This year was going to be a crazy year even with COVID-19. We had plans for Anna’s graduation, the Dane County Dairy Breakfast and Anna’s wedding in August. Cleaning the machinery shed and the garage were always on the list of things to tackle.
    We started off great with putting up industrial shelving and had places for the show supplies, extra feeders and waterers. The snow fence is neatly stored. The old stanchions from the remodel of the barn in 1993 are on a pallet. There is a barrel full of collars we took off the cows when we went robotic. Disc openers, a hydraulic pump and a few good tires got put where they would be easy to get to with the hopes someone will want to buy them.
    Some things went by the road with a free sign in hopes someone would be able to use what my kids grew out of. The bike cart that pulled both the girls when we went for bike rides. Two umbrella strollers we got for the boys to push the girls around when we went to Disney World. Chairs we picked up at the church garage sale with the hopes we could use them if we had needed extras. They were forgotten behind the pile of cages and animal carriers we used to get chickens and rabbits to the county fair.
    The pool floaties, life jacket and old golf bag and clubs were the first things to disappear by the free sign. Later the chairs, strollers and bike cart found new homes, too. It felt good to get them out of the garage, but better that someone else could use them.
    With all of this cleaning, Anna and Kevin, her fiancé, had time to themselves. They took to the woods to hunt for sheds and look for signs of turkeys.
    While driving from field to field, they drove past a friend who had stuff for sale in his front yard. Anna noticed her strollers, then the chairs. He had them for sale along with a huge set of moose antlers. That drew them in to see how much he was selling the antlers for.
    Dewey came to say hello. They talked, and Anna wanted to know where he finds all of these sheds. He had a lot of stories to tell. He spoke about the sheds he finds in the state parks and along the streams. He has several farms where he walks the tree lines. He goes to Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan. He wanders over 5 miles every day looking. As the visit went on, his wife came out and was so excited to hear Anna was graduating, and she invited them into their home. The walls were filled with amazing sheds, and then they went into the basement where there were thousands of sheds neatly arranged in boxes that he sells online. He has every one photographed and documented. Anna and Kevin were in awe. They got a few tips and went on to look for turkeys.
    We own a few fields that have thick tree lines and wooded areas, so they headed that way searching for turkeys. Kevin has hunted turkeys for years and has the ability to call the toms in with a clicking sound.
    As Anna and Kevin went by the woods near the elementary school, they noticed foot prints in the moist soil. Big and little footprints. There were boards over the creek that made a bridge from one side to the next. When they walked behind the homes that border our fields, they noticed more foot prints. Then in the wooded areas, there were trees cut down and stacked neatly in firewood piles right behind their houses. Did they think this was going to be a campsite? Anna took photos so she could show Duane and I to let us see what is happening. The lot line stakes are still in to clearly show the line from one end of the housing development to the other. Every one of the homeowners have crossed that line.
    Kevin has an app that shows property lines within a foot or so, and it was clear many of the homeowners were trespassing. This situation could be dangerous if Kevin and Anna were hunting in the woods, and people were back there walking around.
    The solution was to post the property lines, and make the homeowners and the other wanderers know this is private property, not a local park.
    Anna and Kevin posted the property with yellow signs that had our name on the bottom. It was not but a few hours later a phone call came in from two of the homeowners asking what is going on. Did they do something wrong?
    The homeowner mentioned that when her children were little they always played in the creek and made bridges. And now their grandchildren enjoy the creek, too. The last landowner did not have a problem with them being in the woods, and now they have these bright yellow signs to look at when they look out their windows. They were both clearly upset and wanted to take the signs down.
    Since the coronavirus hit, the parks have been closed along with school. Families have been exploring in the woods, creek and even creating areas to have a firepit and cutting down trees to make a camping area. We know of hunters trespassing, and clearly all of the foot prints are telling the story. There is a cul-de-sac that is near the woods, and that is an entry place for many who are spending their quarantine time hiking.
    The homeowners said they have never seen anyone walking behind their property, and they felt we were ruining their view looking at all the wildlife. He was an avid walker, walking at least 2 miles daily. He had never seen anyone go in or out by the cul-de-sac. So, Anna encouraged him to walk over by the opening in the woods and look at all the footprints.
    They both were once again asking permission to take the signs down. I could see the conversation getting nowhere, so I gave them Duane’s phone number. The next evening, Duane called and spoke for over an hour. This is one of those situations that will not be resolved easily, and we will be the bad people in the neighborhood for protecting the safety of others. We love they enjoy the wildlife and have taken advantage of not having a fence between the property, but clearly there needs to be a line.
    Tina Hinchley, her husband, Duane, and their daughters, Anna and Catherine, milk 240 registered Holsteins with robots. They also farm 2,300 acres of crops near Cambridge, Wisconsin.  They have been hosting farm tours for over 20 years.