Mushroom Hunting, a geologist’s view of

Today my partner went out mushroom hunting. Apparently this is something that some microbiologists do. However, to my surprise, this does not entail serious expeditionary setup. Imagine, they (my partner and her supervisor) just went out to look for mushrooms.

Annually, mushrooms seem to kill a handful of people a year in the USA, with more in Europe. These numbers are about the same as sharks.

Now, I am completely baffled by why lab-based microbiologists would engage in such a dangerous activity without getting properly kitted out. The following would seem reasonable recommendations as starting kit for mushroom hunting.

I would assume that something like this via Wikipedia
would be the bare minimum required for hunting mushrooms. That is the elephant gun once owned by Henry Morton Stanley, and should provide enough stopping power to put a mushroom on the ground in a hurry when needed.
However, if there is a group of mushrooms, such as a fairy ring, then more stopping power would probably be required. Something along this scale could be employed, with sufficient planning and a forward observer: this
via Wikipedia
This would be enough to break up fairy rings and prevent one from getting swarmed by group of hungry mushrooms.

In any case, there does not seem to be any protective clothing involved. I suspect if I was going to hunt something as dangerous as a mushroom, I would probably want something like this
via Wikipedia
This would prevent mushrooms from getting at my soft epidermis.

However, they appear to have survived, and even found some large mushrooms, which they seem to have been able to dispatch before the mushrooms struck. I must therefore applaud the superior reflexes of microbiologists. They are obviously able to move faster than a mushroom, and have you ever seen one of those move? I thought not. Do you now understand why mushrooms can best the unsuspecting so easily if they move faster than the eye can follow?