Rare mushrooms now in peak season in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It's a lot of work to hunt for Morel mushrooms.

"I've not been lucky this year. I have tromped several miles into the woods for not many Morels," said Marty Lee, a Morel mushroom hunter.

For many folks around Oklahoma like Lee, it's worth it.

"It's a chance to get out in the woods after the winter and the woods are waking up, the birds are singing,” Lee said.

Morel mushrooms are a rare find since they're only in season for about three to four weeks out of the year.

Right now, is prime season for the fungi.

“I've seen them selling this year from $25 to $50 a pound," Lee said.

While some might be skeptical of eating a wild mushroom, experts said this particular variety is easily recognizable.

Also, connoisseurs have nothing to worry about as long as they're prepared the correct way.

"Generally, wild mushrooms should not be eaten raw. It's not that you'll get seriously poisoned, but you might, you know, cooking foods improves the digestion process basically,” said University of Central Oklahoma Biology Professor Dr. Clark Ovrebo.

Ovrebo said the biggest concern isn't in eating them but more in how you find them.

It's illegal to collect them in state parks, and you also don't want to trespass onto private property.

If you have any questions on how to hunt morels, give Ovrebo a call at the UCO biology department.

However, don't expect hunters to spill their secrets about where to find them.

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