i just wanted to to know how you all got introduced to ginseng hunting. for me it was my uncle who went all the time all over the state of kentucky. at the time i to young to go but when i got older the whole idea intriqued me not by just the money i could make but all the time i got to spend in the woods. which is one of my favorite places
My father always hunted seng in the fall when he was not doing construction work. I remember as a young boy, he had a couple of bushel baskets full of dried seng, right at 20 pounds he had dug one year. He was doing it to put food on the table, but he really enjoyed it. He would go for about 10 hours a day. Mom would drop him off in the morning before day break and pick him up late that evening somewhere.
When I was about 10 he started dragging me through the woods. I was young and not real interested, my attention span was rather narrow. I remember walking for hours following right behind him thinking in my head please don't go up that steep hill and sure enough there he would go!
I am right at 40 years old now and enjoy hunting ginseng as much as anything I have ever done. I feel blessed to have been taught how to hunt and dig ginseng.
My son is 12 now and I am passing on what has been shown to me by my father. Hope ginseng survives many many years so my grand kids can enjoy one of lifes simple pleasures.
My great uncle being in the nursing home I went to see him one day. His longtime friend was there to pay him a visit as well. These two men had pretty much spent their whole lives coon huntin and farmin together. While I was there his friend \"Hammer\" told him he ought to let me dig up all that Seng on his farm, that he had let it grow for sixty years and if I didn't get it somebody else would eventually. He agreed and they proceeded to explain to me where it mostly was located and what it looked like. Them both being elderly now neither could climb the steep hills so the next day I went and dug up a bunch of different plants I thought might be it and brought them back so they could point out which one it was for sure. He picked the Gensing out from all the others and said \"that's it, thats Seng\". Knowing for sure what it was I went back to hit the woods again and it's been on ever since.
Guys this is a good thread and I enjoyed reading each of your notes
This might be a suprise to some of my friends here,but neither my father or grandfather where ginsengers.
The first time I went ginsenging 2 friends of mine from school and church asked me if I wanted to go.Well I did not know what it was and I told them that,but they said we will show you.So off we went and after a few minutes in the woods they gave me a top.I carried that top around untill I found some ginseng and my first find was a patch that had 17 bunches in it.I did enjoy it but I was young and was into ball etc...
I did not at that time continue to hunt ginseng but just let it get on by me.Then my broterinlaw ask me if I wanted to go camping and seng hunting with him about 3 years later.So we went and I once again got me a bunch and carryed it around untill I found a nice 4 prong and some three prongs I hunted with them that day,but still did not pursue it.I did like it,but I was into football and my future wife from school so much that I didnt get into it at this time neither.
Then finaly a few years later I was roofing a house and below that house was a little area of woods.Johnny went into the woods and came back and said Billy I went down there to take a leek and when I did I looked down and realised that I was peeing on top of a nice 4 prong with big red berries in it.I said your silly,but he said no seriously.When break time came I went to take a leek down there also and he was telling the truth about it.I went back to the mans house and ask him was he growing ginseng down there,he said no,I said do you care if I dig it ? The man said why no you are welcome to it and he owned a good set of woods back in there.
Well I had one thing to do before I dug it and that was to call my friend Rick that I had new since I was a very young and I asked him if it was worth digging.He said it sure is,well at this time when I started digging I realised that I was realy enjoying myself and the more I looked the more I could see,that holler was full of ginseng.I dug 1 1/2 pounds that day and was shocked at how beautiful the plant was and how much I enjoyed digging and spoting it.That ginseng over there has big fat leaves and realy nice pods of berries to this day it is some of the nicest ginseng that I have ever seen.
I want to tell you this,,,the rest is history man I feel for ginsenging more than hunting or fishing and I love them both ThE SeNg FaCtOr got me that day.
I still go back to that holler to this day about every third year....There is a load of ginseng still growing there as I had a natural instinct to replant the seeds...The man that owned that house & land still lives in that house and I still visit them.
After that day I got with my good friends Adam Cambell and Rick Johnson as they where older ginsengers that I knew would teach me the right way to ginseng hunt and my Elders.
I spent my first year with them two there knowldge was a great help to me I dug 4 pounds dry my first season.I have dug 9 to 10 pounds dry every season since except for this season I did get a little carried away kinda sorta 13 pounds.
After that I taught myself alot through studying ginseng the habitats and natural surroundings,companions etc...
My grandfather was a logger, and he dug ginseng for as long as I can remember. I think that's how he found so many places to hunt. However, he wasn't the one that took me on my first dig. By the time I was old enough to be interested in going, he wasn't physically able to go. My uncle was the one that took me on my first trip. I was just like Billy, I carried around a three prong top with me all morning trying to find my first plant. It took me a few tries (the virginia creeper really got me), but I was finally able to recognize ginseng consistently. After being able to recognize the plant, my uncle started telling me how to recognize good ginseng locations. He told me things like what trees will be in the area, which slopes to look on, what ginseng pointers were, and which companion plants to look for.
I just think back to my first few hunts, and laugh about how hard I had to look in order to find ginseng. My eyesight is awful. I have a hard time seeing my golf ball when I play, but by golly I can spot ginseng in a briar patch 100 yards away. lol