RHINELANDER - Hunters kicked off the wolf hunting season Tuesday. But you may be surprised not all of the permits have been bought.
Out of 1,600 applicants, 2,500 permits were issued for this year's hunt and only 1,500 of those have been sold.
But DNR Large Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland doesn't think that's due to a lack of interest.
"People really don't start buying licenses until they are ready to go out and harvest and I do the same thing. The first time I went grouse hunting this year I had to run out and buy a license before I went. So we think we'll see the same thing with the wolf harvest."
The DNR says the permits almost never sell out completely, no matter what type of hunting season is in place.
Even though this is the second year of wolf hunting, the controversy over the season is still as high as ever says MacFarland.
"It's a polarizing issue. There are people in the state who are very happy with what's happening. They think it's long over due that wolves should have been hunted long ago and that the population should be reduced. There are also people in the state who believe that wolves shouldn't be harvested. That problem wolves should be dealt with in other ways and that the population should be able to grow beyond what it is now."
There are more than 800 wolves in the state. The DNR wants that number to eventually go down to 350. It set this years kill limit at 251.
LAONA - Spruce saplings his students planted decades ago have grown to tower above Don Kircher as he stands on a forest trail near Laona.
Kircher was a science teacher for 34 years in Laona, and he's visiting the Laona School Forest.
"The trees, of course, some of these trees are unbelievable," Kircher said.
The history of the forest itself might be hard to believe for some people. Little Laona has the nation's first school forest, dedicated in 1928. The Town of Laona bought the property and gave it to the school.
TOMAHAWK - A shooting in Tomahawk killed one person Thursday night. Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins confirmed a male victim died after the shooting, which happened on West Mohawk Drive. Elvins wouldn't identify the victim or the suspect, who as of 7:45 p.m. police still had not found.
"I don't know the motive behind it, what triggered it, what was said. I have a detective now writing a search warrant. We have some evidence inside the house that we want to secure," said Elvins. "It appears to be an isolated incident."
The chief did not believe anyone else is in danger.
RHINELANDER - The DNR's new secretary takes pride in being from the Northwoods.
Former assembly member Dan Meyer says that's actually one of the reasons Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) chose him for the position.
"I enjoy the outdoors. I have quite a background in fishing and hunting and biking and those sorts of things. I think people feel pretty good that there's somebody from the Northwoods, that understand the Northwoods, and won't forget the Northwoods," said Meyer.
RHINELANDER - Applause echoed from the rafters of a taller, much fuller building on Kemp Street in Rhinelander Thursday morning. Expera Specialty Solutions dedicated its new, huge paper products coater, which was installed over the last year.
"It's just a beautiful project," Expera President and CEO Russ Wanke said. "[There are] quite a few generations that have come through the [Rhinelander] plant and an investment like this will have many more generations [to follow.]"
RHINELANDER - A man threatening to hurt himself and others with a knife sparked an hours-long standoff in Rhinelander Thursday.
Police were called to the home of 21-year-old Mathew Smith on Highway 8 just before 10 a.m. All afternoon, police tried talking to Smith who wouldn't come out of his home. Smith, along with other people, and a child were inside the home at first. Police say within the first half an hour, everyone expect Smith got out safely.
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