Spring is finally here. And so are the morels.

At last, the morels are popping! It's been a long winter and a late spring bloom, but the morels are here in Northern Illinois.

The little grey morels have been popping for about a week now. And we just found a couple yellows yesterday. But morels need warmth and moisture. So if Mother Nature will give us a little rain in the next day or two, the yellow should explode. For now, if you plan to go morel hunting this weekend, concentrate on low wet areas— swamp edges, wetlands, creek banks, and river bottoms. If we get a little precipitation, then hit the woods.

Here are a few tips:

- if you find one, crouch down and look around you in all directions. Where there is one, there are usually more.

- if you’re finding morels, turn around and backtrack from time to time. By looking from a different angle, you will see the ones that may have been hidden on your first pass. Trust me, it works.

- there is a reason that short old men and little kids make great mushroom hunters— they are close to the ground and move slow. Even if you’re not short, walk slow and look carefully.

- it helps to carry a stick to move branches and leaves out of the way as you look. They're not always sitting out in the open screaming "pick me!"

If luck is on your side and you score, get some great morel recipes at DanStefOutdoors.com.

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