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Mud Lake Wildlife Area

Mud Lake Wildlife Area

Mud Lake Wildlife Area is approximately 4,500-acres and lies to the southwest of Reeseville or northwest of Watertown. From Watertown, travel west on Highway 19 and turn north on County Q. Turning west on County QQ, the property is accessible on Garden Road. Continuing north on County Q, there are two access roads to enter the property located on Pit Road and Ranch Road. Also from Highway 19, turn north on County G and there are access signs and access parking lots along County G and also by turning east on Mud Lake Road.

You will find a diversity of habitat types at Mud Lake Wildlife Area. The Beaver Dam River runs through the heart of the property where it joins the Crawfish River at the southern portion. There are two large lakes, Mud and Chub lakes. There is a mixture of forested bottomland hardwoods, forested upland hardwoods, grasslands and marsh.

These habitats provide for both game and non game species including deer, turkeys, waterfowl, pheasants, mourning doves. rabbits, squirrels, muskrats, otter, beaver, sandhill cranes and woodland and grassland songbirds. The property provides for waterfowl, deer, turkey and other small game hunting opportunities. Wildlife watching opportunities are plentiful and can be accessed from any of the parking lots on the property.

Although you may encounter a wild pheasant, this property is stocked during the fall with pheasants raised at our State Game Farm in Poynette and also by conservation clubs enrolled in the Day Old Chick Program.

Management Objectives

Mud Lake Wildlife Area is a shallow wetland basin that was formed by the Wisconsin glacier. The first acquisition of this property as a wildlife area began in the late 1950s.

As funding allows, staff have been active in eliminating brush and trees that have encroached or taken over grasslands and wetlands. Recreating on the property, you are likely to see large paths that have been mowed in the grasslands and that change annually. These are firebreaks that allow staff to conduct prescribed burns in a safe manner to encourage desired native vegetation and rejuvenate the grasslands.


The Mud Lake Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Boating (two boat launches maintained on the property located at Garden Road and Ranch Road access sites);
  • Birding;
  • Canoeing;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Fishing;
  • Hiking (no designated trail);
  • Hunting (especially noted for deer [Unit 76A], turkey [Zone 2], pheasant [12 p.m. closure rules apply], squirrel, rabbit and waterfowl);
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.

Note: We are trying to remove box elder along the roads/fencelines. There are also timber harvests scheduled in the future that leave tops. Contact the manager if you have an interest in obtaining permits. These are issued annually when available and on a first-come, first-served basis.


Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.

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