One of the things I love most about hunting is slowing down and focusing completely on my immediate surroundings. My senses are totally focused on the task at hand and the forest around me...which sets me up perfectly to find great mushrooms to cook up back at camp!
On a recent elk hunting trip my hunting partner and I found some great mushroom spots and came back to camp with haul after haul of edible mushrooms!
Boletes, like this King Bolete, are one of my favorite mushrooms to eat. Boletes are mushrooms which have spongy pores (instead of gills) on the bottom of the cap.
Many are edible like this Slippery Jack Bolete.
The White King Bolete is delicious!
Scaly Pholiotas are beautiful but should not be eaten.
Fly Amanitas are another 'look but don't eat' mushroom.
These are the famous 'toadstool' mushrooms which have also have a red cap color phase.
I think this is a species of the genus Cortinarius. A nice find but we didn't try eating it since we could not identify it to species.
Lobsters are a great mushroom to eat though! Bright red and peeking from the leaf litter on the forest floor, Lobsters are actually a parasite of other mushrooms. It's favorite host, Short-stemmed Russula, is often found nearby for a brief period before the Lobster begins to consume it.
The Lobster is sometimes consumed by a lucky mushroom hunter a short time after that!
And the prize of the trip...Black Chanterelles. A delicacy for sure.
There are many edible mushrooms available in the woods of north Idaho right now. Don't be afraid to get a good guidebook (we recommend All That Rain Promises and More) and find a great side dish for your deer or elk!