Staying fit a key for hunting successSubmitted: 10/03/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

WOODRUFF - We call hunters and fishermen "sportsmen".

We also might think what they do isn't as physically difficult as other "sportsmen", like runners, swimmers, or football players.

But some people think that's no excuse for hunters to be out of shape.

Dean Bortz is an avid hunter from Arbor Vitae.

He began a more committed training routine while he was recovering from an arm injury in 2011.

He learned just how important fitness is for hunting success.

"I was overlooking it. I thought I was in decent shape. I was always able to get out there and do stuff. But now, I can see where I can do things better - you still get winded, you still get sweaty - but I can get up and down a hill now," says hunter Dean Bortz.

Bortz hopes more hunters will commit to being in good shape.

Working with a fitness instructor can help.

"I have a wonderful job here to help people meet their goal to do what they want to do in life. I think that's a wonderful thing, what you want to do in life," says Marshfield Clinic Woodruff Center Fitness Instructor Laura Stoffel.

One physician understands a reason why getting into shape is such a challenge.

"I think a lot of people are afraid to move. It's called kinesiophobia. It's just simply a fear of movement because they're afraid if they come in with pain, and they move, they're going to hurt more," says Marshfield Clinic Physical Medicine Physician Dr. Jim Mullen.

But most times, the opposite is true.

Especially for hunters, staying in motion before the season helps prevent injuries.

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Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


EAGLE RIVER - Eagle River hosted its 36th annual Cranberry Fest during October's first weekend.

Organizers say the weather this year brought in many more visitors.

"People come to this whether there's good weather of bad weather," said Executive Director of the Eagle River Chamber Kim Emerson. "And with this year being great weather, we had above-average crowds and it was just spectacular. We're so happy about that."

By 3 p.m. Saturday, the World's Largest Cranberry Cheesecake had already been devoured. Sales of slices go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. 

Organizers said they also almost sold out of cranberries, but they said they would still have more to sell on Sunday. 

There were also dozens of craft vendors, food and wine and cranberry marsh tours.

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NEKOOSA - People in Nekoosa could go back in time this weekend.

Volunteers at Pointe Basse recreated a historical camp portraying lives of people from the 1700s and early 1800s.

Volunteers from all across the U.S. all had a piece of history to share.

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RHINELANDER - Harvest Hoedown started Saturday at noon at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill in Rhinelander.

The event had a hay maze, horse drawn carriage rides, food, and live music all afternoon.

"I think it's going great. We got a little sunshine right now. We got probably a couple hundred people here. People are buying food, spending money. It's what we're after," said Rhinelander Area Food Pantry Executive Director Guy Hanson.

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Lakes bring a lot of visitors here to the Northwoods, but they also bring scientists.

The UW Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction just wrapped up its summer research season.

The UW Trout Lake Station is a research station for limnology students at UW Madison. It's mostly graduate students and faculty from Madison's Center for limnology.

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WOOD COUNTY - Two people who stole a UTV led police on a wild chase early Friday morning. Friday night, those suspects were still on the run.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office tells us a sporting goods store owner walked in as the burglary was happening, just before 7 a.m. The suspects took off in a red Dodge pickup truck pulling a trailer with the stolen UTV. They crashed through several gates to get out.

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VILAS COUNTY - In July, Karen Wessel gave her life to save a boy from drowning in Vilas County's Star Lake.  Now she is being recognized for her heroism.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Wessel as one of 22 recipients of the Carnegie medal.  It's presented to people who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while trying to save the life of another.

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RHINELANDER - Swiping your credit cards could soon be a thing of the past.

Businesses across the country are switching to a chip card reader for credit and debit cards.

Credit companies say the new system will help cut back on fraud.

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