you to separate them from toxic look-alikes. The two most identifiable markers of a morel mushroom are the cap’s attachment to the stem and the mushroom’s empty interior. Check out the photo below for a visual representation of a true morel.

Harvesting McCall’s Morels

When you find and correctly identify a morel, harvesting it is simple: just cut the stalk one inch below the cap and stow it away for safekeeping! Another important part of harvesting morels here in McCall is to remember that morels beget morels! When you pick a mushroom and carry it away, you will also be carrying away millions of spores that can create more morels. So, Whitetail Club and fellow morel lovers recommend using a mesh bag so the morel’s spores can be sprinkled around the woods as you harvest, leading to more morels next time you’re out foraging!

Morel hunting in McCall, Idaho, can be a luxurious adventure in nature, and Whitetail Club’s signature lifestyle lends itself to many more exclusive experiences in the wilds of western Idaho. Experience the life of a Whitetail Club member by scheduling a Discovery Tour of Whitetail Club. Contact Whitetail Club’s real estate sales team at 877.634.1725 or realestate@whitetailclub.com to experience the incredible benefits that come with membership. Follow our adventures on social media by exploring the #DiscoverWhitetailClub tag and following @WhitetailClub on Instagram and Twitter.