After Project Red Berry last September, which was a DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement initiative to achieve compliance with ginseng regulations, some ginseng diggers grumbled saying they were going to give up their beloved activity because there was too great a chance they would be cited for a violation.
Anyone who has read the ginseng digging regulations, at least the part dealing with digging, should be embarrassed to have made such a statement.
Of course those who believe rules are for the next guy should have a problem and probably should leave the plants and roots to those who follow the laws and respect private landowners’ property rights.
Diggers can’t get antsy and start digging before someone else either; before the season opens. It’s the same things that apply to deer hunting and trout fishing.
In general, public land is off limits and so is private land without landowners’ permission. That permission should be renewed annually.
A harvester’s (digger’s) license is required before stepping out of the truck with a digging tool in hand.
There is a biological reason for having roots and plant tops together until arriving home from the woods. Similarly, there is a biological reason for requiring planting the seeds near where a plant was dug. Digging a plant kills it so start another population by planting the seeds.
Plant tops must be a certain size before plants are dug, too.
Those stories, particularly the bar tales, probably have another side to them.
It could just be that these tales are told by diggers who don’t want the competition of more people in the woods or you’ll get a citation.