I know I have hickory as soon as my chainsaw makes its first entry wound, no mistaking the smell if you know what it smells like. Best way to tell is get a small sliver and light it up. Personally I would use it in chunks now and not at 6 months or a year. As I have said many time, I like mine green, unless that is all you are using for heat and smoke, then it needs some seasoning.
When the going gets tough, I take more fiber.