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28 responses to “Hunting Oregon Truffles”

  1. Bbq Dude

    And here you go. A post to make me even more jealous than your wild foie gras post. Wild truffles look awesome.

  2. Heather

    Great piece, Hank. Next time Jack offers, I won’t turn him down.

  3. Bpaul

    Fantastic post. I totally know the “greed high,” though not from truffle digging. I know it from the “big bloom” years while Chanterelle hunting. You just want MORE, MORE — it’s like following will-o-wisps deeper into the woods. You stay too late, work too hard, and don’t care a whit in the end. Great stuff.

    Bp

  4. Garrett

    Still never had a truffle before…
    Super jealous, Hank. Super Jealous.

  5. Christina

    Sometime I hope to have a similar experience while foraging. This was a fascinating post. It made me drool a little, too.

  6. Vegetable Garden Cook

    Did you mention what elevation you are at? I live in the Willamette valley. Thanks for the tips on looking for truffles. I shall go out into my property soon to see what I can find!

  7. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    I’ve got bubonic coast envy, here on the truffleless East coast. OK, lobsters are nice, but truffles! Does anyone use a pig to hunt them?

  8. Rachel @ Dog Island Farm

    My husband and I are just starting to forage. We’re meeting all sorts of new people out there to help us along in this journey and your site is nothing short of inspirational. Just wanted to say “Thank You.”

  9. Alan

    Awesome! My wife won’t be happy with me going to forage for something else. Maybe when the results are on the plate she’ll change her tune.

    Great stuff Hank.

    Alan

  10. Scott

    Not sure if I want to hug you for doing something so cool, or kick you in the nads out of envy. Lucky sonovagun!

  11. Paula

    Dundee is not too terribly far from where I live. Now all I need to do is learn what a fir looks like, which shouldn’t be too hard, and then convince my self-professed indoor cat of a husband to go tromping in a woods with me. Maybe the wooded park in our neighborhood has some?

    Thanks for this post- now I want to try!!!

  12. Andy

    Any chance there are truffles in the wilds of California? I have a German Shepherd Dog that I think would make a good tracker if he had a bit of training.

  13. Cork@Cork'sOutdoors

    Great: now I really want to get Ziggy doing what his relatives do back in France, sniffing up black gold! …sad thing is that I’ve often seen those truffles on a ranch I used to hunt wild pigs and blacktails in Mendocino and didn’t even realize what I was looking at… :(

    ….What’s the story on how long they last, Hank? I was told that truffles by friends in Oregon that they don’t freeze well and that they shrivel or get mushy if not used within a week…longevity suggestions?

    ….BTW looks like great elk country!

  14. Marshall from Rangeland

    “It reminded me of the sweat of a woman.” Firs off, thats classic. Second, so true.

    That was a great read – and totally reminded me of summer nights in Sacramento.

  15. Stephanie - Wasabimon

    Funky, garlicky, floral? You do like them Mediterranean women, don’t you? ;)

  16. Mike

    Loved the story. I’ve been hunting the elusive truffle in the central California woods for sometime with little to no success. Dang! I found this sometime ago and am currently attempting to train my Catahoula Leopard Dog to find them. Again, not much success. She’s more interested in bear than truffles…

    A method for training truffle dogs was set down in print as far back as 1883. The publication Der Hund offered the following guidelines: Begin training in the summer. Start by sewing a truffle into a leather pouch and hiding it from the dog. As his skill progresses, hide the pouch under moss or leaves. After every successful retrieval, reward the dog with a treat and choose a more difficult hiding place. Talk to the dog as little as possible, and use only commands specific to a truffle hunt, such as “find” or “search.”

    This article ran in “Der Hund” sometime in the late 19th century:

    Begin training in the summer. Start by sewing a truffle into a leather pouch and hiding it from the dog. As his skill progresses, hide the pouch under moss or leaves. After every successful retrieval, reward the dog with a treat and choose a more difficult hiding place. Talk to the dog as little as possible, and use only commands specific to a truffle hunt, such as “find” or “search.”

    After an autumn rain, take the dog to a truffle field. The dog should be off-leash and quartered upwind to make scenting easier. Hide a truffle a few inches below ground. When the dog scents it, immediately take the truffle, praise the dog and reward him with a treat. During and after the training stage, if the dog does not find a truffle, no treat should be given. After a hunt (never before), the dog should be fed its normal food.

    Good luck all.

  17. Erika

    Beautiful. You’ve lived my dream. I’ve been wanting to come up to Oregon and dig truffles with Jack for a few years now. Thanks for the vicarious pleasure.

  18. Holden Ford

    Funny, I’m on a study abroad program in Italy from my culinary school, and we just went Truffle hunting this weekend. I found a big burgundy truffle almost the size of my palm.

  19. Janet

    A nice read – a delicious ending.

  20. Tina LaRicci

    Wow! What a discovery!! You must be ecstatic! You sound like so much fun! I will come back and visit Often!! Thank you so much for Sharing and May God Bless You and Yours This Holiday Season! <3 Tina

  21. Suburban Bushwacker

    Hank
    once again your an inspiration, I’ve got access to two patches that seem promising and you’ve spurred me on.

    happy new year fella
    SBW

  22. evelyn

    goodness gracious.

    my mouth is watering just reading about the truffles.

    evelyn
    (boston, ma)

  23. jimmy

    I have the great fortune of living here in S.Oregon and I do quite well for several orms of fungai morals,chantrelles,shaggy manes, white and black truffles I am basically in the the 2 to 4k in elev. and mostly in d.fir and oak,madrone and pine and in the deep dark wet ferny areas in deer season I have found where deer have dug chantrelles and truffles and eaten them and you can actually smell the pungent odor in the areas where they are heavy and the odor is so hard to explain the sweet sweat the garlicky onion like blue cheese most wonderful aroma therapy I have ever known…..almost ;)

  24. Bill Dwyer

    I was Deer hunting with my Boys on the East side of the Cascades.I am a mushroom hunter so I keep my eyes peeled for edible Mushrooms. I was standing by this tree and I saw a small bulge in the leaves and soil, so I dug it up. It was a Truffle. It had the most wonderful and unforgetable smell. I can still smell it in my mind. It was a Black truffle,weighed about three ounces. I thought little of it at the time as I was preoccupied with deer hunting. The woods were a mixture of Fir and Pine. The smell of that small item has stayed with me. This year I am going to make a real effort to find some. The smell was to die for. So aromatic. It was the end of September. I can identify most edible Mushrooms in Oregon. Believe or not, one of the best to eat is the simple Puff Ball or Great Western. I have found Great Western’s in the Umpqua basin that were bigger then Basketballs. You must pick them when they are firm. I don’t walk over things anymore.

  25. Fossil Hunting « Wonder in the Woods

    [...] love the woods.  This fall and winter we will be hunting for chanterelle and morel mushrooms, and truffles too.  In the meantime, we have to have adventure, so we went fossil hunting at the Oregon coast [...]

  26. Brian Pearson

    Using a trained dog is the most sustainable and effective way to hunt truffles. The dog will take you right to the RIPE truffles (the underripe ones lack aroma and flavor, and should be left in the ground to mature), and you won’t be destroying the habitat by raking around in the soil. This means you won’t be reducing the yield in subsequent years. Plus which, dogs are delightful hiking companions, even if you don’t find anything.

  27. leslie

    would like to start hunting truffels as a hobby and need info. on places to go.I live in eugene,so if any one is of the sharing nature,please drop me a line.thank you….les

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