Mushroom Hunting: Motherlode

By Tom Nauman

"Beyond your wildest dreams." That's the only way to describe a new video titled "Motherlode." The title is appropriate, in fact, there are probably half a dozen different motherlodes in the 38 minute film. The filmwork is unique, too, in that the camera was held upside down to get closer to ground level to achieve a squirrel's eye-view of the mushrooms. The footage was uprighted in the editing room.

It is not a "How To" film. It wasn't intended to be. It's more of a celebration of what you might hope to be your best day - times 10! Without giving away too much of the humorous plot, I will mention that the first scene is a meeting of "Mushroomers Anonymous". From there you'll see literally thousands of morels. You'll see white morels, black morels, burn-site morels, clusters of morels and lots of them. You'll even see some morels with the burnt top from frostbite. There are also scenes from the Illinois State Morel Mushroom Hunting Championship in Magnolia, Illinois.

You'll also witness some of what commercial pickers experience in the burn areas. Larry Lonik, who filmed and produced "Motherlode", tells of picking 150 pounds a day, every day, for three weeks! There is even a great scene where you can see the spores floating off the mushroom like smoke from a campfire.

The video sells for $19.95 and is available by calling 800-438-4213 or on the web at It is 38 minutes in length and any five minutes of the tape is worth the purchase price.

Morel Mania will also have them available at the Central Illinois Gone Fishin' Expo at the Peoria, Illinois Civic Center in January; the Decatur, Illinois Fishing Expo in early February; and the Springfield, Illinois All Sport & Boat Show in late February.

Remember, whenever you want to try eating a mushroom you're not familiar with, check it in at least two field guides. If they say it's edible, try just a nibble, wait 24 hours, and if there are no ill effects then consume larger amounts. All past articles are available Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments. Especially if you have ideas or suggestions for future columns: Tom and Vicky Nauman, Morel Mania, RR1 - Box 42, Magnolia, IL 61336, Phone 309-364-3319, Fax 309-364-2960,