- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Morel mushroom hunters across Jasper County say they’ve noticed the fungi popping up earlier than usual this year.

Ron Cook, the administrator of the Missouri Morel Hunting Facebook page, tells The Joplin Globe (https://bit.ly/1qbabDb ) that his followers have already reported sightings in the state. The Kansas City-area resident has created a map with the reports, which indicate a progression line of morels appearing from St. Joseph to St. Louis.

Ike Wortman, a hunter from Webb City, says that he found 63 morel mushrooms in a 30-by-30-foot area on his family’s farms in McDonald County. Skylar Outt, a hunter from Reeds, reported a find on her first day hunting in Jasper County.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says prime morel habitat is near dead or fallen trees or along river bottoms.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, https://www.joplinglobe.com

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