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Northwoods Spotlight - Deer hunters rebound after slow opening weekendSubmitted: 12/04/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - Deer hunters rebound after slow opening weekend
- 226,582. That's how many deer were killed during this year's nine-day firearms season. Compared to nearly 244,000 last year, that's a 7% drop.

After a rough opening weekend, deer hunters found more deer. State-wide opening weekend deer killed was down nearly 18% compared to a year ago. But after the season ended - deer numbers improved to only a 7% drop.

Jeremy Holtz is a wildlife biologist in Oneida County. He says after the harsh spring experienced earlier this year, the lack of success could have been a lot worse.


"If you look at Northern Wisconsin, we're down 7%, maybe 12%, " Holtz explains. "With the late hunt, and the rough winter we had, there is no question we could have had far worse impact."

In Onieda County: nearly 2300 deer were killed. That's includes 1500 bucks - compared to more than 1600 in 2012. Also less than 800 doe were taken compared to 1000 last year. One of those having some success was 14-year old Payton Hartman of Rhinelander. She got not one, but two doe. She was able to fill both her brother's and her own permits.

Vilas county saw 130 fewer bucks dropped - an 11% decrease. Steve Janisse of Three Lakes was fortunate enough to get on the board. He bagged a four-pointer north of Eagle River.

"Deer are moving around pretty good around here," Janisse said. "I saw lots of doe before I saw this buck."

Two complants the DNR is hearing as reasons for a drop in deer available to shoot, too many anterless permits issued and too many natural predators.

"There is no doubt about it, deer are delicious and everything wants to eat them," Holtz adds. "We have hunting seasons for all all predators. We issued less antlerless tags for the second year in a row."

Holtz adds, final numbers should be available by early March. Then the state can determine how many antlerless permits if any will be issued in each county for next year's hunt.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - Lincoln County Sheriff Jeff Jaeger will retire.

Jaeger announced Thursday morning he will not run for re-election, and will step down at the end of this year.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Oneida County loggers saw a spike in sales this past year.

Local loggers say that record came as a surprise.

Enterprise Forest Products owner Dennis Schoeneck has been logging for more than 40 years.

"I've been through a lot of ups and downs," said Schoeneck.

One of those downs happened to be last year.
"It rained. It rained so much. [There was] so much rain we couldn't get a break," said Schoeneck.

But to Dennis's surprise, Oneida County broke a two-year-old timber sales record in 2017.

"We're just trying to do the best we can," said Schoeneck.

Oneida County Forestry Director John Bilogan says the record was half a million dollars more than their average annual sales.

"We brought in $1,925,000 worth of timber revenue," said Bilogan.

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PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office released the names of two snowmobilers killed in a crash over the weekend.

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WISCONSIN - On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed legislation that aims to change how violent sex offenders are placed on supervised release in the state.

Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) cosponsored the bill and says the changes are meant to help protect rural areas of the state.

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VILAS COUNTY - All but 11 counties in Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for contributing to the opioid crisis.

The lawsuit says certain companies use "deceptive marking" and have "created a false perception of the safety of opioids."

Vilas County is one of the 11 that hasn't joined yet. 

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MERRILL - Pastor James Weiland of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church remains in critical condition after a crash with a semi-truck on Friday afternoon, near Rhinelander.

After the crash, medics took Pastor Weiland in an ambulance and later flew him to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau, where he is now.

The Pastor's truck and the semi crashed a few miles west of Rhinelander on Highway 8. The semi-truck driver wasn't injured.

Weiland has lead the congregation at Christ Evangelical for more than 20 years and is a large part of the entire Northwoods community. 

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RHINELANDER - Three years ago Petco bought Doctors Foster and Smith in Rhinelander with the intention of keeping all local jobs in place. But Tuesday, the company announced it would lay off 55 people. 

Those employees worked in marketing, merchandising, and ecommerce support. Petco issued a statement saying the positions will go to the National Support Center in San Diego. 

Now, dozens of people at one of Rhinelander's largest employers are out of a job.

Petco purchased Doctors Foster and Smith back in February of 2015. 

Petco will still employ more than 450 people in Rhinelander in the pharmacy, customer care, and Live Aquaria businesses as well as the distribution center and retail store. 

Petco said the change came because they want to expand "key operational areas" in Rhinelander.
Laid off employees found out Tuesday. 

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