There are numerous ways to make money from things you can find in the woods or even fields. Most people think of logging timber or cutting firewood, but I'm going to list some different options that involve less physically demanding work, less equipment, and less environmental impact. The majority of them will not affect the ecosystem if done moderately. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
Morel mushrooms, also known as dryland fish, can be found in the woods in the springtime across most of the entire Eastern half of the United States and a few places in the Northwest. Morels can sell for $20 or more per pound.
Pine cones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be turned into crafts which can then be sold. You can also soak them in certain chemicals which will in turn cause them to burn different colors when put in a fireplace. These treated pine cones sell for around $15 for a 3 pound bag.
You can dig ginseng and other herbal roots such as goldenseal, black cohosh, and wild hydrangea. A pound of wild ginseng usually brings anywhere from $300 to $800 a pound depending on the market that year.
Arrowheads, flint tools, and other Indian rocks and artifacts can be found in fields and woods across the country. Just one nice artifact could be worth anywhere between $10 and $1000.
Keep an eye out for twisted, small trees or branches. You can make really nice walking canes out of these fairly easily. Just try to use trees or branches that have a unique, distinctive quality. This makes the cane a one of a kind item with character.
You can find giant cane, also known as river cane, in 23 states. It is often found in floodplains with sparse tree cover overhead. You can take a few of the larger ones and make fishing poles (cane poles) out of them and sell them.
You can find and sell antler sheds from deer, elk and moose. Many sell for several dollars a pound, but if you find a trophy-sized shed it could bring much more.
You might need to exercise some caution on this one. Most people wait until after the fall frost. It is gathering hornet nests. They generally bring around $20-30 apiece from people who want them as a type of rustic decoration or just collect them. Plus, hornets do not use an old nest, they build a new one each year.
Hopefully, you have gotten at least a few ideas from this article and maybe you have most of these things in your area. Just please be responsible when taking advantage of nature's available resources and always check your local laws and regulations before proceeding.