Mushrooms springing up in Illinois
license required to collect morels
Send a link to a friend
[MARCH 31, 2005]
-- A gourmet delicacy of spring is popping up in wooded areas, and
mushroom hunters have more freedom to search Illinois state parks
and recreation areas for mushrooms. Hunting mushrooms can be done
for free in Illinois, with no license required; however, some
"Hunting for mushrooms is a great
family activity," said Joel Brunsvold, director of the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources. "Morel mushrooms in particular are
highly sought after, with good reason. They taste good, they are
free, and available to anyone with the tenacity to look for them."
No license is required to hunt
mushrooms; however, the following regulations are in effect:
Collection of mushrooms is allowed in state parks and recreations
areas but is prohibited in any area designated as a dedicated
that are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural
Resources and offer spring turkey hunting will not be open for
mushroom hunting until after 1 p.m. daily, to ensure the safety of
both types of hunters.
hunting area restrictions apply through May 5 in the southern
turkey hunting zones and through May 12 in the northern zone.
- Some sites may also close
equestrian and popular hiking trails where turkey hunting is
The Illinois Department of Natural
Resources also wants to emphasize to mushroom hunters that there is
no license required to search for mushrooms on state property or any
[to top of second column in this article]
"The idea of a mushroom license may
be somebody's idea of a joke," said Tony Mayville, director of land
management for the department. "We want to underscore, however, that
this is not a requirement. There is absolutely no such license. This
is a case of the best things in life being free."
Rules that are in place pertain to
safety, as spring is a time when Illinois state parks are popular
for a variety of activities. The rules have been crafted to maximize
enjoyment for the largest number and variety of park visitors.
"We want to make sure that those out
searching for mushrooms, as well as those hunting turkeys, or
horseback riding, or hiking, have a pleasant and safe experience,"
said Galen Westerfield, chief of Illinois Conservation Police.
"These rules are established to make sure that all groups can have a
quality experience in Illinois state parks."
For those who have not hunted for
the morel previously, the mushroom is sought after because it is
unique flavor. It can be spotted most frequently on the ground in
wooded areas among fallen forest leaves, on spring days when
temperatures range between 60 and 80 degrees. Morels grow as tall as
Department of Natural Resources news release]