IRON BELT - You probably lost a dog or cat at some point during your life.
Perhaps you rescued yours.
But chances are you probably never trekked across several feet of snow to do it.
One family did - and it wasn't to find a small pet.
"My grandpa came from Finland in 1888," says Iron Belt farmer Rudy Kangas.
Making my way to the Kangas farm, outside tiny Iron Belt, in Iron County, took plenty of patience.
But for this story with the Kangas family, native Finlanders who have been here for more than a century, it was worth it.
"What are you going to do? I don't know. Can't leave the calf out there," Rudy's nephew Jason told me.
The calf, a rare March birth, came to the family under unique circumstances.
73-year-old Rudy led his four cattle to a trail one night, like he usually does.
"Then in the morning, only three of them came back. Then I called by brother, and my nephew, and said the cow's probably going to have a calf," said Rudy.
That's what cows like to do - get away from other animals when they give birth. Jason spotted the cow first.
"When we came over, I saw it coming across the deep snow in the morning," said Jason.
The cow was much lighter - it had clearly had a calf.
A calf that was nowhere in sight.
"Jason backtracked with the skis into the swamp and found it, and then he skied out with it," Rudy said.
True to good old Finnish heritage, those skis weren't something new from the sporting goods store.
"Made by a couple of old Finlanders that were neighbors of ours that lived a quarter mile away. We have more than one set. They're made from yellow birch. Preferred wood in this part of the area," Jason told me as he showed off the skis.
The family thinks the skis are about 80 years old.
But they worked just fine to rescue the calf.
"I slapped him over the shoulder, and I was just holding it while using one arm to balance myself," Jason remembered.
Now just more than a month old, the 'little calf' is in great shape.
"Oh, beautiful. You see him there. He's all full of his winter fur and everything," Rudy said, motioning.
Maybe in part from being rescued from deep winter in a style that would make the Old Country proud.
THREE LAKES - The DNR hopes it won't find more Northwoods deer with chronic wasting disease.
Last year, a deer on a game farm near Three Lakes tested positive for the deadly disease. Although it hopes that incident is isolated, the DNR wants more data on the health of the Northwoods deer herd.
The agency is urging hunters near Three Lakes to give their deer heads to the DNR for CWD testing.
RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander will be able to cast their November election ballots starting on Friday. It's the earliest people in Wisconsin have ever been able to vote.
The absentee ballots are stacked and ready for Friday at the Rhinelander City Clerk's office. To make the early voting process go as smoothly as possible, you will need to come prepared.
"When you come in make sure that you're registered. That is important. Make sure you're registered in the city if you're coming into us," said Clerk Valerie Foley.
Registering is easy; all you need is a photo ID and proof of residence. The registration form takes a couple of minutes, and then you will be able to fill out an election ballot.
"I think it is going to be a very busy day. I think people are pretty interested in the issues. And I think a lot of them would like to get and make sure they can vote if they're not certain they're going to make it to the polls in November or not," said Foley.
The clerk's office has already sent out about 200 ballots to people who have requested them.
Now, it is preparing for the early voter in-person rush.
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote or where to go for early voting, the clerk's office suggests voters visit myvote.wi.gov for more information.
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