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Wisconsin gun deer hunting season beginsSubmitted: 11/18/2017

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NORTHWOODS - "We got up before daylight and went out in the woods," said Sierra Endel, who is from Hazelhurst. 

Hunters all across the Northwoods were ready to go for the start this year's gun deer hunt.

"Opening day has been okay, we got two bucks on the pole right now so it's a good start," said Justin Pitlik from Eagle River. 


For some, this year's opening day was pretty normal.

"We've seen deer this morning, weather was beautiful, other than that, the same as every year," said Arnie Andersen, who traveled to Lake Tomahawk from Racine County.

For others, this year's opening day will be one to remember.

"This is my biggest," said Endel, referring to the 10-point buck she got. 
 
While hunting is a big tradition for many Northwoods families, this year's hunting season saw a big change. Wisconsin's minimum hunting age was dropped, meaning kids nine and under can now hunt with an adult or "mentor" hunter.

Endel, who is 14 years old, has no problem with the change.

"I think that's pretty good they just have to be responsible about it, parents too," said Endel.

Pitlik agrees that dropping the minimum hunting age is a good thing.

"It them with a presents a greater opportunity so they can learn how to be more responsible hunters when they get older," said Pitlik. 
 
Others, like Andersen, disagree.

"Anything under nine no, that's too dangerous for everybody, it's just the state trying to make more money that's all, from selling licenses. I don't want my 7-year-old Grandson out there with a rifle," said Andersen. 

At whatever age families decide to let their kids start hunting, many of them will continue passing on their hunting traditions.

"We really love doing this every year and we're going to keep it going all the way through our children, through their children," said Pitlik.



Story By: Dakota Sherek

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 LOCAL NEWS

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EAGLE RIVER - For people who don't like to hunt, an event held tonight gave them another option. The first ever Widow's Wine Walk took place in downtown Eagle River.

Women could sample up to 15 of 24 different wines at 12 participating businesses. Along with the wine tastings, women who paid the $20 ticket also got coupons for each shop.

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TOMAHAWK - Thirty-two-year-old Eric Lee Moen of Wausau is charged with shooting and killing his friend of four and a half years, Charles K. Ramp with a long gun. Moen is currently in Lincoln County Jail on a $1 million cash bond. 

On Friday morning, Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins held a press conference to explain what police think led up to the shooting.

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RHINELANDER - Snow plows can't do their job very well when cars sit in their way.  That's why Rhinelander's winter parking ban will return in just a couple of weeks.

Starting December 1st, cars can only park on designated sides of the street during the day.  On even-numbered days, cars park on the side of the street with even addresses.  On odd numbered days, cars must park on odd-numbered sides of the street.

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TOMAHAWK - The rain didn't stop a big crowd from going to an event that's become tradition.
The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce hosted its 52nd Venison Feed.

 It kicks off the gun deer hunting season which starts tomorrow. 
 
You'll find grill master Gregg Albert at the same spot this year as he has for decades.

"From what we know it's one of the last in the country that even exist.

If I had to say one word it would be tradition," said Albert. 

The Tomahawk Chamber of Commerce's 52nd Venison Feed brought out some old timers and some newbies to kick off the start of the deer hunting season. 

Albert's grilled for about 33 years. 

I found Rhinelander's Steve Norman's on his sixth free venison burger. 

"Sweet it's good. I'm on my last one," said Norman.

He's not a hunter.

"I just fish like heck," said Norman. 

However, Norman still gets a lot out of the celebration. 

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RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Salvation Army hopes to raise $40,000 in its bell ringing campaign again this year. It reached that goal during the holidays a year ago.

Volunteers kicked off the bell ringing drive at Trig's and Shopko on Friday. Eighty-six percent of money raised stays in the Rhinelander area to help families in emergencies.

"We're very excited that we're keeping our goal at 40 (thousand dollars) this year, and we're hoping that people are continuing to be generous in helping us reach that goal," Rhinelander Salvation Army Kettle Coordinator Kim Swisher said. "People are friendly, they're excited, they're like, 'Oh, it's bell ringing time!' [That] always means the holidays. We're excited about that."

You'll see volunteers at Trig's and Shopko through the holidays. Bell ringing starts at Walmart next week.

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SUGAR CAMP - Students at Sugar Camp Elementary School invited their grandparents to join them at school on Friday. Grandparents toured classrooms, heard poems and stories, and ate lunch with family.

Jenna Erikson is a sixth grader at Sugar Camp. Her grandparents drive two hours from Colby every year to experience Grandparents Day with her.

"We read our speeches, then I showed my grandparents around the room a little bit," Erikson said. "It's really fun, and it's just a good time."

More than 130 grandparents visited their grandchildren at school. Sugar Camp has been hosting the event for decades.

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EAGLE RIVER - Americans eat more than 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. That much thawing, handling, and cooking of turkeys means people can make mistakes.

The Vilas County Public Health Department wants to help people avoid exposing themselves to dangerous bacteria. It says frozen turkeys should always be thawed in the refrigerator or under running water.

"You don't want to set them out on your countertop for any amount of time to thaw them because that's when they're going to be in the 'danger zone.' The 'danger zone' is between 40 and 140 [degrees Fahrenheit], and that's when pathogens can grow," said Vilas County Registered Sanitarian Amy Springer.

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