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From Hunting Widow to Hunting EntrepreneurSubmitted: 03/25/2013
Story By Lex Gray

EAGLE RIVER - Deer season turns many wives into what we call "hunting widows."

But more women are getting in on the hunt, and one Northwoods woman is making a business out of it.

Sandy Apfel started hunting seven years ago. Five years ago, she started selling a blood tracking product.

But she found even more interesting products to talk about at hunting shows, so last year, she started a website called Track 'Em.

"It's cool to see women growing into it and honestly doing it, not just modeling it," Apfel says. "If someone can see me doing this, and it makes them think 'Hey, I can do that too' - Great."

Apfel reviews other companies' products on her website. If people decide to buy, they get a discount.

She wants to focus on growing her business, but hopes the effects are bigger.

"By women getting involved in the outdoors, it's going to get more kids involved in the outdoors," she says. "They're not going to be left home with mom anymore, mom's going to be out there doing it. And she's going to take them along, and I think that's wonderful."

Apfel has 16 companies on her site.

She personally reviews at least one product from each company.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - The tree killing Emerald Ash Borer spreads to another northern Wisconsin community.

The DNR confirmed yesterday the invasive pest has now been found in Wisconsin Rapids.

It's the first time Emerald Ash Borer has turned up in Wood County.

A test was done on a sample collected near the intersection of Lincoln Street and East Riverview Expressway on April 27th.

Evidence of the infestation has also been found in other nearby trees.

Wood County was already in the process of being quarantined as a result of the discovery of Emerald Ash Borer in Stevens Point.

That means businesses handing wood products that COULD carry the Emerald Ash Borer must work to ensure their products are pest free.

Moving firewood from place to place is one way the pest gets to new areas.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - The teachers and staff at the North Lakeland School in Manitowish Waters can get coffee for free in the teachers' lounge. But on Wednesdays, they choose to pay for their orders.

On those days, 50 cents will get them a hot cup of gourmet coffee brewed and delivered by Hannah Semmerling and Nattie Schellinger.

The eighth-graders opened up H & N's Coffee Shop this school year. Their teachers help out, but the girls do most of the work themselves.

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MADISON - Wisconsin prosecutors have charged a man accused of killing an Illinois woman in a random drive-by shooting along an interstate.

Twenty-year-old Zachary Hays was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

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THREE LAKES - Texting makes communication easier and more efficient than ever.

But students at Three Lakes Junior and Senior High School learned Wednesday that, when you're driving, texting can wait. Students gathered in the gym to learn the dangers of distracted driving as part of AT&T's It Can Wait campaign.

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MERRILL - Affordable housing continues to be a need for many people. With an aging infrastructure, the Merrill Housing Authority announced a $13.3 million project for a new housing complex and upgrades to its existing buildings.

The project has been in the works for over two year, and thanks to a tax credit approval from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, the project has become a reality.

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ANTIGO - For the last week and a half many people shared stories of shock, sadness, fear and hope out of Antigo.

Police, students and clergy all spoke out, struggling to figure out why the prom night shooting happened.

For the first time on Wednesday, one shooting victim told his story.

Collin Cooper, 18, said he's doing ok. He spent nearly seven days in the hospital, undergoing three surgeries to get the leg just below the knee on the right track to heal properly. He wraps an ace bandage around his left calf, which covers the wound. He also has stitches from where doctors made incisions during surgery. He also has a vacuum-assisted closure, or V.A.C., for the wound.

"I can't walk yet," Cooper said. "But they said I can put pressure on it in about three to four weeks, I think they said. But I wont be back to walking on it fully for three to four months."
He said doctors told him the bullet shattered 10 percent of his tibia, a major bone in the calf.

"They said the lucky part is it didn't hit any major arteries and it only nicked one vein," Cooper added.

Now Cooper has to sit at home and rest up. His blood levels are still low, and it hurts to hold his leg vertically. Several times a day he has to do ankle and knee exercises to strengthen the muscles around them. Otherwise he has to keep his leg elevated, even while he sleeps, which is in a hospital bed the family already had. He said it's hard sometimes to take it so easy because he's been on several sports teams throughout high school and is used to being very active.

He says when family and friends aren't visiting him at home, he plays video games and watches TV. He can't yet return to school, so he his doing some work from home.

But when you ask Cooper about how he's processing the shooting at prom, he just shrugs.

"I'm kind of bummed to be down right now but I'm thankful and lucky that it was just this and it could have been a lot worse," Cooper said.

He's been bombarded on social media, flooded with questions and friend requests. He's only posted several times since the shooting, with the #AntigoStrong hashtag that's been trending on social media since the prom.

The oldest of five has leaned on his faith, his family and his friends.

"I'm fine I just want people to worry about Collin," said Cooper's friend Spencer Fittante, 17, who was walking out of prom with Cooper when he was shot. Fittante helped tie a his tie around Cooper's leg as a tourniquet.

"I never thought anything like that would ever happen to us, ever," Fittante said.

Still, Cooper won't let the injury keep him from working this summer or walking across the stage at graduation. He joked about practicing walking up stairs with his crutches. He said he thinks his humor helps him cope.

He's proud of and humbled by the Antigo community. He said there are days when it gets hard, but he's got the support of his family and friends. He wants to move on, but he also thinks sharing his experience might be able to help others.

"It's cool to see how the town has rallied around me and the all the other victims," Cooper said. "I think it's kind of a cool opportunity to have to share with people what happened. And I can kind of help them through things too. So I mean I want to put some of it in the past but some of it I want to hold onto so I can be able to help people in the future."

Cooper said his date who was grazed by a bullet is also doing well. He said she is back at school in Illinois. Cooper still plans to work this summer and attend college in the fall. 

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RHINELANDER - Not riding the bus to school, as a kid, usually meant you overslept.

But on Wednesday morning, some students got up a little early just to miss the bus.

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