Canada geese banding an effort in patience, strategySubmitted: 07/22/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

RHINELANDER - More than one million Canada geese fly up and down what's called the Mississippi River Flyway each year.

Their route often includes northern Wisconsin.

Many of the geese live here in the Northwoods during the summer.

Scientists want to know more about this goose population and how they move.

The process is simple.

Scientists momentarily capture the geese, put an identification band on their leg, and set them free.

On Monday morning, DNR workers and volunteers helped do that on the Wisconsin Flowage just north of Rhinelander.

"You pretty much have to go out and scout right away in the morning, and find where they're at, and then slowly herd them, kind of like cattle, herd them this direction, and then surround them with the canoes and the kayaks, and slowly get them to walk up into the pens," says DNR Wildlife Technician Eric Kroening.

The geese won't fly away - they're in their flightless molting stage.

Each one gets a metal band around their leg.

If one is shot during hunting season, the hunter will call in the tracking number.

"It helps us with population trends, distribution, where they're migrating. This all helps with, we're in the Mississippi Flyway, it helps with managing the geese in the flyway," Kroening says.

DNR workers in the Northwoods band one hundred birds every year.

Four thousand will be banded across all of Wisconsin.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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TOWN OF NEWBOLD - Dreams of a world-class disc golf course and recreation area could soon become reality.  On September 26, people in the Town of Newbold voted to buy about 18 acres of land currently owned by Oneida County.

The land, about a half mile off Highway 47 along Ole Lake Road, was the site of an old landfill that the DNR closed in July 1988. The site has been empty ever since.

Buying the land would essentially double the space Newbold already owns for its planned recreation area.

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ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 62, Thorp 6

Algoma 24, Sturgeon Bay 8

Almond-Bancroft 61, Tigerton/Marion 6

Amherst 56, Manawa 6

Antigo 42, Lakeland 28

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RHINELANDER - A Wisconsin brewing company executive wants businesses to hire more veterans.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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