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Hodag trap shooters continue to enjoy a successful first year for the programSubmitted: 05/21/2017
Mark Spillane
Mark Spillane
Sports Reporter/Anchor
mspillane@wjfw.com

Hodag trap shooters continue to enjoy a successful first year for the program
RHINELANDER - The thought of spring sports at Rhinelander high school usually brings to mind baseball, soccer, or maybe tennis. All those teams know what it takes to be successful. But there's been a new �" and loud�" team around the school this year. For the first time in three decades, the Hodags have a trap team.

"I've heard talk about it, but I didn't know if it was going to be 100% sure. When I heard this happened, I was amazed and super happy," said junior Tyler Olson.

Coaches knew there would be some interest in the team when they first met in March, but expectations turned out to be a bit low.


"Actually, when I started this, I was thinking if we got 10 kids, I was going to be doing good," said Head Coach Phil Kriesel. "But we have 29 kids that came out."

Of those 29, not everyone started as an experienced shooter.

"I hadn't really shot a shotgun before, so first coming here I needed a lot of help from the coaches," said junior Erin Drescher.

But Drescher says she's enjoyed the process of getting better.

"It's been fun to see my score improve every week," said Drescher.

Not only is Drescher a new shooter, she's also one of just two girls on the team. That's something she doesn't seem to mind.

"This is seen as such a men's sports, but it's kind of fun, there's no special treatment," said Drescher.

Other shooters, like Olson have been shooting since they were young. He says the team offers a unique opportunity.

"It's good to get used to something different, out of your comfort zone maybe," said Olson.

Like many sports, there are lessons to be learned at the range.

"If you miss a bird, you've got to move on. It's just like when you run into life problems, tough things come to you, but you have to move on from them," said Olson.

As for the future, those low expectations are now a distant memory with bigger numbers on the horizon.

"Early numbers show we could have 20 kids come out of the junior high next year," said Kriesel.

Only five shooters will graduate this spring, which means the Hodags team could grow by 50 percent. The team is fully funded through its own fundraisers and fees. Coaches say they're always looking for business donations. Shooters that average a score of 20 or better will earn a varsity letter. Seniors will also earn a varsity letter this year because it is the inaugural year.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
Missing 84-year-old man foundSubmitted: 10/21/2017

EAGLE RIVER - A woman reported her 84-year-old husband who suffers from dementia missing, at around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, in Eagle River.

The Vilas County Sheriff's Office searched the home and buildings on the property when they arrived on scene.

At around 9 a.m. a member of the Newbold Fire Department Search and Rescue and his K-9 found the man near his home.

He was not injured.

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RHINELANDER - Wild Instincts celebrated the release of BBC's "Supercharged Otters," which filmed at Wild Instincts in Rhinelander.

Saturday's viewing at Rouman Cinema in Rhinelander had a complementary showing of the episode.

The episode features otters that spent seven months with Rehabilitation Director Mark Naniot and his team.

The episode gives people a look into the life of an otter.

"Like everything else it's the web of life. Everything's all interconnected and even if it's just the pure enjoyment of watching an otter swim or catch a fish and seeing how playful they are sliding down a mudslide or sliding through the snow that alone is immeasurable really," said Naniot.

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RHINELANDER - Just a year ago, days looked a lot different for Rhinelander's Jane Dunbar. For 27 years up to her 2016 retirement, she built a career.

"I worked for the state health department," she said. "I worked in public health for communicable disease and immunization."

Now, Dunbar picks days she'd like to work as a substitute teacher at Pelican Elementary School.

"I've been doing kindergarten today, and I really like the kindergarten," she said on Wednesday. "They're really active."

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ANTIGO - You'll always find 11-year-old Mara Antone wearing her helmet while she's on a bike. Last week, after leaving the Antigo Boys and Girls Club, she had an unexpected encounter. 

"I was riding home and I saw a cop car go and I waved," said Mara. 

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KINGSFORD, MI - Fridays in Kingsford, Michigan belong to the Flivver faithful.

"Being a Flivver is a part of our life," Kingsford High School senior Mitchell Wiltzius said.

It's a special name and mascot reserved for just one community.  The name comes from the old Ford plant in Kingsford that once produced station wagons starting in 1931.

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MINOCQUA - Pretty soon little ghosts, goblins and ghouls will hit the streets expecting tricks or treats.

However, some families may take their kids to church or club festivities as a safer way to celebrate.

Some of those places could actually attract convicted nonviolent sex offenders.

"[Kids] can't defend themselves at that age," said Minocqua vacationer and grandmother Donna Davies.

Davies thinks Halloween is a time to keep an extra eye out for sex offenders.

"With sex offenders you need to be super cautious," said Davies.

In Minocqua, there are no laws keeping nonviolent sex offenders from attending youth groups, children's activities and even boy scouts meetings.

"The public thinks sex offenders are a threat to public safety," said Minocqua Town Chairman Mark Hartzheim.

He says sex offenders are always around, but trick or treating can get dangerous.

"They're there and we don't always know they are there," said Hartzheim.

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LINCOLN COUNTY - A man died after his ATV hit a bear in northwest of Tomahawk.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Deputies tell us it happened just after 7:30 p.m. Thursday night in the Town of Wilson.

A 51 year old man had been headed west on County Road CC, east of Poplar Drive.

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