Northwoods Spotlight - Deer hunters ready for openerSubmitted: 11/20/2013
Story By Joe Dufek

RHINELANDER - Thousands of deer hunters are getting ready for the nine-day firearms season. Many are getting in some last minute practice before they hit the woods.

"That's always fun, getting my 13-year old son out," Rhinelander deer hunter Mike Luse explains. "He doesn't get to shoot alot. Looking for areas to hunt - checking out the good spots."

While the hunt itself is exciting, many fathers use the hunt as a great chance to get closer with their childern learning the sport.

"The anticipation is there," Tom Larson of Rhinelander adds. "I got a spot I'm going. I know there is at least three or four big deer out there. I'm hoping my kid gets one. I ain't worried about him. I want him to get one."

Tom's son, Al Schrampe is looking forward to, "having some fun with my dad, because we didn't get to go in the woods last year. He had a heart transplant in December, so we didn't get to go hunting."

Nov 23rd marks the latest hunters will don the blaze orange to go hutning. Game officials say the lates start, plus the rough spring expereienced earlier this year could be factors for a slow hunt.

DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz explains, "We see as much as a 15% drop in buck harveswt compared to when we start earlier in the rut. The weather is a little bit warmer and people are a little more comfortable in the stands. We got a large amount of snow and it stuck around in May. We know coming in our harvest was down. That's why we were a little conservative with the doe tags."

"I think the deer population is up a little bit," Larson says. "A lot of people didn't get deer last year. I know I was one of them."

The firearms season sends Sunday December 1st.

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WAUSAU - Enthusiasm, excitement and surprises continue to pack the 2016 election season.

 Republican politicians in Wisconsin still have something to add to this election.  

On Sunday Governor Scott Walker, Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Sean Duffy all stopped by the Wisconsin GOP office. 

They came together to encourage voters to get out and vote early. 

About 30 people came out to hear what the politicians had to say.

"We need to convince people who maybe we don't know where their opinions are in terms of election," said Governor Walker.

 "But we work with them, we live next to them, we go to church with them those are the people we need to reach out [to]."

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BOULDER JUNCTION - Nearby Fire Departments often rely on each other when they need extra man power. 

On Saturday firefighters from around the Northwoods came together as one. 
"It's vital to have that community bond between the fire departments," said Arbor Vitae Fire and Rescue Chief Mike VanMeter.

The bond between local departments led to a rare training opportunity. 

"Being able to share an opportunity like this is vital," said Boulder Junction Fire Department Chief Matthew Reuss. 

A donated house in Boulder Junction was lit on fire so that the fire departments could practice structure training.  

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RHINELANDER - We all have Tylenol and other medicines in our cabinets at home, but what do you do with them when they expire?

Saturday, local officials helped people properly dispose of those unwanted medicines as part of Wisconsin's Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

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MINOCQUA - Every year thousands of kids go hungry. 

On Saturday nearly 600 volunteers from the Northwoods decided to help feed some of those children. 

The "Food for Kidz" organization, invited people to Lakeland Union High School, to help package non- perishable goods.

 The packages will be donated worldwide and to nearby food pantries.

Within the past eight years volunteers have packaged one million meals.

 Last year was the first year the organization started donating to local food pantries. 

This year volunteers will give 30,000 meals to the Northwoods community.

"It's just the recurring exuberance of the people that come in and do the packing we have many, repeat people that come year after year," said "Food for Kidz" Co-chairman John Breiten. 

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RICE LAKE - The Merrill football team doesn't feel it got the respect it deserved when WIAA playoff brackets came out last weekend. The Bluejays shared a Great Northern Conference championship.

But they were pinned to a number 8 seed, the lowest in the bracket, and travel to face top-seeded Rice Lake in a Division 3 Level 1 game Friday night.

Recent history doesn't favor Merrill in the playoffs. It has lost six straight playoff openers, dating to 2009.

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RHINELANDER - A simple grooming process many people take for granted helps keeps John honest with himself.

"You can't think too far ahead, at least that's the situation I find myself in," John said.

Convicted of drunk driving seven times, John -- who Newswatch 12 is only identifying by his first name -- faced a harsh reality when he ended up in prison after three arrests in just 13 months.

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WAUSAU - Scott Walker faced a tough crowd at times in Iowa during his failed presidential bid. Now, an undercover video released this week may show those protesters were planted on purpose.

The Journal Sentinel reported the videos show activist Scott Foval bragging about disrupting a Walker rally in Iowa. Those videos were released by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Foval talks about bringing people out of state into Wisconsin, but doesn't give a reason why.

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