Sportsmens Report
September 15, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Sportsman’s Report: Tune up your tackle boxes Sportsman’s Report: Notification from the Dept. of Public Health Sportman’s report: Tucson plan to explore Sportsman’s Report: Labor Day weekend and Gravenstein apple pie Sportsman’s Report: Sport Expo opens at Sac. Sportsman’s Report: Campfire wood reveals fungal wonders Sportsman’s Report: Salmon season opening May 1 Sportsman’s Report: Some upcoming events this month Sportsman’s Report: Updates on fish, hunt, camping and skunks Sportsman’s Report: Pan seared salmon, pig and venison Sportsman’s Report: Crab season opens Sportsman's Report: Will rain bring mushrooms? Sportsman’s Report: Just Christmas ideas Sportsman’s Report: Christmas list for hunting and fishing Sportsman’s Report: Conditions of surf and waves Sportsman’s Report: The mother of all rock and gem shows Sportsman’s Report: More of the gem and bead show Sportsman’s Report: Fishing the Bay, Delta boat launches and turkeys Sportsman’s Report: Nutria and hogs feral and introduced species Sportsman’s Report: Make camping reservations Sportsman’s Report: Driving the back roads Sportsman’s Report: Updates on hunting and fishing Sportsman’s Report: The fish are biting Sportsman’s Report: Summer is here Sportsman’s Report: End of skiing season Sportsman’s Report: Annual grandpa day at Giants baseball game  Sportsman’s Report: Deer opener, fishing update and research camping Sportsman’s Report: Late season camping 2018 Mushroom opener Sportsman’s Report: Rock club show Sportsman's Report: Tips on making camp fire Sportsman’s Report: Wire wrap and crabs Sportsman’s Report: Grandma and cast iron Sportsman’s Report: Gift ideas, mushroom, fishing and hunting updates Sportsman’s Report: Reviewing highlights Sportsman’s Report: The mother of all rock, gem, and fossil shows in Tucson  Sportsman’s Report: Deer tags and jetty clean-ups Sportsman’s Report: Turkey hunting starts Sportsman’s Report: Ides of May, 2019 Petrified wood Sportsman’s report: How long to grow an abalone? Sportsman’s Report: The authentic fish taco Sportsman’s Report: For beginner rock hounds Sportsman’s Report: Cattle stampede and Civil War Days Sportsman’s Report: Fishing, shell fish and at the Presidio Sportsman’s Report: Camping with a kid Sturgeon’s Mill and first SRMGS Cow Mountain’s first time hunters Fishing, berries and deer hunting Fall scents coming Activities for Labor Day Last rock journey report Rock hunting trip Exploring natural geological beauties

Sportsman’s Report: The first Bolete foray

By: Bill Hanson
October 26, 2018

The air at Salt Point State Park is the first thing that hits you when you step out of the truck, that and the beauty and serenity of our north coast. The salt air perfumes your senses as you begin to hike up to your favorite spot. It is always such a treat to see the old friends growing there, a favorite Huckleberry patch there, the curve in the trail up ahead and an old Redwood log with new growth sprouting from the fallen parent. The sounds of Highway One become muted as you gain distance and the surf becomes a sedate white noise as the individual wave sounds merge. That feeling of being in church comes to mind when the stillness of the deep forest pleasantly overwhelms your senses. Up ahead is the big Huckleberry thicket you have had success with in the past. Approaching slowly, while checking the deep saw grass for mushrooms in the many pathways, occupies your heightened sense of excitement. You stand at the edge and peek around, then gently spread open a spot with your walking stick to peer inside, nothing growing. Passing around the whole thicket yields zero, time to move on. 

An hour into the foray and your basket is empty, a few in-edibles and a stately, pale green Amanita stands silent watch over the forest, the warning to the unwary, ‘Eat me and you die’ is loud and clear to visitors. Passing under a grove of Redwoods their scent of Cedar envelopes you, although much lighter and less potent than ‘fragrant’ Cedar, it is comforting to be with these giants. 

Stumbling over an old snag your first Bolete of the season is waiting to be found by you. It is so perfect it takes your breath away. The brown cap, much like a baked dinner bun, sits atop a big, white vase that is attached to the mycellium underground. Taking time to check around, lest you step on another mushroom, you then approach. It is perfect! Time for a quick photo before you harvest the little beauty. A few taps on the cap reveal a solid interior, not yet ravaged by bugs. The small flies that love this mushroom attack as soon as the fungus emerges from the duff, if they find it before you do. A careful slice under the base cuts the mushroom from the mycellium. Some think this harms the underground living thing, it does not. Think of the mycellium as an underground apple tree, no more harm is done to the tree than picking an apple. The real issue is the spore; a mushrooms job is to drop spore so that the species lives on. One way to help that along is to whittle the dirt off the base, this drops many spore clinging to the mushroom. Another way to spread the spore is to carry it in a loose weaved basket, as you bound along like little Mary Sunshine the spore scatters along your path. 

Back at the truck you have half a dozen King Bolete, about three pounds, a very good day. There is still the ocean as you unpack your picnic, the salt air, the quiet trees. In all an excellent day to spend in the natural beauty. 

To take a look at the King Bolete, do a Google image search of the same. For a recipe search Porcini, Italian for little pig. To learn more about this prime edible, go to Mykoweb. To find one and learn the craft of a responsible mushroom hunter, join one of the many mushroom clubs on their forays. Full baskets to you. 

Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.