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The Dangers of Mushroom Hunting

I thought mushroom hunting was a gentle activity. Avoid eating the nasty ones and and it’s all about wandering about in the woods (preferably with the dogs), picking mushrooms, and later cooking up wild mushroom dinners at home. Well, Salvelinas sent in a link to this article about mushroom hunting in Italy. It seems 18 people have died in 10 days. That’s just crazy. Think I’m making this up? Here’s another article about the carnage. It seems the biggest problem is sliding off the mountain at night.


  1. Salvelinas Fontinalis

    In Italy you apparently need to buy a permit to pick mushrooms, even small amounts for dinner. I suspect that the reason these folks are out skulking around in the dark wearing cammo outfits is to avoid being caught picking without a permit. I cant think of any other reason to go out onto a mountain in the dark.

  2. The weather in Europe has been bad these past weeks. Lots of rain and wind. I bet some of those deaths relate to weather. After heavy rain, mud slides easily and creeks turn into torrential rivers. I took a hike once in the Alps in Austria after a period of bad weather. The trail had been re-marked after the rains, but there were bad drop-offs on mushy soil. We risked our lives once to get back down to the starting point, and this was on a sunny day. I can’t imagine stumbling on that kind of terrain at night while expecting something else.

  3. sp

    I’ve been mushroom hunting in Italy — southern Italy — it wasn’t so dangerous with db’s 80 year old great uncle. The slopes weren’t as steep so perhaps that’s the difference. It was amazing to see zio Rocco climbing those hills after mushrooms with a walking stick in each hand. He’d call out when to stop the car and head off into the woods, and we would follow. There’s nothing like fresh porcinis.

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