Northwoods Spotlight - Deer hunters struggle on opening weekend Nov 27
Story By Joe Dufek
Those two words best describe last week's opening weekend of deer hunting. It wasn't just the Northwoods struggling. Every county in the state was down from last year's totals. Several factors caused the drop.
"With winds gusting near 20 m.p.h. people were not sitting in the woods as long," DNR wildlife technician Eric Borchart explains. "Also our dder numbers are lower than a year ago."
The harsh spring suffered this year was the cause of that.
According to preliminary numbers from the DNR, Oneida, Lincoln, Langlade, and Florence coutnies were among many in the area which had a drop of between 26 - and 47%. Vilas county only suffered a 10% drop in the number of deer kills. Iron county saw one of the highlest drops in the state - 61%. In all - Wisconsin had a drop of 17.8 percent.
But that doesn't mean everyone was getting skunked. Steve Schultz of Twin Lakes knocked down an 8-pointer on Sunday in Marathon County.
Derek Storms of Shiocton shot a one-pointer near Three Lakes on Saturday.
"I call it a unicorn," Storms jokes. "Becasue it's only got one spike. Not a traditional spike buck. A mystical creature."
MADISON - A team of students from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is conducting research on foxes and coyotes in hopes of learning how the animals and humans can peacefully coexist.
Forest and wildlife associate professor David Drake and his students are humanely trapping the animals, running tests, then fitting them with tracking devices. The goal is to learn about traveling patterns, diseases the animals might have, and how they interact with other animals and humans.
Drake says foxes and coyotes are moving into areas where people are living. And if that continues, and the animals lose their fear of humans, they could become aggressive in extreme cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says residents should stay a safe distance from foxes or coyotes, and shouldn't feed them.
WAUSAU - Enrollment for health coverage will end soon. That's why healthcare providers participated in "Super Saturday".
Bridge Clinic in Wausau welcomed people to sign up for health insurance options Saturday.
The Open Enrollment deadline is February 15th. If you don't sign up before then, it could cost you $325 or more depending on your income.
"We recommend just make an informed choice. Don't just let it lapse and get the penalty, be surprised with a penalty later on. Come in, make an informed choice. There are health care options," said Bridge Community Health Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere.
NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.
NEW YORK - More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for a second fix for faulty air bags that may inadvertently inflate while the car is running.
The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made from 2002 to 2004.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says all the vehicles covered in Saturday's announcement had already been under a recall for the faulty air bags, but the carmakers' original attempts to fix the defects only worked about 85 percent of the time.
PINE RIVER - Firefighters in Pine River had a tough day Saturday. They battled a house fire Friday night.
Crews didn't finish cleaning up the scene until 3:30 Saturday morning. Then they got called to a second fire in the afternoon.
The first fire happened at 9:12 p.m. The Lincoln County Dispatch Center got a call about a possible structure fire on County Highway WW in the Town of Pine River. That's east of Merrill, but when the Pine River Department got there, the house was in flames.
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