so this year will be my first year hunting ginseng since i was a teenager. its been roughly about 10 yrs. i havent had anyone to hunt with for so long. last time i went out me and my cousin found a patch in the back of a local woods that was so large we could barely scratch the surface of it. we dug all day from when we found it, and had to walk out of the woods and follow the woodline so we didnt get lost in the dark. we dug several pounds each that day, and then i never went back out. back when we found that patch, the ginseng was growing about as far as you could see in the woods, a big patch here and small patch there and you never had to walk more than 20 ft for the next patch. it was amazing. i still remember the location of my couple secret patches, and im hoping that they are still there. and i have good reason to believe that they still will be, since where we found them is one of the most heavily hunted areas in our county. i just have one question, how old does a patch of ginseng have to be to get that large? bc from what i remember it seemed like nobody had ever stumbled upon those plants at all, and if they had, they sure werent digging any. i almost think that me and my cousin bobby may have been the first whites to see these ginseng plants. im guessing it takes in between 50-100 yrs for patches to get this large.
When I read your post it made cold chills run up my spine. I could be very wrong and if you think I am , just let it pass as ignorance on my part. It sure sounds to me like what you stumbled into was someone's private patch that they had planted, not wild ginseng. The part that made the cold chills run up my spine was knowing what could have happened if he had been close by when you were digging it. If you will look at Billy's new video you will see just about the maximum ginseng that you will find in the wild and I'm sure he probably helped that along some too. I hate to see someone lose their life over a mistake like that. Be very careful of what you are digging if you go back. I'm sure you are going to hear others on this board follow up with the same advise.
lol. i highly doubt that is the case. first off, the woods are owned by an old man who just farms. my whole family has had permission to hunt, trap, fish, etc on his property as long as i remember. and there are plenty of other ppl who also have permission to hunt the land. that being said, his land is several thousand acres and about half is woods and half is field. so my question is why would someone plant ginseng on someone else's property, let it grow for several decades, and not dig any of it at all??? i have a neighbor who has planted the stuff in his woods, he is hillbilly as hell, and he tells us straight up he will shoot anybody. but i would never go onto strange land trying to find someones patch anyways, and from what i know; anybody with half a brain knows to cut the tops off of the plants so others dont find their patch. and if all of that wasnt convincing enough, how about the fact that every property surrounding this property has old ginseng on it? and that includes my grandmothers propery, both of our neighbors, and the properties in between. all of our woods are all slighly connected, and all of them have old ginseng in them. just the deeper the woods are, the older the patches. even the old mans woods that are across the other side of the farm have ginseng in them... i will end by saying, if someone planted that ginseng that i dug a decade ago, then they are the biggest idiot ever. that land has been owned by the same man since WWII. so unless someone planted it during WWI, then im pretty sure it is wild=)
Here is a link to the Ohio regulations that need to be followed, and a stewardship harvesting brochure with recommendations to follow when harvesting wild ginseng.
thank you kindly, i dont have adobe to open the document. but i have copies of all the regulations. i am even more picky than the regulations about how i harvest ginseng. i always make sure to leave plants of all stages, i even leave 3-4 prongers if there are several. it seems in my area it isnt much of a problem to find several of them together, so i always make sure to leave several mature plants to keep the seeds producing every year. i think this is the reason why i have always had a good supply in all the woods i get permission to hunt. i also take time to plant all of the seeds about a ft apart in the area that i harvest the root. i have no respect for anyone who digs young ginseng, or who digs all the ginseng out of an are, or those who poache or trespass to find their ginseng. that being said, i hope everyone has a good season=)
btw, if the stewardship brochure thingy was like the link at the top of the hunting forum than i already read that. good stuff, i actually read that long before i ever joined the site. thanks for the good luck, season doesnt come in here in ohio till the 1st so im in the process of getting permission from as many ppl as possible and scouting some spots. im also interested in growing the stuff, but someone told me stome horror stories about the regulation on it. idk, still very interested in anything that could help preserve the ginseng population.
. so my question is why would someone plant ginseng on someone else's property, let it grow for several decades, and not dig any of it at all??? i have a neighbor who has planted the stuff in his wood ... i will end by saying, if someone planted that ginseng that i dug a decade ago, then they are the biggest idiot ever. that land has been owned by the same man since WWII. so unless someone planted it during WWI, then im pretty sure it is wild=)
it's very possible that an old timer did plant seed there. maybe he died in WWII before he could harvest it. The kind of person who plants seng on some1 elses's property is the kind of person who doesn't own their own land
I'm not saying it isn't \"wild\" but in all reality there are very few places true wild ginseng grows in abundance, especially in \"patches\" any thing is possible but if you are saying it's growing in an area 10foot x 10 foot and 20 feet away it's growing in another 10foot x 10foot area, then yes they were planted by man, no doubt in mind. now if it's just scattered around willy nilly all over in the woods, then chances are good that you stumbled on a truely unique area of wild ginseng.
My other thoughts are, you gave up digging 10 years ago, but did your cousin go back every year the last 10 years? lol I know i would if the guy grants permission so easily
It's very normal for people to have doubts and questions when asked to believe something they can't see. It's just our nature. When people post that they dug ginseng as far as the eye can see, or pounds of it in a day without posting pictures to prove it, they are going to be subjected (possibly unfairly) to scrutiny and disbelief. If (just using an example) Billy posts on here in 6 weeks that his son killed a 16 point buck with his new bow without posting a picture, we all would like to believe him as he seems to be an honorable man, but there would be skepticism in the back of our mind. That's just how it is. We tend to embellish the recollection of events. Besides, for the last 20 years with the advent of the disposable cameras and now cell phones, pictures of seemingly unbelievable things could easily be captured forever. That's why when I go in the woods, besides the emergency aspect, I take my cell phone. If I or someone I am ginsenging with runs into a monster 4,5,6 or more prong, you can bet it'll be on record. I would say the best advice is to not expound on how much seng was dug or seen unless you can post a picture. That way no one gets mad and no one has to wonder if someone was fibbing a bit!!!!!!!
oh i can understand being skeptical about it. and i can even see the possibility that someone did plant some of this patch a long long time ago. ive just been trying to fill in the details to give everyone a better description. and yes, the patches in this particular spot were about 10x10 on average and it seemed there was another patch when you would walk a short distance. and alas i have no pics of any of this, my cousin did manage to get a pic of the one 5 pronger he found about 1/2 a mile from where we found the mother load. but the good news to all this, is that i still remember how to get to all of these spots(they are hrs walk into the woods) and i will be going back in 10 days with a phone that takes photo and video=D so if they are still there i can prove that they exist. and if they arent then i can just look like a dumbass, which i am used to. lol
anywho, i am hoping and praying that at least one of my spots still has the nice ginseng that we used to get out of them. idk how long it takes ginseng to grow like this, but im used to finding several mature plants together where i used to hunt. and i always left so many plants when i dug before. i never dig a single mature plant unless it had a few little ones nearby. i went back to a spot at my buddies woods and took a few pictures of some seng today, still another week and a half till season here. and i wouldnt dig any of these ones even if it were bc they seem to be not producing enough seeds like they should. of the 4 i spotted today, 2 were decent and were either starting the seed clusters or had dropped a few berries. but the other 2 didnt really have any seed clusters forming, and the biggest of them didnt even have the cluster coming up in the middle, almost like it had been broken off at some point.