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Guide to hunting Psilocybe Mushrooms in Florida

topic posted Sat, January 29, 2005 - 11:43 PM by  .William.
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taken from:
www.shroomwizard.com/GGreat.html






THE ULTIMATE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO:

HUNTING THE PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS (GULF COAST STRAIN) - MADE EASY
(FOR THE YEAR 2000 AND BEYOND)

By: GGreatOne234



AN INTRODUCTION TO SHROOM HUNTING:

Okay. So you want to find some Shrooms. Good. This is a Good thing. Let's get you started;



SOME GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR BEGINNERS:

Where do these shrooms grow ? - - - They grow in cow pastures along the states bordering The Gulf of Mexico. The states that apply are; Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas (other states produce other species and strains of mushrooms in the wild, but the mushrooms you will be looking for grow only in the states that I have listed here). A general rule of thumb is; the further south you go, the better chances you will have of finding them growing abundantly Year-Around. The state of Florida is known amongst Shroomers as the best place on the Gulf Coast for finding shrooms every month of the year. As a matter of fact, the first psychoactive mushrooms discovered growing on American soil were found in Gainesville Florida (aka: The Mushroom Capital of the United States).
What do they grow out of ? - - - They grow out of manure and manure-enriched soil. Ma-nu-re. Cow manure for the most part. They have also been known to occasionally grow from horse manure, but cow manure is mainly what this particular strain of mushroom prefers to grow from.
Tell me more about this manure you talk so highly about. - - - Ok, I will do that. Typically, it takes several weeks for the mushrooms to grow from a fresh pile of cow dung. So by then the cow-pie will have had time to deteriorate and sink into the grass, blending in, leaving behind slightly taller grass and weeds than the surrounding area. Basically it just turns into dirt within a few months leaving behind all of the important nutrients that the pasturelands thrive upon.
GGreatOne, what exactly are you trying to say ? - - - This means that the Shrooms will not be found growing directly out of freshly dropped cow dung. Cow pastures are enriched with manure over the time-span of many years. So the entire ground of a field is suitable for the growth of the mushroom species you will be looking for.
Why is cow dung so suitable for producing mushrooms and not any other animal's ? - - - The answer to that question is simple. Cows have multiple stomachs. They are also one of the only animals with no stomach acid, so as the cows graze the pastures and eat the grass they are also eating millions of microscopic mushroom "Spores" (seeds). The mushroom spores then slowly pass through the cows multiple stomachs uneffected by stomach acids, and this is when they begin to germinate. When the spores leave the cows stomach they come out in nice fertilized packages (dung) are ready for the next stage of growth called mycelium. MYCELIUM (a brief description) Pronounced, My-cell-(E)-umm. Mycelium appears as a white fuzzy mold growing inside and underneath the patties of manure and also in the grass surrounding it. It is, lets say, an underground mushroom network. Mycelium is a mushroom plant that grows to maturity (which takes about 6 to 8 weeks) and then remains in a vegetative state until conditions are good for fruiting (Fruit = Shrooms). It is pure white in color and lives off of the nutrients in the cow dung. Mycelium can produce many consecutive flushes of shrooms from only one single cow turd. Things that can destroy mycelium are: excessive rain, excessive heat, lack of rain, freezing temperatures and not picking your Shrooms properly (to be discussed later).
When are the conditions best for finding lots of shrooms? - - - I will tell you this. Conditions are best when the humidity has been high for several days. Rain equals 100%+ humidity. If the level of humidity reaches 85% or above every day for about three to four days in a row, then there should be mushroom growth in the cow pastures. Then of course you might run into times when it just never stops raining for weeks, month's maybe. Excessive rainfall tends to sometimes hinder mushroom production, but doesn't stop them all from growing. You might even find them growing submerged in a puddle of rainwater! Under the circumstances of having too much rain you will have a better chance of finding them on higher ground (elevation). Other beneficial factors that contribute to conditions favored by the mushroom are dew and fog. Temperatures should remain in the 80's during the daytime and not drop below 60 degrees at nighttime. Here are the four major factors and how they effect the mushroom:

Temperature = Potency
Humidity = Quantity
Weather = Condition
Field = Quality

When is the best season for finding this magical fruit? - - - Prime picking season generally starts in Late-May Early-June and goes until late-September early-October ("Prime Picking Season": meaning that this is when you will have the best of luck finding a lot of mushrooms). However throughout the state of Florida, Psilocybe Cubensis can be discovered every month of the year, provided that the rain and humidity is there to feed the mushrooms.



