A Taste of the Woods: Morel Hunting
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Out for the hunt
Soda Popp runs his boat toward the shore of the Missouri River, cuts the motor and crunches to a stop in the heavy muted stillness of morning. The boat hangs there, still and gray. The river, gray. The mid-April sky, stone-cast. This can be the temperament this time of year in the Midwest, when it is no longer winter but not yet spring. Buds have not yet broken. Colors have not fired. But to Soda (yes, that's his real name), it's one of the most energizing of seasons, and he is eager to show me why. I clamber in, and we putt across to his 90-acre woodland property on the other shore.
"I have four seasons," he says, "but not spring, summer, fall and winter. For me, it's fishing, turkey, deer and morels. And in mushroom season, from the first day to the last, I'm out there hunting. It's kind of a disappointment when I realize the run is over."