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Okay, after reading and researching and pouring over these threads, I believe (with 99% certainty) I found my first Hen this AM (pics to follow)... It was growing at the base of a huge Oak tree, lower elevation (even with the banks of a nearby river), and it looks the part. Can someone verify via the pics below?

Now cue a slew of annoying questions...

It weighed in at just over 4lbs and was, for the most part, spongy and somewhat moist to the touch. Some of the pedals were a bit drier...can I eat this whole thing? Even the stalk parts seemed like they would be edible?

Is there anything I need to cut away? Some of the drier parts were brown in color where the rest is white or gray/dark grey.

How should this be stored and can it be frozen / what process do you guys recommend?

BUGS! Hundreds of tiny (almost flea-like) bugs came out of the base...the mushroom isn't really eaten up...is this normal? In the process of cutting this up into edible size bites I managed to get rid of them all...is this still okay to eat?

Other things to know/consider? Thanks in advance!

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UPDATE: After piecing this out and packing them in plastic bags, I refrigerated the bags for a few hours while I headed out fishing. After getting back, I wanted to try frying a few pieces only to discover tons and tons of tiny white worms with black heads on every piece. Is this a sign that the mushroom is shot, or does every one have these? What a buzzkill! If you look closely at the second to the last pic you can see the worms (one, in particular, near the bottom). Yes, they did actually move around when I stopped to watch them. A blown up pic is here...


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On theblake right now and only have a cell till late mon. So can't type much, yes, its a hen, a little past prime, but not bad, they can get buggy, and since its your first .....don't really know how buggy it is. Putting it in the fridge is a good start to debug it, soaking it will also work, youbwill just have to cook it longer........#$&@%! Just lost a fish....you can also cut it up in small pieces and leave them sit out and the worms willnstart to come out as well...goodbluck....a few worms wontbstop me but if it starts to be a lot willnjust toss it....would at least cook and eat some of it though!

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