INDENTIFICATION:

What species of mushroom will I be looking for? - - - The Name of the species (and remember this) is Psilocybe Cubensis, pronunciation Sil-O-Sybe Que-Ben-Siss (however you want to say it, just remember the name ok). Cubensis are one of the most easily recognizable mushrooms in the world. The Cubensis you will discover along the Gulf Coast are also said to be one of the most potent magic mushrooms in the world (once dried). Over the years they have gained the nicknames: "Gold Tops", "Golden Teachers", "Cubes", "Cubies", "Cubers" and also many other names. The colors of their caps vary widely but for the most part, when they are very little baby shrooms the caps are a golden brown. Then as they grow up, up until the time their veils break loose, the color transforms into pure gold (This is my favorite stage of growth and I have found it is their most potent stage of growth to pick them). As they grow up to be fully mature mushrooms (with their gills fully spread out) they retain an orangish-gold in the center and blend to be a yellowish off-white towards its edges. The fully mature mushrooms will then over the next few days die away and wait for its mycellium and/or spores to once again start the fruiting process over again. The different fruiting stages of this mushroom's life-span is easily recognizable after collecting only a few batches. Another prominent feature of its cap is the "Nipple". The nipple forms in the center of the cap, and a nipple is just what it looks like, a nipple. Actually not all cubes you will find will display this nipple for some reason or another, but it is something to look for. So don't discard a magic mushroom you discovered just because it doesn't have this characteristic. (((A cubensis with a good nipple on it is a plus)))
Now, the most distinctive feature of the Cubensis is that its stem bruises blue. The only mushrooms that stain Blue are the Magic Mushrooms (with few exceptions)! Many things can make the stem bruise this brilliant blue. Picking one up and lightly squeezing the stem with your fingers is the easiest way because it will display a very noticeable bluing within 15 to 30 seconds. A blade of grass rubbing against it or maybe a bug or the wind can also trigger the reaction. So some of these mushrooms will already have blue stems when you discover them.

***Extra note about Bluing***

Cubensis staining blue is thought to be a chemical reaction between oxygen and "psilocybin". Sil-O-sigh-bin. Psilocybin is the active chemical indole inside the mushroom that makes the shroom-eater trip. The oxidation of the psilocybin gives the mushroom picker a surefire way of determining if a magic mushroom has been found. On occasion you will find cubes that are more resistant to damage and show not the slightest sign of blue when you take them out of the ground. Just give that fat stem a nice firm squeeze and then it should quickly display the color within seconds (in front of your very eyes!). If for any reason at all, you are not sure if it is staining blue, then throw the mushroom away. Whatever the reason might be, you can not miss it and if it does not stain blue, then you have probably not found a magic mushroom. It either stains blue or it does not stain blue. Period.
Another feature that the cubensis displays is a dark purple colored "veil". The veil is found wrapped around the stem. It is a skin-like ornament that protects the gills of the mushroom until it is ready to mature. As the mushroom grows bigger, its cap spreads out and expands. The veil then snaps off from the edges of the cap and is left hanging around the stem like a ring (You can refer to some of the pictures in this guide for visual examples of the veil). Once the veil has snapped, then the mushroom is ready to start releasing its spores. Spores are microscopic and each mushroom cap can release tens of millions of spores before it shrivels up and dies. Shortly after the veil snaps, it will slowly begin turning dark purple. This is of because of the layer of spores the mushroom cap is dropping and sticking on the veil. Spores are the mushroom seeds. They hopefully ensure that it will have another generation of mushrooms for you to pick in the future. The "Spore Print" of the cubensis is deep purple in color. To make a spore-print of a mushroom (it is a safe move on the unexperienced mushroom hunters part to do this with "ALL" the mushrooms you find at first until you can confidently identify the species without any doubts). First, completely remove the stem of the mushroom from the cap. Then take the cap and lay it down on a piece of clean white paper with its gills facing down for at least a few hours (overnight yields a better print). And then slowly pick the cap up from the paper and observe the spore print that has dropped onto the paper. Is it a dark Purple? I would sure hope so, because if it isn't that color, toss the mushroom out and don't eat it. Another important thing to remember when taking these spore prints for your first few times, is to keep the stems in order somehow with each of its corresponding caps (just to be certain). The color of the "Gills" is different at each stage of its growth. The gills of a baby Cubensis are a earthy off-white color, until its veil breaks loose. Then as it drops its spores the mushroom will slowly change to a light brown with a tint of purple. The gills of fully mature specimens will most often fade into a very dark brown color. Any mushroom you are not sure about,.. do not (and I repeat do not) take the chance of eating it. The Cubensis is a relatively easy species for anyone to identify with what I have already told you. It is such a profound looking mushroom that you will most likely "Just Know" that you have found a very special mushroom. Poisonous mushrooms do grow in cow fields, so do not take the chance or be foolish enough to eat even a little bit of it if you are not sure. My saying goes as follows:
"If it stains Blue, then it is True." Now, with that said, let us move on.



