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Looking for an activity that will get you and your family outdoors this spring for a fun event that can also be a competition? One that will provide a delicacy to eat or a profitable product?

Consider hunting for morel mushrooms. They're elusive and considered a delicacy by many. If you sell them, you can command around $15 an ounce. They're highly sought after since they're tasty and aren't typically found in stores.

Seeking them in the wild is sort of like an Easter egg hunt for adults, although children can join in the action as well.

The Missouri Department of Conservation wants to teach you techniques to find morels and other mushrooms. Late April is the ideal time to hunt for them, although they can be found into May as well.

MDC is holding a free webcast at noon April 21.

MDC says you'll learn about varieties of edible mushrooms found growing wild in Missouri, where to find them, and how to prepare them. Also get important information on how to identify and avoid the many poisonous kinds of Missouri mushrooms — including the deadly False Morel.

MDC scientist and mushroom expert Malissa Briggler will share her expertise and insights on mushroom hunting and how to find and identify edible and poisonous mushrooms, according to an MDC news release. She also will offer cooking tips and answer participant questions.

Register in advance for the free, live "Wild Webcast on Mushroom Hunting" at bit.ly/MDCmushroomhunting. Participants will be emailed a registration confirmation and instructions for joining the live webcast.

Morel hunting is a family tradition in Missouri and for good reason. It gets you outdoors, moving your body and getting the thrill of the hunt. And if you're lucky enough to find some, you don't need to do anything more than saute them in butter for a delectable seasonal treat.

News Tribune

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