RHINELANDER - The DNR gave out a lot of tags for Rhinelander's city deer hunt this season.
But hunters didn't bag many deer.
The bow hunt within city limits ends Thursday.
Hunters have harvested just 10 deer in the hunt so far.
It started in mid-September.
This year will be the lowest total for a full season of hunting in the city hunt's history.
Hunters took 10 deer this year.
But 53 were shot in both 2006 and 2007, the first two years of the hunt.
This year's number is much lower, even though the city and the DNR's Jeremy Holtz gave out more tags than average.
"I guess I wasn't too surprised when people showed interest early, but I did expect a higher harvest rate with the tags that were requested," says Holtz.
The hunt started seven years ago when deer nuisance complaints were high.
People didn't like the number of deer eating their gardens or crossing the road in the city.
The number of those complaints has dropped.
But so has the deer harvest numbers.
"I think there are probably two reasons. There are fewer deer around and I think deer are getting more accustomed to people on top of stands, hunting them," says Blaine Oborn, the Rhinelander City Administrator.
So it seems like the hunt worked.
But Holtz says the reasons for fewer deer might be more complicated.
The drop could also be related to climate during a particular season.
Unusually warm or unusually cold winters (the Northwoods has had at least one of each in the past decade) can also impact deer population.
The city plans to work with Holtz and the DNR to figure out what's best for years to come.
"Maybe we'll take off 2013 next year, or maybe we'll decide to do it again and take off the following year. We'll just continue to evaluate that on a year-to-year basis," says Oborn.
Rhinelander is one of a very few places in Wisconsin with a city deer hunt.
The city will review its deer hunting rules in August.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander factory that makes smoke flavoring caught fire early Monday morning.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m., Rhinelander, Crescent and Newbold Fire Departments responded to a fire at Red Arrow Products on Rhinelander's west side.
An employee says there were about eight workers inside at the time.
No one was injured.
"Flames were coming out of a conveyor area as high as the roof. We made an interior attack and knocked that flame down. Came in from the other side of the partition wall, then made another interior attack and knocked that down," says Chief Terry Williams.
As of 7:30 a.m. Monday morning, firefighters were still working to make sure the flames were out.
MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has selected a former legislator to run the state Department of Natural Resources.
Walker's office announced Monday that he has chosen former Republican state Rep. Dan Meyer to serve as DNR secretary. He replaces Cathy Stepp, who resigned in August to take a position in President Donald Trump's administration.
HARSHAW - Oneida County sheriff's deputies found three runaway sisters, ages 14, 14, and 12, in the woods in Harshaw just after 1 p.m. on Monday.
The sisters had been reported missing by their parents Monday morning. The parents had gone to wake the girls up for school, but instead found a note saying they had gone on an "adventure."
The missing girls triggered a search from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office Special Response Unit, Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue, Minocqua Fire Department, Lake Tomahawk Fire Department, and Little Rice Fire Department.
RHINELANDER - The Oneida-Vilas Transit Commission will get its long-awaited federal funding installment by October 4.
The timing means no Northwoods Transit Connections drivers will have to voluntarily furlough their pay, but the requirement of 24-hour advance notice for rides will stay in place.
Transit Commission Chair Erv Teichmiller learned the news over the weekend.
The commission is waiting on an expected payment of $300,000 from the federal government. In 2016, that money came in early September. As of last Friday, the commission wasn't expecting the payment until as late as November.
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