RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin DNR held one of its 35 public meetings to discuss changes to the state's deer hunting rules in Rhinlander Wednesday.
The Wisconsin DNR wants to make deer hunting rules simpler. They also want to keep the deer population strong in the state. That's why the department had an independent review of the state's deer management by Dr. James Kroll in 2011.
The report offered 62 recommendations. One proposal would expand the Dec. 24- Jan. 4 Holiday hunt in the three geographic southern zones of Wisconsin. The hunting would be allowed in those zones including all areas south of HWY 64.
But some snowmobile riders worry owners wont open their trials because they want to keep it quite for hunting.
DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz doesn't think the layered seasons won't conflict.
"In this case, we're not anticipating that," Holtz said. "Everything I have seen looks like its going to keep it in that southern part of the state where typically snow doesn't fall or doesn't make quality trails for much of that time."
The plan also proposes a Deer Management Assistance program. For a small fee, DNR biologists and foresters would evaluate your land and create a localized deer management plan.
"I think this is a great opportunity to get folks more invested in land management on their own properties and try to provide some resources that are already available through the department," Holtz said.
There are more possible changes from the report including deer management unit reduction and the formation of county base deer management committees.
The proposal is in public comment period until Nov. 8. The final rule package will be presented to the Natural Resources Board on Dec. 10-11.
WABENO - People went out to Wabeno this weekend for its first ever Art and Music Fest. Musicians performed in the band shell while local artists spread out to show their products.
There were food and drinks as well as workshops for people to learn more about art.
"This year we've had about 20 musicians performing on three stages," said Friends of Wabeno Chairperson Mary Beck. "And we've had maybe ten artists doing demonstrations, showing people what they can do and what they can buy."
The rain Sunday didn't stop people from having a good time. Volunteers hope to make this an annual event.
ARBOR VITAE - The Arbor Vitae Fire Department hosted its 39th Fireman's Picnic and Summerfest this weekend.
Thousands of people came out to benefit the fire department while having a good time. The fire department held the crowd favorite lawnmower races again this year.
They also had a volleyball tournament and games for kids. The fire chief says all the proceeds help the department pay for equipment.
"When we purchased our new fire truck, the fire department funded a good portion of the money, the fundraiser money, to help keep the tax dollars down so the tax payers didn't have to foot the whole bill for the truck," said Arbor Vitae Fire Department Chief Mike Van Meter. "And we also use it to buy turnout gear throughout the year, new air packs. Anything we can do to keep it off the tax roll."
ST. GERMAIN - The last day of Pig in the Pines wrapped up Saturday. People were able to watch the rib eating contest in the afternoon.
Newswatch 12 got to help judge ribs from this year's four rib vendors. One of the big events happened on the main stage Saturday evening.
"We have entertainment all day long," said St. Germain Chamber President Bruce Weber. "We have the Wise Guys on our main stage. We have Laura Ernst on the aerial platform here. She also does juggling. On our major stage, we have One Ping Only, and we also have Molly Hatchet, our lead act tonight."
WISCONSIN - Anyone who loves hunting and fishing will need to apply for a license. The deadline for some hunting and fishing licenses is August 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Hunters, trappers and spearers can go on the DNR website to apply.
"This is the time of year where not a lot of people are thinking about hunting, but that August 1 date is that date for applying for a bobcat, fisher or otter tag, sharp-tail grouse, or sturgeon spearing or fall turkey," said DNR Warden Supervisor David Walz.
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