Most states currently have laws governing the harvest and export of wild ginseng. It would take too long for me to list the laws for each state so I’ll just touch on a few of the most common wild ginseng laws. Keep in mind these laws are in place to protect the future of wild ginseng in the locations where it’s found.
Wild Ginseng Law 1
Only three prong or larger ginseng plants can be harvested. The reason for this law is to make sure only mature plants are harvested. The ginseng root on smaller plants is not yet developed and thus shouldn’t be dug up and harvested.
This is a simple law to follow and doesn’t at all effect a wild ginseng hunters season totals because, in general, the root will be to small to add much value to the hunters totals.
Wild Ginseng Law 2
If a wild ginseng plant stills has berries on it when harvested the berries must be replanted in or near the spot the plant was dug from. The stem in the middle of ginseng plants hold the red berries, which in turn contain the seeds of wild ginseng plants. Each berry contains around three small ginseng seeds. The seeds of course, are what re-grow the wild ginseng.
This is one of the most important of all ginseng laws in my opinion. Replanting the seeds is what will ensure the future of wild ginseng hunting.
Wild Ginseng Law 3
Most states have a season on wild ginseng hunting. For most states the season begins around September and ends in November or December. This is just a general guideline and you’ll have to check your specific state ginseng laws. Limiting the number of days someone can hunt for wild ginseng helps limit over harvesting of the plant.
There are many other laws concerning wild ginseng plants but the laws I’ve described above are some of the most important for the ethical wild ginseng hunter. You’ll find most states have laws concerning the export of wild ginseng and when, where or how wild ginseng can be sold.
It’s my hope that all who enjoy the benefits of wild ginseng hunting will follow the laws because they are in place to protect the hobby we enjoy.