PLANNING AHEAD: CHOOSING A FIELD

The first thing for you to consider is, "Am I going to be looking for shrooms in a field during the night or during the day?" Remember, Shrooms are easily seen at nighttime. Also remember that you are easily seen during the daytime. So finding a field without any farmers around is a definite plus. Drive by the field a few times during the daytime in your car and scope out where the farmer's house (or barn) is. Also take the time to locate where the cows are. Another important thing to find during the day ahead of time, is a good gate to hop over to get into the field, or the easiest spot to hop over the fence. Cow fields are almost always surrounded with barbed wire. On rare occasions, some fences are fixed with an electrical current (this is of course to train the animals within its barriers to stay inside). El Zappo!! You can first test a fence for electricity by holding your finger a half inch away from the wire and feel its current without getting zapped. So watch out for that. Try to find a good healthy field without any roadside litter in it. Usually a field in close proximity to a city or a busy highway will have a lot of debris (distractions) in it. The problem with littered fields is you will find a lot more candy wrappers and soda pop cans than you will be finding Shrooms. Parking your vehicle is a big issue. You want to pick your shrooms in peace, without anyone knowing. Use your best of judgement when parking. Another option is to have a designated driver to drop-you-off near the field, and then pick-you-up at the same spot at a specific time. Finding a great field that no other mushroom hunters know about should be a well kept a secret. Typically, the most popular field will in time become an over picked field with less shrooms to be found. "RESPECT THE FIELD". Respect the field, and it will in turn respect you back. Do not litter in a field. Do not disturb the cows in any way. Do not be loud. Leave behind no traces of you ever even being there. Also, eating shrooms inside of a field is not the smartest of ideas, wait until later. Respect the fields and the mushrooms that grow there.

"WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR A MUSHROOM HUNT"

* Bags to collect the mushrooms
* A pair of scissors (to be discussed below)
* A flashlight might be helpful for "just incase". Do not use it for finding mushrooms at night, it will just
* draw attention and because mushrooms can be easily spotted in the dark without one.

***Additional note about flashlights***

It has been reported that Shroom-pickers caught in the act, using flashlights and wearing dark clothing, have been charged with the crime of "Prowling". Prowling holds a stiffer penalty than that of trespassing.

* Friends for "just incase".
* Dark, non-reflective clothing (long sleeves and long pants for the nighttime)
* Determination
* A clear head



FOR ONCE YOU ARE IN THE FIELD: WALKING THE FIELD

A good way of walking the field is to walk in a grid-like pattern, back and forth, starting along a fence or tree line. This method gives you a good shot at finding most of the mushrooms in the field. Try to put around 10-20 feet in between each column of the grid. This method is most useful when searching small pastures. Enormous pastures are difficult to walk in a grid pattern. For these fields it is recommended that you just walk along in any direction looking for mushrooms. Never forget where you entered the field and where you can exit the field. It is easy to get lost in an enormous field and forget what direction you originally came from. Finding a couple shrooms every minute can generate a lot of excitement and after some time, it can get you lost. So don't get lost. Remember exactly where you entered the field and where your vehicle is parked.

