It’s Huck Picking Time

By Beacon Staff

Huck season is here. In the lower elevations of the Whitefish Range, huckleberries are popping out thick. Contrary to recent summers, pickers are finding abundant berries—perhaps due to the long, wet spring.

Most huckleberry pickers won’t divulge their prime picking locations, but pickers are finding stashes of the ripe blue berries around Tally Lake, Big Mountain, and Glacier National Park. “They’re coming out a bit later than usual,” said Trish Wolf of Whitefish, who annually begins her huckleberry picking in mid-July. “There are bundles down lower, even as low as Whitefish Lake.”

In one of Wolf’s recent huck-picking excursions, she and her companions filled one to two gallons a piece in a little over two hours. “We found patches that were unbelievable,” she said, “and the berries are huge in lower elevations.”

Besides just tasting sweet, huckleberries are high in vitamin C. They are favored in pies, waffles, smoothies, and jam.

“The plants look as happy and healthy as I’ve ever seen them,” said Wolf. “The berries are really good right now on open slopes where trees have been thinned.”

Above 5,000 feet in elevation, huckleberry bushes still show the green pods rather than purple berries. But profuse blooms hold high hopes for a good crop for the home freezer.

The hucks are arriving just in time for Whitefish’s annual Huckleberry Days, scheduled for August 8-10.