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A Beginner's Guide to Mushroom Hunting

Coastal Farm & Ranch

Published on November 27, 2017 3:07PM

Coastal Farm & Ranch


Matt Jacobs is one of those guys who enjoys everything he’s doing. By day he’s an assistant warehouse manager at Coastal headquarters. On his days off, this avid outdoorsman enjoys fishing, hunting, catching crawdads, and taking home his favorite trophy: a bag full of mushrooms.

"I pulled in a 35-pound Chinook a few weeks ago," Matt said when asked about his recent fishing trips. "But when I’m out in the forest or even on the river, I’m always on the lookout for groups of mushrooms."

Matt grew up in Albany, Oregon, played basketball in high school, studied music and ichthyology (fish science) in college, and took a few classes on mycology along the way.

"Mycology is the study of mushrooms," Matt explained. "Those classes stuck with me."

Matt is the Coastal mushroom expert with years of experience hunting mushrooms with names like cauliflower (a great substitute for noodles when making beef stroganoff), lion’s mane (delicious with butter and minced garlic), and Chanterelle (the hunter’s mushroom found in coniferous forests under logs and ferns). He knows how to find them, identify them, collect them, and prepare them for dinner.

When it comes to newcomers to the art of mycology, Matt advises that you play it safe.

"If it has gills, it kills," Matt said with authority. "You don’t want to eat the wrong mushroom. And even if they aren’t poisonous, some people are allergic. Just remember to be careful."


Autumn is Mushroom Season

Chantrelle with ferns

Mushrooms can grow year-round, but the best time of year is in the fall, right after the first couple of big rain storms. To find and collect your own mushrooms, Matt has a few suggestions:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings. When you’ve found one mushroom, you’ll likely have many more in the nearby vicinity. If you come back next year, you’ll likely find mushrooms there again.
  • All you need is a sack, knife, and a small brush to clean off your mushrooms.
  • Dress for the weather. Just because you’re not hunting elk doesn’t mean you cannot get cold or wet.
  • Stay safe. Hunt for mushrooms with a buddy, pay attention to where you’re going, and avoid crossing private property lines.
  • Check your local regulations for permits to harvest mushrooms on public lands.

When in Doubt, Toss it Out

As Matt points out, there are some great looking mushrooms out there. The Amanita Muscaria (pictured below) can put you into the emergency room.

"During older times, this mushroom was made into tea and given to people who were terminally ill. This is one you don’t want to mess with."

Amanita Muscaria mushroom


Find Mushroom Hunters in Your Area

You’ll find information on permits, edible guidelines, and events at the mycological group in your community.

In Oregon

In Washington


Start Your Mushroom Hunting Trip at Coastal

You’ll find the outdoor gear you need, whether you’re hiking in the forest or floating down the river. You’ll also find knowledgeable folks like Matt, who know a thing or two about hunting, fishing, camping, working in the elements, and conquering the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.



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