PROPERLY PICKING YOUR SHROOMS

For collecting mushrooms of any kind, you will need a bag, a basket or a bucket. Paper bags are the best choice. One drawback to using paper bags is that they are not very well suited for collecting when it is either very wet outside or raining (the bag may tear). Plastic grocery bags can also be used in the field for collecting but they will ruin your shrooms if they are left inside them for too long. Plastic is preferred by some shroomers, especially for when it is very wet and/or raining. The bag is used for carrying all the mushrooms you find. Since it is possible to find many pounds of Cubensis within an hours time, a bag would make better sense than just trying to carry them in your hands and dropping them accidentally when looking for more.
To properly pick a Shroom you must first kneel down and admire what you have just discovered. Wipe away any debris (grass, dirt) that may have accumulated on the cap. Next you want to clip the stem with your scissors (pulling the entire mushroom out of the ground stops the cow patty from producing more Shrooms!!!). Leave behind a good half inch of the stem connected to the ground because this will protect the mycelium beneath the mushroom from being destroyed by infection through it's root system. Take a look at the shroom you have just picked. Look for any blue bruising on the stem and also do not forget to acknowledge the dark purple veil. Then carefully scrape away any dirt and grass from the stem, cleaning it the best that you can Before putting it into your bag. If you do not clean any dirt off the stem and cap before you put it into your bag then you will risk getting sand and dirt stuck inside of the gills of all the mushrooms you find and nobody likes eating sand.
Once you get your Shrooms home, carefully identify ALL the mushrooms you have picked, one by one. Also, take the time to clean each of them up the best you can. Your mushrooms are now ready to get eaten.

***Important note on picking***

It is very important to cut the shrooms out with scissors. Yanking the entire mushroom out of the ground or cow dung can possibly kill the mycelium. A field will even stop producing mushrooms for years if too many shrooms are yanked out by their roots. Use scissors. Remember that.

DANGERS OF BEING IN A COWS FIELD

Let me begin by telling you that finding magical mushrooms in a cow field is an excellent experience. The mushrooms themselves are the most elegant things you will find out there. The more hours and miles of walking in a cow field searching for psychoactive fungus, the better you will become at doing it. A well-grazed field loaded with clumps of cow shit is quite literally a "Field of Dreams" for a mushroom hunter. Now, with all the pleasantries out of the way, I will discuss the Dangers.
I can't lie to you about this, but it is not the safest of places to be finding mushrooms. All sorts of things can happen out there in the middle of the night, or the middle of the day. Animals other than cows sometimes live in cow fields. Some examples are armadillos, gophers, rabbits and turtles. These animals dig burrows into the ground. Be careful not to step into their burrows and twist your ankle or break your leg (this is why you should bring along a friend). Encountering an alligator or two is not too uncommon in some regions. These are generally very lazy creatures that lay around sunbathing all day long. Gators can run very fast, faster than mushroom hunters if they want. Respect the nature of the alligator and avoid them. Poisonous snakes should be number-one on your list of things to not come across, step on, stumble upon or get bit. I will give you the advice of stomping the ground with your feet every few steps that you take this alerts the snakes and other creatures nearby of your presence. Hearing a rattle from a rattlesnake is a rather distinct warning. Tall grass and/or weeds are good hiding places for snakes. So exercise caution during daytime and nighttime hours.
Get in the habit of brushing your hair afterwards being in a cow field. Ticks and bugs and ants and spiders are out there. Cows are the host to thousands of insects and parasites (chiggers included). This is of course only a precautionary measure you can take. But once you see a herd of cows close up on a hot summer's day, you will see why I suggest this.
The cows are important. Contrary to what some of the stories you may have heard, the cows are not much of a threat to you. They are nice animals. About the worst thing that they can do is Mooooo at you which could possibly wake up a farmer. Most of the time cows will not mind having you on their field and will slowly move to another section of the field together as a group for their own safety. If they do put up a real big stink about things (Moooing and stomping their feet), than respect that and find a different section of the field far away from them. Or just leave and come back another time. You have to remember that it is their field you are walking on. You are a stranger to them and they might sense a possible threat. Cows sometimes become especially curious when they are not used to having visitors (i.e. Shroom Pickers) amongst them. After many regular visits to forage mushrooms they will begin to recognize you and actually cooperate with you by moving out of the way. Cows aren't stupid. They will figure out pretty fast what it is you are looking for - Shrooms. It is a nice gesture on your part to hold up a really excellent looking Shroom and show it to them. Look at the first picture at the very top of this guide, the cows got pretty excited when I showed them that One! It is easiest looking for Shrooms when the cows are nowhere to be seen. A nearby stampeed of running cows can throw you off from what you are there to do (Pick Shrooms). A hundred heads of cattle running as a pack can be felt on the ground you walk. Don't panic, they will not hurt you (hopefully). Sometimes they mistake you for the farmer and think that you are going to feed them. They may even come up rather close to you (though it is rare). Don't worry, cows won't hurt you.

