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Sleigh Rides can be another fun way to get outdoors in the winterSubmitted: 12/17/2014
EAGLE RIVER - For some people, a sleigh ride seems like the perfect activity to get into the Christmas spirit.

When the snow starts to fall, these draft horses begin to pull sleighs through the woods behind Northland Pines High School in Eagle River. Sleigh driver Karrie Dollar says the woods are magical.

"Every day it's different out there. It's about getting out in the outdoors and seeing the wildlife on the trails. A lot of times there are deer, squirrels that run across in front of you; being outside with your loved ones and making memories," said Dollar.

Many people enjoy the solitude of the woods on snowmobiles. But, sleigh rides are a more quiet option for people.

"When you're on a sleigh ride you can converse, you can talk, and you're not all bundled up with the helmet on or the roar of the engine. It's another way to be outside enjoying the weather. We live in Wisconsin for a reason," said Dollar.

Several snowmobilers have had trouble hitting the trails so far this year because of our major snow melt. But, with the fresh snow, sleigh drivers don't see any problems.

"Our trails held up pretty well. It got a little bit sloppy but with the new fresh snow, we're looking forward to great trails again this week," said Dollar.

A sleigh ride can also be a festive way to enjoy the holiday season.

"This seems to be when people are looking for fun things to do. It's the holidays and everybody is in a festive mood. Everybody wants to come out and do fun things," said Dollar. "You can sing, you can carol, it's just great fun."

Not many things demonstrate the rustic beauty of a Northwoods winter better than a burning fire.

"We get to a bonfire where there is hot chocolate served. You can hang out around the bonfire for a while and more new friends," said Dollar.

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be helpful to just relax.

"They want a break from Christmas shopping and the hustle and the bustle. This is just a good release," said Dollar. "It's something to do to get away from traffic and stores and everything that's crazy."

Rocking W Stables also runs the free wagon rides in downtown Eagle River. They will be open until January 4th.


Story By: Jeanine Ilacqua

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 LOCAL SPORTS
Spirit of the North: family and friends catch 600 crappies during summer 14'Submitted: 12/15/2014

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EAGLE RIVER - Summertime in the Northwoods seems like a distant memory now.

But that won't stop Newswatch 12 from reflecting on the fun success stories of the 2014 summer.

Like one retired sheriff's deputy and his wife hosting 54 friends and family throughout the summer.

They caught nearly 600 crappies on the Eagle Chain.

It's the kind of outdoor fun that truly shows the spirit of the North.

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Lakeland drops Hancock 46-22Submitted: 12/13/2014

MINOCQUA - A lower scoring affair over in Lakeland Friday.

The T-Birds welcomed in Hancock in another non-conference battle.

Lakeland was in control of this one early.

Lilith Schuman puts up the long ball.

It misses left, but Sydney Ziebart corrals the rebound.

She gets the second chance shot to fall.

Great follow from Ziebart there.

The T-Birds jumped out to a good lead thanks in part to their swarming defense.

Three players battle for it.

Lakeland gets it out to Ziebart.

She pushes it up to Shaina Rayala.

Lots of contact underneath, but Rayala uses the left hand to get the tough shot to fall.

Hancock kept battling back.

Some good ball movement on the outside.

A nice drive along the baseline gets them a good bucket, but Lakeland got one back for every Hancock bucket.

Clara Schroeder gets it at the free throw line.

She sinks the long two, and they wouldn't look back.

Lakeland wins this one 46-22.

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Marshfield takes down Mosinee 57-43Submitted: 12/13/2014

MOSINEE - The Mosinee Indians hosted Marshfield in a non-conference showdown Friday.

It was a clash of the titans between these two.

Both teams made spectacular plays all game long.

Mosinee's Aaron Maas drives hard right side.

A little pick down low from Matt Bolanda lets Maas get the easy lay in, but Marshfield is prepared to strike back.

Tanner Boson takes the three.

It bounces off the front iron, but Caleb Alexander is right there to clean it up.

Great awareness there.

The Indians came right back with it.

Maas has it up top.

He drives again.

This time he finds a cutting Jared Novitzke underneath.

A really nice play there.

Mosinee does it almost the same way on their next possession.

Maas goes deep to Jordan Budnik.

He gives it up to Novitzke on the great no-look pass.

The two teams kept trading body blows for nearly the whole game, but Marshfield pulls away at the end.

They win on the road 57-43.

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Antigo outlasts Tomahawk Submitted: 12/12/2014

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TOMAHAWK - Antigo defeated Tomahawk 47-32 for their first Great North Conference win of the season.

Antigo will take on Northland Pines next on Tuesday.

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Wabeno/Laona downs Crandon 50-41Submitted: 12/12/2014

CRANDON - A Northern Lakes matchup in Crandon Friday.

The Cardinals welcomed in Wabeno/Laona.

The Logrollers were the away team, but it felt like they had home-court advantage.

Michael Gilpin dishes out to Cooper Chrisman.

He gives it right back to Gilpin.

He finds the bottom of the net for the first score of the game.

They weren't done there from behind the arc.

Chrisman gets it off the inbounds and drains another longball for a 6-0 lead.

Crandon still scoreless at this point, but Wabeno/Laona's Gilpin isn't.

Another nice inbounds pass sets him up for his second three ball of the game.

Some great hustle plays like this one helped get Crandon right back into the thick of it after the first quarter, but Wabeno-Laona was able to hold them off.

They win it 50-41.

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Rhinelander stomps Medford Submitted: 12/12/2014

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RHINELANDER - Rhinelander defeats Meford 40-9 in Rhinelander Friday night.

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Merrill takes down Wausau EastSubmitted: 12/12/2014

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MERRILL - Merrill beat Wausau East 50-41 for their first Wisconsin Valley Conference win of the year.

Merrill also ended a two game losing streak.

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Lakeland hands Northland Pines a 58-34 lossSubmitted: 12/12/2014

EAGLE RIVER - Another Great Northern Conference matchup in Eagle River Friday.

Northland Pines hosted Lakeland Union.

The Thunderbirds held the edge in this one early, but the Eagles kept fighting back.

Michael Rosinski gets the ball at the corner.

He splits the defenders and drives straight to the hoop.

The T-Birds answer right back.

They're trying to get something going before the half.

Joey Jirikowic gets it down low.

He misses but is right there to clean up his own mess.

A great momentum play there going into halftime.

Pines trying to get back in it in the third quarter.

Will Janklow passes to AJ Skarbek.

He's quickly swarmed.

He passes it back out to Janklow.

He drains the triple to try and keep Pines within striking distance, but the Eagles couldn't fight their way back.

Lakeland wins it 58-34.

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Curling's popularity soars in MedfordSubmitted: 12/11/2014

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MEDFORD - When you think of high school sports, football, basketball, or baseball may come to mind first.

But for Medford, one sport is just as popular: curling.

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Antigo taxidermist doing fine despite low deer killSubmitted: 12/11/2014

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ANTIGO - Deer hunters might go through many years of hunting before taking a buck worthy of being mounted.

Then they can show it off to their friends and family and have a lasting memory.

An Antigo taxidermist hasn't seen as many deer this year.

Taxidermists depend on hunters who bring in deer to run their business.

When the deer kill is down 18% like it was in northern Wisconsin this year, it affects their income.

"When you compare it to last year, last year was already a down year than the year before," said Fittante Taxidermist owner Joe Fittante. "So comparing this year being down to last year, if we look at it from five years ago, it'd probably be pretty shocking, it might be over 60% down."

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  WJFW TV-12 Sports Team