There are a few things to keep in mind when harvesting and aging your own cane...
Bring a set of Calipers and know the precise diameter of the cane you are looking for. Gougers can only process one diameter, and just slightly smaller. Bassoon cane is 26mm in diameter and Contrabassoon cane is 28-30mm depending on your machine. Oboe and english horn cane is much more abundant than bassoon and contra, because many shoots of cane stay small because of over crowding. Only a few shoots grow large enough for bassoon.
Gather cane in January, this is when the plant is in its peak. Also go in the Morning, the gravity from the moon pulls nutrients from the roots up into the stalk. Really.
Just take the cane and toss it in the corner of the garage for 8 months. Don't be in a hurry to use it or you'll be frustrated by unstable reeds and soft cane. after the 8 months are up, put it outside in the sun for a few days in a row, this is how it gets the golden color.
For buying cane, my favorite cane sources are RDG Midwest Musical Imports