THE BULLS !!!

This is where one little exception may apply. Bulls are the big cows, with horns on their heads. Occasionally you may encounter a bull that tries to intimidate you. So be careful and use common sense in these situations and get out of the field if need be. They are generally independent from the rest of the group, but are still very protective of the herd.

"OUTSIDE THE FIELD"



STORING THE FRESH MUSHROOM:


This should be done in either a dark, well-ventilated room with plenty of air for them to breathe, or in a refrigerator. Freshly picked Shrooms stay good when placed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Lay them on a plate. If they are stored in an air-tight container, they will quickly become too moldy for consumption.

DRYING FRESH SHROOMS FOR A LATER USE

There are many different ways to do this. The most basic procedure is to lay your Shrooms out on a table in a relatively dark room that wont have any traffic going in and out for several days (i.e. dogs, cats, people). Use an electric fan blowing on them constantly until the mushrooms no longer have any water retained inside of them and are "cracker dry". A cracker dry Cubensis is 1/10th (that is an approximation) of the original weight of when you first picked them fresh. It helps to choose a room that is a comfortable temperature and well ventilated when using this technique.
Another drying technique is to use a food-dehydrator. This one is pretty self-explanatory... Place your Shooms in the machine and in less than a day they are completely dry. This is the great method, but not everyone owns a food-dehydrator. They can be purchased for a reasonable price at many stores that sell household appliances (any store that ends is "Mart").
A third method that I will tell you about is using store bought dissicants. One example of a dissicant is Silicon Gel (stuff sucks the water right out of the Shroomies fast), or others are drying agents that contain Calcium Chloride such as "Damp Rid" that is used to remove humidity from your closets at home. This can be purchased at almost all department stores and most grocery stores. What you do is put a good amount of the dissicant in a cardboard box with your Shrooms carefully laid out (do not let the shrooms and the dissicant touch each other). Then put the lid on it and store in a safe place. Check on them daily for 3 days and then your Shrooms should be dried completely dried.
The fourth method of drying can be the quickest but it will sometimes take a little bit of the potency from them. Lay the mushrooms out in the trunk of a car, on a hot sunny day, on a piece of newspaper. Close the trunk and a few hours later you have completely dried mushrooms. This is not the most efficient of methods because heat destroys some of psilocin.
Also: Sometimes when drying fresh shrooms or when storing fresh ones in the refrigerator you will notice a fuzzy white layer starting to grow on the mushrooms. This is not mold so do not throw away the mushrooms. This is mycelium. Mycelium also contains psilocin, so let it grow.

EATING FRESH SHROOMS

Fresh mushrooms are more potent than dry mushrooms. And sometimes, one must need to only consume one mature fresh Cubensis to experience a relatively intense trip. Your stomach will tell you when you have had enough (the taste alone will give your head a little spin). The rest of this is for you to figure out on your own.



