Why not pick wild berries?

Wild raspberries grow in several colors: black, blond and red. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

People spend hours picking farmed strawberries. They pay by the pound or quart. They bend themselves in half to snatch the fruit. They almost never complain about the time, dollars, aches and pains, either.

Why not pick wild berries? On public wildlife land or in state parks?

Mulberries. Blackcaps. Other raspberries. Blackberries. Blueberries. Grapes. Elderberries. Others, too.

The excuses are many, but few are valid. There are bears about. Snakes slither under hand and foot. Canes have pointy emergences that hurt more than a dull needle. Insects bite. Ticks cause diseases.

So why not give wild berry-picking a try?

The real reason may lie in the same pile as squirrel hunting, panfishing, or morel gathering. In reality a lot of folks do not like the outdoors.

Maybe the blame is with those of us who do pick. We should offer a free, all-expenses paid outing so a few folks will give it a try.

But if the invitees don’t show an interest in one of Wisconsin’s grand summer traditions after that first trip, best to let it go and don’t bother asking again. And do not take them a pie, jar of jelly or fresh berries for cereal or ice cream, either.

The experience will have answered some of the questions about trout fishing, deer hunting, turkey hunting or birding. Most people just do not like doing outdoors things. So don’t knock yourself out trying to convince them otherwise.

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