Hunts for mushrooms in Europe are as old as European culture itself. Celtic and Eastern European mushroom pickings for the White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), French truffle hunts, and English forays for Witch's Eggs, the immature stage of the stinkhorn mushrooms in the genus Mutinus date back into some of the oldest mushroom hunts in Europe.
And as with other customs, European mushroom hunting came to America along with European colonists. As mushroom hunting in America advanced, a few species of mushrooms became popular, such as morels, bradleys, oyster mushrooms and chanterelles.
- First, beginners need to ask the help of an expert. Many local forays are held all over the Southern Appalachians and experts may identify some edible mushrooms for the novice forager.
- Second, beginners may want to forage on their own. Only the most absolutely edible fungus such as morels and oyster mushrooms with no look-alikes whatsoever should be sought after in their own particular seasons.
- Third, a mushroom hunter may want to try looking for a species with other edible look-alikes, such as a golden chanterelle. This helps you learn how to pinpoint a species without any accidents.
- Fourth, a mushroom hunter, with their gained experience, may now want to hunt mushrooms with poisonous look-alikes. More care must be taken in collecting this fungus.
- Finally, an expert mushroom hunter who has successfully foraged for mushrooms before may take difficult to identify fungus such as edibles in the genus Amanita and also mushrooms with only certain edible growth stages, such as in the Elegant Stinkhorn.