Late April is a peak season for morel mushrooms in western Missouri, to the delight of people who like to cook them and find them in the outdoors. Mushroom hunting morale can suffer when the weather and woods seem perfect, but no morels are found. So what do you do?

Keeping it fun for children (and restless grownups) increases the chances of finding morels, while it also helps connect them with other wonders nature offers.

Here's some tips from the Missouri Department of Conservation to make the trip more enjoyable and hopefully profitable:

  • Plan the trip as a spring walk to see what is growing outdoors. Don’t make finding morels a make-or-break success point of the outing. Make them a bonus. But take along a collection sack just in case.
  • Pack snacks and drinking water. Take a break in scenic spots to enjoy snacks. Sometimes sitting still is when focus zeros in on morels, which have colors and shapes that let them seemingly hide in plain sight on a forest floor. A snack and time to explore nature can make the outing a success for children, regardless of morels.

Just a reminder...The number one secret to finding morels is to make looking for them part of a good walk, and then keep looking from now into early May. Good luck!