Out and About with Bob


We spent an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend with oldest son, Jon, daughter-in-law, Sara, and grandsons, Jackson (12) and Bryson (10), at their cabin on Turtle Lake in Bayfield County.
From Grampa's old-time outdoors fish fry, to golfing, walking their trails, working on their boat dock, watching the grandsons fish, or just plain relaxing, it was a busy, but great few days together.
Grampa had plenty of help from his grandsons frying fish on Friday night. I took 70 panfish fillets and we ate all but a half dozen which I finished for breakfast the next morning.
The 32-foot boat dock now stretches 48 feet, after we added a couple more new sections after golf on Saturday afternoon. Turtle Lake, a small 26-acre freshwater lake, has grown in size and depth resulting from a couple of very wet years. The lake actually froze out about 8-10 years ago, but has returned to almost normal levels. Fishing continues to improve each year, too.
We saw three deer at the end of the driveway while enjoying our Friday night fish fry. However, that was it for seeing deer the rest of the weekend until grandma and I returned to La Crosse on Sunday.
We heard turkey hens clucking every morning. We watched beavers swim and splash in the lake while wood ducks flew back and forth from the lake to a larger pond that drains into it. We also watched squirrels and chipmunks scurry about. And of course, the spring peeper chorus entertained us at night.
One thing we didn't enjoy were wood ticks. They are always plentiful in early spring, but almost disappear by mid to late June.
Grandma and I saw several road-killed deer on our trip up to the cabin, but were shocked by the number on our return trip. We saw at least two dozen or more, mostly yearlings. A few large does added to the total road-kill count, as well as one dead fawn.
Back here in the Coulee Region, panfish are biting sporadically off Ol' Tom's boathouse on French Island. Bass and northern fishing are also providing some action.
Boating, canoeing, kayaking, skiing and s few swimmers kept local rivers busy, especially Sunday and Memorial Day.
Meanwhile, across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, in La Crescent, spent the week checking anglers and ATV operators. Two recent alcohol-related ATV crashes that resulted in serious injuries are unfortunate reminders of the danger of mixing alcohol and riding.
Bass and northern pike fishing has been picking up and some anglers are finding limits of sunfish. Enforcement action was taken for anglers taking an over-limit of sunfish, using extra lines and fishing without licenses. DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, in Rushford, reports checking anglers on the area trout streams. Success was fair to good. Violations encountered were no license and no trout stamp.
Time was also spent patrolling state forest campgrounds and day areas. Enforcement action was taken for illegal operation of a motor vehicle. Boyum checked ATV complaint areas and trails. Compliance was good.
Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, stationed in Winona, reports a busy week of fishing with limits of sunfish, crappies, bass and walleyes checked.
There were very few people continuing to turkey hunt and mushroom hunting was slow.
All waters and state properties continue to see very high usage. There were several baby and nuisance-wild-animal calls.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors.