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      How can you spot the desired morel mushroom?

      Each Spring they show up and in big numbers here in the North woods.

      "Morels are most delicious and the prize of the north," said Stephen Tracey, a morel hunter.

      Morel mushrooms can cost up to $45 per pound at the store, but here if you can find them, you can pick them.

      "People who morel hunt keep it close to the vest," said DNR spokeswoman Debbie Munson-Badini. "It's not like they grow everywhere, so people are a little secretive."

      So secretive that our expert wouldn't let us say where we picked nearly two dozen. All we can say is that we're in the middle of the Hiawatha National Forest near a burn site, which is where these favorite fungi like to grow.

      "If you look for an area where there was a wildfire or prescribed burn, typically the year after that is when you're going to find a nice crop of morels," Badini said.

      Morels also grow near Aspen and Birch trees. In the U.P., there's no shortage.

      A good way to look for the morel mushroom is to be low on the ground. They are very hard to spot so you want to be eye level. Use your hands, don't use a rake because you want to preserve the soil composition where they grow.

      Once you find one, the rest are easy to spot.

      "They have a cone-shaped cap, and they have a thick stem," Tracey said.

      But don't be fooled by false morels. They're similar, but the imitators are only connected inside the cap so it looks like an umbrella hanging off.

      So why the secrecy? Tracey says he doesn't mind if more people pick, but he'd rather not blow the whistle.