Scouting Goose Lake

[I edited this post after changing themes today. There’s now a gallery at the bottom of the post.- A]

We had a relatively busy weekend, and it was our first weekend doing something outside in almost a month. The camper is now mostly-finished.

We also picked up that dryer to tumble the hides, but Matt would rather I didn’t talk about that until we get all the bugs worked out.

Our other major activity this weekend was to scout some public land for hunting, specifically turkey. We’d had our eye on Goose Lake since last fall. It’s a good sized chunk of land, and it’s definitely bigger than the land we hunted deer on last year. It ended up taking us two days to scout. The first day we walked all over the eastern side of the parcel of land.

My poor old camera died fairly early on this trip. We didn’t see much turkey sign out walking around on this side. We saw some deer scat, and nibbled branches. On the far east side we found some trails. We also found out it’s named Goose Lake for a reason. We’ll probably try to hunt it for geese and ducks this year. As it was, the poor things were landing on a still-frozen lake. Saturday was pretty warm at about 45 degrees. Sunday was chillier, around 35. Both days were pretty overcast, and Sunday was very windy.

Most of the east side was flooded with melt off, or it was pretty low, swampy land to begin with. I did find one turkey feather, though, in a small stand of trees on our way back to the car.

Yesterday afternoon we drove over to Deerfield again, and this time chose one of the parking areas on the western side of the property. This side was mostly upland brush and hardwood.  Both sides of the land had upland terrain and brush that would be excellent for pheasant if we had a pointer/setter/retrieving dog. There are restrictions posted for pheasant, and you can only hunt them before 2pm. We hiked along the treeline at the bottom of the one big hill.

We still saw little in the way of turkey sign. For deer, however, we found what is probably a big watering hole. We will definitely be using this come deer season in the fall. It is used by people out hiking and walking their dogs, so we’re not sure how this affects the deer. It’s also just up the road from a gun club, and we could clearly hear gunshots on both days.  We also saw more geese coming in to the lake on this second day.

We headed back to the car, and Matt checked the map on his phone. We decided to check out one more little bit of public land on the other side of the road we parked on. This was all tall, brushy growth, but there was deer sign and scat everywhere. We followed a deer trail back and down a small hill into some more hardwoods, and came out on a snowmobile trail. It continued north into the woods. We followed it south where it came out into some tilled fields. On the edge of the field there was a permanent tree stand. There were deer tracks all over the mud on the trail. We checked the field to see it there were turkeys anywhere. None. So we walked back a ways, and started to check the woods on the other side of the trail. We scared up a deer sleeping just inside the treeline. I didn’t get a picture of it, but I did get a picture of a hoofprint. We kept an eye out both day for sheds, but no luck there.

In instances like this, the internet really saves our bacon. Neither of us had ever scouted for turkey before, so we were trying to do it like you scout for deer. We’re going to try something different on a day this week. We read that the easiest way to find turkey in the first place is to simply listen for them as they leave their roost in the morning. We need to see if there were even turkey on this land. If not, Matt hopes to try somewhere west of town near Mazomanie. We’re also asking around to see if anyone we know has land for turkey hunting.

Tomorrow I hope to have a video of our first attempts at turkey diaphragm calling edited and uploaded. This afternoon we may also be picking up fly fishing supplies, and finally making that trip down to the Root River for the salmon run next weekend. Our licenses expired yesterday, so we’ll have to get new ones and pick up our trout and salmon stamps as well.

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4 thoughts on “Scouting Goose Lake

    • WI DNR actually does their job pretty well, especially around a big town and a lot of lakes. It isn’t close to worth the ticket to poach fish 😛 Plus, with trout and salmon, there’s only a handful of places to catch them, so it’s not like you can slip by without a license. And besides all the negatives, I am A-OK with supporting the DNR.

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