City Deer Hunt Numbers Way DownSubmitted: 01/28/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

RHINELANDER - The DNR gave out a lot of tags for Rhinelander's city deer hunt this season.

But hunters didn't bag many deer.

The bow hunt within city limits ends Thursday.

Hunters have harvested just 10 deer in the hunt so far.

It started in mid-September.

This year will be the lowest total for a full season of hunting in the city hunt's history.

Hunters took 10 deer this year.

But 53 were shot in both 2006 and 2007, the first two years of the hunt.

This year's number is much lower, even though the city and the DNR's Jeremy Holtz gave out more tags than average.

"I guess I wasn't too surprised when people showed interest early, but I did expect a higher harvest rate with the tags that were requested," says Holtz.

The hunt started seven years ago when deer nuisance complaints were high.

People didn't like the number of deer eating their gardens or crossing the road in the city.

The number of those complaints has dropped.

But so has the deer harvest numbers.

"I think there are probably two reasons. There are fewer deer around and I think deer are getting more accustomed to people on top of stands, hunting them," says Blaine Oborn, the Rhinelander City Administrator.

So it seems like the hunt worked.

But Holtz says the reasons for fewer deer might be more complicated.

The drop could also be related to climate during a particular season.

Unusually warm or unusually cold winters (the Northwoods has had at least one of each in the past decade) can also impact deer population.

The city plans to work with Holtz and the DNR to figure out what's best for years to come.

"Maybe we'll take off 2013 next year, or maybe we'll decide to do it again and take off the following year. We'll just continue to evaluate that on a year-to-year basis," says Oborn.

Rhinelander is one of a very few places in Wisconsin with a city deer hunt.

The city will review its deer hunting rules in August.

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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Wisconsin Public Service Commission officials say they're considering spending $10 million to $20 million on manure digester technology.

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