Even a Season for Roots

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For outdoor enthusiasts that would like to line their pockets with cash while scouting, hiking, hunting, one word; ginseng. This root can go for $750 per dried pound, a couple years ago it was over a thousand dollars per dried pound. In Ohio, Ken Tomecko has mastered the art of hunting ginseng. He is one of the ginseng hunters that actually does it right, there are those that do not really know what they are doing when dabbling with ginseng hunting. Taking the plant too young and not planting the seeds from the ones they harvest. Tomecko claims each year there is less. Tomecko has done it most of his life, starting when he was young with his father in Virginia. He hopes that his children and grandchildren will be able to do it too.

There are regulations for ginseng hunting and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources enforces them rigorously. For example, there's a season on digging roots which begins on Sept. 1 and runs through Dec. 31. Harvested plants must have at least 3 "prongs," and the seeds should be slightly crushed to break the pulp, then planted around the one originally dug about 6 to 12 inches apart and a half inch or so deep. There are more regulations as well.

While out enjoying nature, you may come home without a big buck, but may be able to make the big bucks with this root. From Mansfield News Journal.


hunter25's picture

I was surprised to see this

I was surprised to see this ine as I remember people talking about looking for ginseng when I was a kid in Wisconsin. I had no idea there was a regulated season on it in some places though. I never saw any myself as I didn't even know what to look for back then. There must not be a lot of it out there to command such a high price. I also know there were some very large farms dedicated just to growing this one item so I'm wondering if the demand and price for wild grown is higher than it is for farmed product. I've read the cost of farming is very high as there is a lot of shade required to get it to grow properly. Anyway it would be great to stumble on a undiscovered patch of this stuff out there to be able to fund some more hunting trips quickly.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I remember long ago, before

I remember long ago, before the whole ginseng infused teas and such became popular, that some of my relatives in Pennsylvannia used to look for that stuff.  That was probably 30 years ago.

They brought out a big box full of ginseng root that was drying out.  At that time, I think they basically sold it to chinese stores for use in medicines and stuff.  Now, every tea, or other type of drink manufacturer seems to have a ginseng product.

Never got to hunt for it though, I bet it would be fun.  Kinda like hunting for Morel mushrooms, I'd like to give that a try.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Well ain't that somthing.  I

Well ain't that somthing.  I have never heard of that or would have even thought something like that would be something that would be hunted.