STATEWIDE - Rifle hunters age 10-15 got a chance to shoot their first deer of the season. The weekend of October 6-7 is open for rifle hunting just for those age groups.
The Youth Deer Hunt is meant to set aside time for young hunters to learn the ropes, and tradition from an older mentor.
Each youth- accompanied by an adult 18 or older- is allowed to take one buck, plus additional antler-less deer depending on the area.
Some deer tags are free, but the memories can be priceless.
"I was really proud that it just went down right away. And then right after we pulled it I was happy to see the spikes," said Alayna Franson, a 12 year-old rifle hunter from Rhinelander.
The Wisconsin DNR stresses teaching the basics during the youth hunt: Treat every gun as if it were loaded- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction- Be sure of your target and beyond; and Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
FOREST COUNTY - Forest Count and Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc. (WORVPI) have found a 10,000 acre plot of land they would like to buy for an off-road park, according to WORVPI President John Schnorr.
Schnorr wouldn't discuss the exact location in Forest County, but said they would hope to buy the parcels by June 2014. Right now they’re contracting an engineering firm to evaluate the land.
"That's so environmental concerns can be met," Schnorr said. "We'll look at that as well as a pleasurable experience for an off-road visitor who is going to come up and spend hopefully a weeks vacation in Forest County."
Forest County leaders believe an off-road park could help bring more tourists to the area, and with that more money. The county has the fifth worst unemployment rate, 7.9 percent, in Wisconsin.
WORVPI used Ripon College to perform a feasibility study on the off-road park. It says the average off-roader will travel 300 miles to visit an off-road park. It also projected an off-road park could bring in nearly $28 million per year for Forest County businesses.
"It will take us some time to operate and open it up and develop the trails, the camp sites, the amenities inside," Schnorr said. "Realistically we could see an opening date of Memorial Day of 2015."
The park would host ATVs, motorcycles and other vehicles on off-road trails.
People can help fund the park by purchasing $150 charter membership passes. More than 30 have already been purchased. Schnorr says only 100 will be available.
"The pass will entitle the holder to a park pass, an annual park pass, for the first year when the park opens," Schnorr said. "It will give us some capital up front and afford them a discounted price down the road."
Even with the progress, Schnorr says the project is still in the early stages.
"If you are an optimist, you think a huge amount of progress has been made," Schnorr said. "But if you are a pessimist, not enough progress has been made."
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