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No Northwoods CWD-positive tests yet among wild deer; county meetings to consider changing policiesSubmitted: 01/11/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

No Northwoods CWD-positive tests yet among wild deer; county meetings to consider changing policies
RHINELANDER - Until one year ago, the Northwoods avoided the deadly deer illness called chronic wasting disease.

But a positive CWD test on a Three Lakes game farm distressed many hunters, scientists, and wildlife watchers in the area.

This fall and winter, the DNR hoped to prove no wild deer were infected with the disease. It asked hunters to submit the heads of deer shot in areas near the game farm. It then tested those heads for CWD.

"Of all of the ones that we've tested, so far we haven't had a single positive in the wild," said DNR wildlife biologist Jeremy Holtz. "Hopefully, that continues. I expect it will continue and we'll get some good news."


DNR wildlife biologists still want to sample more deer near the Three Lakes farm.

The positive test in 2015 triggered a ban on baiting and feeding deer in Oneida, Forest, and Vilas counties, which started in January 2016.

"The concept of a baiting and feeding ban in areas where CWD has been detected is to take every step to reduce the spread of the disease," Holtz said.

This month, county deer advisory committees across Wisconsin may consider expanding the ban statewide. They could also consider letting bans expire in certain areas.

Right now, a positive test sets off a ban in nearby counties under the state's seven-year-old CWD management plan.

"It's not arbitrary. It's designed from the chronic wasting disease response plan that the state has. That was written to be a living document," Holtz said.

That plan is up for review this month, with public input from county deer advisory committees.

Local meetings may consider recommending additional hunting seasons in CWD-positive areas, but those proposals may not gain much support.

"The overwhelming response--from hunters, from chambers of commerce, from snowmobile groups--is that they wanted to keep hunting seasons the way they were," Holtz said. "They liked them the way they were."

Those meetings are open to the public. You can find your county's meeting by clicking the link below.

Related Weblinks:
County Deer Advisory Committee meetings

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 09/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We'll take you live to Wausau where police arrested a firefighter/paramedic after receiving a sexual assault complaint from a female patient.

We'll tell you about a study that shows that CWD can be transferred from deer to primates.

And we'll show you how the recent warm weather is helping to create business for a newly renovated golf course in Three Lakes.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MERRILL - It might be hard to imagine running a business with your mother or daughter-in-law, but for one pair, a shared hobby helped create their DIY studio.

Mother and daughter-in-law duo Diane and Alicia Kucirek opened The Painted Door in Merrill just one month ago.

They take old, worn out furniture and make it new again using chalk paint.

The pair decided to open the studio when both of their houses started to get jam-packed with finished chalk paint projects.

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MADISON - The chairman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule quickly in a challenge to how the state's political boundaries were drawn following redistricting in 2011.

Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen said Tuesday that the state wants a fast decision following next week's oral arguments so maps for upcoming elections next year will be in place as soon as possible. The court is being asked by Democratic voters to overturn Republican-drawn legislative district maps. The Democrats argue the maps are unconstitutional and give Republicans an unfair advantage.

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MADISON - Jurors have convicted a man accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms from a southern Wisconsin gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump.

The jury in Madison deliberated for about two hours Tuesday before finding Joseph Jakubowski guilty of two federal weapons charges.

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RHINELANDER - Caramel apples seem to be a go-to treat this time of year, but a tough growing season almost made them hard to find this Fall.

Fun Factory Sweet Shoppe in Rhinelander only uses Granny Smith apples for its caramel apples.

Throughout the last few weeks, manager Judy Fritz says she had trouble finding enough green apples in the Northwoods.

Stores said bad crops and little rainfall made the Granny Smith apples scarce this season.

She eventually found some sold in bulk in Milwaukee to bring up north.

Fun Factory is very particular about their apples, so in the meantime, Judy hand-picked from the produce aisles in local stores.

"We always make sure that there are no bumps or bruises. We want a nice, perfect apple," says Fritz.


Judy says you shouldn't worry about getting your hands on one of her caramel apples.

Shipments of granny smith apples from Washington State have started to come in to a local store she works with.

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ELCHO - Two weeks ago, one high school student told her principal she felt intimidated when a classmate wore a Confederate flag sweatshirt. That complaint started a conversation--and a controversy.

On Monday night, members of the community for and against Confederate symbols in school had the chance to speak out on the issue.

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RHINELANDER - With the push of a button and the whining of a winch, John Wendt singlehandedly symbolizes the end of a season.

"You see the changing of the leaves, I just love being out here every day," Wendt said.

Wednt hauls boats for Shoeder's RV & Marine in Rhinelander. Starting in September, he loads up fishing boats, pontoons, and jet skis and puts them away for the season.

"The weather's been nice, everybody doesn't want to put their boats away yet," Wendt said.  "But as soon as the weather starts turning, that's when it'll hit the fan."

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