There are around 1400 licensed truffle hunters in Tuscany, and competition between them is rather strong. Every hunter keeps his knowledge about fungi-rich territories in dead secret. It is said that truffle hunters mark the hotspots like Mugello Valley or San Miniato on maps and lock them until they are handed over to the next generations. Hunters’ major assistants are their dogs, and sometimes also pigs, that sniff the truffles and dig them out. If a dog suddenly dies, it's usually attributed to jealous competitors. Dogs also like the fungi and it makes the task even more complicated for the hunters. They must stay alert not to let the dogs eat the dug up treasure. Truffle hunting season in Florence reaches its peak in October and November. At this time you may enjoy these precious fungi in restaurants, watch or participate in truffle hunting process. Bumper truffle harvests occur on condition of rainy spring and summer. One of the revealed secrets is that truffles usually grow near certain trees, such as oaks, hornbeams and birches.