MINOCQUA - You'll notice birds chirping and eagles soaring as spring slowly comes around. But you may hear different tunes outside in the Northwoods this spring, as well, ones that "hoot".
This year's long winter has sent some north-of-the-border owls south into Wisconsin. The northern hawk owl, the great gray owl, and the boreal owl are not native to Wisconsin.
But because of food shortages in Canada the owls have flown south and they may run into a different problem here in the Northwoods, according to the Assistant Director of Education Courtney Wright at the Northwoods Wildlife Center.
"When we have a lot of freezing and thawing, or we do get a late snow pack, they can't really get through the ice crust that's on top of the snow to get down to their food. Now that's not necessarily the case for great grey owls or other owls that live around here, so it can very based on the bird too."
The three species of owl not normally seen have been spotted in Door, Ashland, Douglas, and as far south as Racine Counties.
If you happen to spot one of these non-native owls the DNR would like to know about it. Fill out a rare bird sighting form by following the link below.
RHINELANDER - After the vendors closed up at the end of the first Hodag Farmers Market of the season, several people stayed behind to honor the man who started the market.
That's Douglas Jacobson, and he died last October.
His son, Jonathan Jacobson, said Douglas Jacobson was a big part of the Rhinelander community‚Ä"serving as Lions Club president, being part of many clubs and being a landscape architect for the U.S. Forest Service.
The Jacobson family and Rhinelander city leaders worked to dedicate a bench in his honor in Pioneer Park. That bench went up on Saturday, just off the road that leads into the park.
"He was a pioneer in helping to establish the Hodag Farmers Market many years ago. And from those humble beginnings, the market vendors, the patrons that arrive here, the citizens of Rhinelander, and those in the community have a wonderful place to come to get fresh, home grown, locally grown vegetables," Jonathan Jacobson said. "It was a great event. It was really nice to have everybody stop out and pay attention to what my dad's been doing and acknowledge all the effort he put into the farmers market for many years. And not only that, dad was a great citizen here in the Rhinelander community."
RHINELANDER - You'll likely find some slow-moving guests on the road this weekend. Turtles start laying their eggs in late May and continue through mid-June. But, because of where they like to lay those eggs, it's a dangerous time for the reptiles.
Wild Instincts Rehab Center in Rhinelander treats at least 30 injured turtles each summer. Painted and snapping turtles are most common in the Northwoods. They tend to lay their eggs along roadsides, driveways, and in places with soft sand.
ANTIGO - For the first time since 2013, deer hunters in Langlade and Price counties will be able to target does with an antlerless deer tag in hand.
This week, Wisconsin's Natural Resources Board approved the fall hunt plans submitted by County Deer Advisory Councils (CDACs) all over the state. Langlade and Price counties had had bucks-only harvests in each of the last two deer seasons. But in 2016, some hunters will get antlerless tags as well.
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