Everyone has their own huckleberry picking tips or techniques we use when picking berries, but I think we can all agree on the following:
There are many tips and tricks to the art of huckleberry picking, but only one rule: never, ever reveal the location of your personal huckleberry heaven.
The ‘tip’ above appeared an article on The Lewiston Tribune website.
Here are some of the tips that Ruthie Prasil listed in her article:
You’ll want to be up in the mountains where it’s cooler. Once you’re looking at a temperature in the low- to mid-70s, try turning off some Forest Service access roads. Parking along these and hiking up just a bit is usually good practice.
Bring small buckets and Ziploc baggies. Some of my saddest moments in life have been watching my full bucket of berries slowly tip over and tumble down the mountainside. Every now and then, transfer your berries to the Ziploc bag and snap that sucker shut.
You’ll want good shoes (closed toe, good for climbing) and long pants. It wouldn’t hurt to carry bear spray, but I say that because I’m always afraid of wolves or bears attacking out of nowhere.
Huckleberry plants or bushes look like this: Lots of green leaves with berries scattered throughout. They are nothing like raspberry bushes or strawberry plants, with big berries tightly packed together. Huckleberries are tiny and delicate. You’re lucky to get two or three on the same twig.
Berry colors vary, but you want the ones that are more blue/purple than pink. Leave the green and pink ones and grab them the next time you’re out, once they’ve ripened.
Huckleberries are soft and fragile. You know how with herbs and some fruits, you can hold onto one end of the plant and by pinching your thumb and pointer together, slide it down the plant while the herbs or berries slide off? This is not the case with huckleberries. If you try that, you will end up with a juicy, purple mess. They must be picked one by one, and carefully at that. Once you’re used to handling them and picking them, you’ll be able to hold your bucket over the plant while you quickly pluck them one by one and let them fall.
One thing, we, at the International Wild Huckleberry Association, would suggest is to use a small ‘Igloo style’ cooler for storing your picked berries. If you use ziplock bags during a hot day, you can cook your berries!