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NEWS STORIES

Northwoods Spotlight - Deer hunters struggle on opening weekend Nov 27Submitted: 11/27/2013
Story By Joe Dufek


- Cold.

Quiet.

Those two words best describe last week's opening weekend of deer hunting. It wasn't just the Northwoods struggling. Every county in the state was down from last year's totals. Several factors caused the drop.

"With winds gusting near 20 m.p.h. people were not sitting in the woods as long," DNR wildlife technician Eric Borchart explains. "Also our dder numbers are lower than a year ago."


The harsh spring suffered this year was the cause of that.

According to preliminary numbers from the DNR, Oneida, Lincoln, Langlade, and Florence coutnies were among many in the area which had a drop of between 26 - and 47%. Vilas county only suffered a 10% drop in the number of deer kills. Iron county saw one of the highlest drops in the state - 61%. In all - Wisconsin had a drop of 17.8 percent.

But that doesn't mean everyone was getting skunked. Steve Schultz of Twin Lakes knocked down an 8-pointer on Sunday in Marathon County.

Derek Storms of Shiocton shot a one-pointer near Three Lakes on Saturday.

"I call it a unicorn," Storms jokes. "Becasue it's only got one spike. Not a traditional spike buck. A mystical creature."

The nine-day season wraps up on Sunday.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

"Everybody worked together, and we still lost guys," said Vietnam War veteran John Jirovec. "It's hard to forget. Really hard to forget."

For one mother, every day is Memorial Day.
 
"My son Ryan, Sergeant Ryan Jopek, was killed in action on August 2, 2006," said Jopek's mother Tracy. "He just turned 20 and was coming home in a couple weeks, but fate didn't have it quite that way, and he didn't make it home, and we miss him every day."

Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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EDGAR - Marathon County authorities say a woman has died from drowning in a pool in Edgar in central Wisconsin.

Lt. Tim Burkholder of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department says it happened sometime after midnight Monday.

While the investigation is ongoing, he says the drowning appears to be accidental.

The department is withholding the victim's name and other details for now.

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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

One Northwoods course went the other direction during the last week of April and tried something new. Timber Ridge Golf Club in Minocqua offered something unheard of - completely free golf for everyone.

"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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HAZELHURST - A two-car crash made the slow stream of traffic heading south on Monday even slower. Two SUVs were heading south on Highway 51 when they hit each other near Hazelhurst at about 1:30 this afternoon. That caused damage to both cars.

"One person apparently came over the hill and hit a car that was slowed in the road. It appears to be minor injuries," said Hazelhurst Fire Chief Pat Winger.

The driver of one car was taken to Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. The crash forced emergency responders to put in even tighter traffic controls in the area.

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ST. GERMAIN - A popular Northwoods tradition kicked off its 40th season today. The St. Germain Flea Market draws thousands of bargain hunters each week during the summer.

The market attracts nearly 400 vendors every week. Vendors showcase everything from homemade crafts and artwork to plants and homemade treats.

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