RHINELANDER - Hunters kicked off the wolf hunting season Tuesday. But you may be surprised not all of the permits have been bought.
Out of 1,600 applicants, 2,500 permits were issued for this year's hunt and only 1,500 of those have been sold.
But DNR Large Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland doesn't think that's due to a lack of interest.
"People really don't start buying licenses until they are ready to go out and harvest and I do the same thing. The first time I went grouse hunting this year I had to run out and buy a license before I went. So we think we'll see the same thing with the wolf harvest."
The DNR says the permits almost never sell out completely, no matter what type of hunting season is in place.
Even though this is the second year of wolf hunting, the controversy over the season is still as high as ever says MacFarland.
"It's a polarizing issue. There are people in the state who are very happy with what's happening. They think it's long over due that wolves should have been hunted long ago and that the population should be reduced. There are also people in the state who believe that wolves shouldn't be harvested. That problem wolves should be dealt with in other ways and that the population should be able to grow beyond what it is now."
There are more than 800 wolves in the state. The DNR wants that number to eventually go down to 350. It set this years kill limit at 251.
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
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