The morel is an edible mushroom found in almost all forested regions of the United States. Morels grow around dead trees in moist areas and are common in the springtime. In Iowa they usually sprout at the end of April or the beginning of May. The keys to finding morels in Iowa are timing and location.
Begin hunting for morels in the middle of April, if the weather is normal. If there is a warmer than usual spring in Iowa, begin hunting for morels the first week of April.
Hunt for morels in state park forests or ask permission from a property owner before hunting on private forested property.
Look in old apple orchards or around dying and fallen elms, poplars or ash trees. Morels feed on dead trees of almost any type but these are the trees where morels are the most prolific.
Look close to the ground near the fallen trees. If there is remaining leaf litter from the previous winter, it may be helpful to lean down and inspect the ground around the fallen trees. Morels can blend in with dead leaves.
Pinch the morels at the base near the ground and twist to harvest them. Carry them in a mesh bag so the dirt and insects can fall out as you continue your hunt.