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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RHINELANDER - When people think first responders, cops, firefighters and EMTs usually come to mind. 

But the true first responder is often the person they'll never meet.

It's Nicole Lea's job to be at her best when you're at your worst.

"There's no other reason your calling us to say, 'Hey, hope you're having a great day.' It is their worst day when they're calling us," said Lea.

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Wild Instincts was one of 22 organizations to get a 2016 Cellcom Green Gift. Cellcom gave almost $38,000 in funds out this year.

Wild Instincts has helped rehabilitate wildlife across the state since 2011. Director Mark Naniot explained that with a growing need to help animals comes a growing need for space.

The Green Gift program uses funds from Cellcom's cell phone recycling program to fund green non-profit initiatives.

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RHINELANDER - The Northwoods Land Trust helps protect about 12,000 acres of natural lands in six northern Wisconsin counties.

That amount of conservation is a big job. But the organization employs just one full-time and two part-time staff members.

The Land Trust relies on the help of about 40 volunteers to accomplish its mission, volunteers like Nancy Richmond.

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MADISON - About 30 percent of all absentee ballots cast in Wisconsin so far come from the state's most heavily Democratic counties.

The latest data posted on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website shows 55,000 ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

21,700 have come in from three conservative counties near Milwaukee.

Over 183,000 were cast statewide.

Republican candidates typically must do well in those Milwaukee suburban counties to counter the Democratic votes in Milwaukee and Madison.

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MADISON - Wisconsin may be the dairy state, but we've seen a decline in the number of dairy farms.

A report from the federal Agriculture Department shows that Wisconsin lost almost 400 dairy farms in the last year.

About 94-thousand dairy herds were active in the state as of October 1st.

Wisconsin Dairy Business Association President Gordon Speirs says the number of lost farms this year is low compared to previous years.

Annual losses reached as high as 1-thousand in some years.

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WLUK-TV reports Thursday that Walker said following an event in Green Bay that "The bottom line is whether he does or doesn't, there's going to be a new president."

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RHINELANDER - Leaves cover the ground instead of snow, but that doesn't stop Ben Popp from dreaming.

"Hopefully it snows soon," said Popp.

The American Birkebeiner Executive Director visited the Northwoods Nordic Ski Club Wednesday. 

"Rhinelander has just an amazing situation here. We have this great venue out here at CAVOC, the Nordic Ski Club is really strong," Popp said.

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