edwardss123 Posted September 30, 2022 Report Share Posted September 30, 2022 So I'm fairly new to mushroom hunting and although my question mostly pertains to hen of the woods it's kind of a broader question for all types. How do you know what to keep, what to say is just too old, and conversely what is too young? Is there someplace that lays this out for each species? I know they are highly variable but it's probably my most frustrating aspect of mushroom hunting as a new guy. Puffballs seem to be one of the only ones that's seems straightforward to me. One of my neighbors has hunted mushrooms for a long time so I've been kind of following his lead but would like more confirmation and I'm finding it hard to do so. I don't like finding a mushroom and looking at it and saying to myself that's looks too old when that might not be the case. Hen of the woods is probably the most frustrating which made me post this. I have been unable to find anything that states specifically if the outer edge of the fronds are turning brown that's too old or if they are looking white that's too old, or that's too thick, or big, or just anything. I hate to waste any of it if it's actually good stuff. I harvested two fairly large size hen's the other day and ended up tossing a bunch of it just because I wasn't sure. Same day I picked those I left a beautiful smaller one and then went back a couple days later and it hadn't grown at all and was now looking rough so I left it. Is there a way I could have known that small one wouldn't have gotten any bigger and harvested it that day? It was small but perfect and now I'm bummed. Or honey mushrooms, my neighbors contends only take them when very young. Is that true? If not, where's the cuttoff? If they seem bug free and not brown on the inside are they ok? Or what is the correct criteria you judge they are ok? The number of honey mushrooms I've left behind just on my property (which isn't big) makes me sad. Maybe that's just the way it is in mushroom hunting and if so, I get it. Hunting any other critters is much the same way. Just hoping to limit any loss that can be avoided. Hens, Chickens, Morels, Honeys, many others could benefit from a listing of what attributes to look for and either harvest or leave behind. If you know something is inedible ahead of time you won't take them and that only helps propagate them for later harvests with better timing. Thank you for any help Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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