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Under new law, deer baiting, feeding bans to expire in NorthwoodsSubmitted: 08/09/2017
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Under new law, deer baiting, feeding bans to expire in Northwoods
WAUSAU - People in Vilas and Forest counties could begin legally baiting and feeding deer as soon as next fall. Oneida County's baiting and feeding ban could be lifted in 2019.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill making that possible last week. Before Walker enacted the law, bans were permanent in those counties.


Tests found the deadly brain disease in deer at a Three Lakes game farm in late 2015. That discovery triggered a ban on baiting and feeding in the three counties near Three Lakes. Research shows CWD can spread when deer cluster around feeding sites.

But the ban also drew complaints from wildlife watchers and some hunters. The bill Walker signed last week will let the ban expire after three years in CWD counties and after two years in adjacent counties.

"There's been discussions about, do you double up fencing [at game farms]? Do you look at a number of other options out there? I think there's a whole series of things," Walker said on Wednesday in Wausau. "I don't know that this specific ban was the be-all-end-all."

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress pushed strongly to keep county bans in place. This spring, the majority of the DNR's County Deer Advisory Councils voted to extend the feeding ban statewide, instead of letting it end in some places.

"We're going to look at not only working with the Conservation Congress [and] Department of Natural Resources staff, but others who are concerned and interested about this to make sure that science is driving all the decisions we make," Walker said.

State regulators found deer with CWD at the same Three Lakes farm last fall. That means Oneida County will be under a ban until at least 2019. More infected deer would push the ban out even further. The ban in Vilas and Forest counties will be in place until at least next fall.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/18/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:


We take our Long Summer Weekend to Vilas County where we show you a garden in Land O'Lakes overflowing with produce - and a strong sense of community.

We talk to participants and organizers of the National Championship Musky Open in Eagle River.

And Friday Night Blitz kicks off another season tonight at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10 with football scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following games:

Superior at Merrill

Berlin at Antigo

Hayward at Lakeland

Abbotsford at Crandon


That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Manitowish Waters would certainly look different today without its cranberry marshes.

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MANITOWISH WATERS - Northwoods tourism thrives off of fishing, hunting, and lake life.

Sometimes, people want to take a piece of that Northwoods culture home with them.

You might not recognize this sign in its beginning stages.

Mike Patek makes these handmade signs under the name "Vintage Cabin Signs" in Manitowish Waters. He controls everything from the cut to the paint.

His signs go all over the country. They're based off of Northwoods vacation images from the 30s and 40s; think old fishing magazines, travel posters, and postcards.

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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County prides itself on its miles of trails. Whether it's cross country skiing, walking or biking, there are plenty of options. But one of the longest is the Heart of Vilas County bike system.

"We have 47 miles of paved bike trails. I don't think that any place in the state can match that, it's awesome," said Mary Vangrinsven.

Those nearly 50 miles make up the Heart of Vilas County Bike Trail.

"It's like being on vacation every day of my life," said Vangrinsven.

When the trail started nearly 20 years ago, bikers, walkers and runners were very excited.
"I was pretty amazed by how much use it was getting. I wondered if this was just a fad or whether it was something real," said Vangrinsven.

But it was real. The finished trail goes through four different communities.

"It's been a great addition to what you can do in Vilas County," said Ken Wiesner.

Bikers can go from St. Germain to Manitowish Waters and hit up Sayner and Boulder Junction along the way.

"In my opinion, it's really changed the local economy for the better," said Wiesner.

Every Wednesday, a group of nearly 50 people bike along a part of the Heart of Vilas County Bike trail.

"I think we're really finding, especially in the areas up here, that we have very active adults," said Vangrinsven.

Wiesner and his wife Barb joined the group because they have a cabin in Vilas County.

"We've made a lot of new friends over the past 10 years, primarily in the biking," said Wiesner.

Whether you do it with a group of friends, or by yourself, there's also something to enjoy along the trail.

There are shops along the trail to rent bikes if you don't have one. If you would like more information on the trail, click on the link below.

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SHAWANO COUNTY - One person died when an explosion leveled a home in Shawano county early Thursday morning.

The Shawano County Sheriff's Department says 54 year old Diane Pickett was found dead in the remains of the house.

A second person who lived at the house was out of town when the explosion happened.

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MADISON - Update:  8/18/17,  5:10pm

The Wisconsin state Assembly has passed a $3 billion tax break package for Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn Technology Group.

The bipartisan vote Thursday now sends the bill to the Senate, where it must also pass in identical form before it goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

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LAWRENCE, WI - A man accused of driving a vehicle that struck and killed a mother and daughter as they walked along a road in Lawrence has been charged in the case.

Authorities say 46-year-old David Meyer, of De Pere, is charged with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. He is being held on $50,000 cash bond.

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