YOUR FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH PSILOCYBE CUBENSIS

Now, you are most likely already awaiting the time when you will first discover the famed Psilocybe Cubensis. For many mushroom enthusiasts, finding their first Cubensis is a very memorable experience. It is an incredible feeling to know that you just found a fresh healthy beautiful looking mushroom that bruises blue and is capable of getting you really tripped out - and you found it yourself, for free. Finding these big golden caps gives the mushroom hunter an excellent rush of energy upon each discovery.
Hint: The easiest area of a field to locate mushrooms is not a spot with lots of tall grass and weeds up to your knees. The area to find them easiest is on the well-grazed sections of pastureland with very little obstructions in your view. Also keep in mind that Cubensis seem to prefer to pop up along tree lines and the fence lines that border pastures. However, for the more ambitious Shroomers, searching tall grassy areas will lead you to find bigger and taller shrooms, sometimes shrooms of enormous proportions can be found (nine-inch caps have been reported). Usually a shroom will not grow much taller than the grass that it is growing around. The taller grass offers mushrooms better shade from the sun and that, in turn, allows the mushrooms to grow taller and bigger.

THE LAWS REGARDING THE PICKING OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS

First off, It's illegal. Trespassing is illegal. And unfortunately, Psilocybe mushrooms are also illegal. One very vague exception is in the state of Florida. The laws regarding psychoactive shrooms in Florida say that it is not illegal to have freshly harvested shrooms in low quantities. Dry shrooms and trespassing are a very different story. So, it is in your best interest to not get caught doing this. Just to be on the safe side, it is recommended that you pick "ALL" the mushrooms that you see (magic or not). This way, if you are caught (by chance) by the police picking, then you can say that you were only looking for edible mushrooms. This is a highly recommended thing to do if you are picking in a state other than Florida. It is a smart thing to do even if you are picking in Florida. This is also so you won't waste time finding the same mushrooms two or three times in the same outing. Remember that fresh magic mushrooms are not illegal in Florida. So don't give your shrooms over to a cop. They are your mushrooms, not theirs. They didn't find them, you did. And they simply just are not illegal to have in your possession.
If you feel that hunting shrooms is going to get you caught, then you would be better off asking for permission from the owner of the property before hand. A lot of farmers appreciate the fact that you ask them before you would have gone onto their property without their consent. Try offering them some money for each time you come to find mushrooms. If you have permission or you own your own field then you are home free.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

This guide is intended for informational purposes only. I am in no way responsible for anyone reading this to actually use any of this information to break the law. It is not against the law to know how to pick mushrooms, of any kind.

QUICK NOTE FOR SHROOMERS IN OTHER COUNTRIES

This paper has been written from my point of view, living in the United States. This information can be related to anyone whom is looking for Cubensis throughout the world, provided that they grow in your area.

"NOW GO GET THEM SHROOMS"

All photographs were taken by the author and are granted to be used and copied freely by anyone, as public domain.

Please print copies of this document and pass them on to a friend.

Contact the Great One by email at
GoldenTeacher23@yahoo.com

posted by:
.William.
Sacramento
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  • How Can I get some Tampanensis mushrooms? Those stones are my favorite. I fear I won 't get them again unless I go back to Amsterdam. If anyone can help me out, Email me at minigonzo@gmail.com! thanks
    • Hey Chris,
      I appreciate your enthusiasm for Ps's but the sale or distribution of Ps's in the US is illegal. TPH's tribe does in no way condone such illegal activities. We're merely here for identification of Ps's and the preservation of their spores in the states where it is legal to do so. With that said I'm afraid you may have to go back to Amsterdam. Your other option would be to go to the Tampa Florida area and help us get a viable spore print for tampanesis. I would imagine the print would be worth a lot of money since the only stock is from the original print found in 1977. Eventually this strain will die out with out human intervention.


      here is a little history on the strain:
      Psilocybe tampanensis is a magic mushroom whose only natural specimen was collected in the wild by Stephen Pollock, near Tampa, Florida in 1977. All species nowadays are originated from this only specimen. It has never again been seen in Florida but a second sighting was reported from Mississippi. Unfortunately no culturable material was obtained. Many years of successive cloning have degenerated all commerically available strains to a point where most of them fruit very poorly or not at all.

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