Vilas County News-Review NOV. 21, 2012

Judged as Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Newspaper Association 2012 Large Weekly Division NEWS-REVIEW EAGLE RIVER, WI 54521 • (715) 479-4421 • $1.25 WEDNESDAY, NOV. 21, 2012 by rutting activity on the opener, no snow on the landscape and some fog opening morning hindered visibility and tracking ability for hunters. High temperatures in the low 50s Saturday and Sunday made hunting very comfortable. Kevin Harter, public affairs manager for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Northern Region, said Monday the buck kill increased 16% in Vilas and Oneida counties, and 11% in Forest County. Vilas hunters registered 716 bucks during the first two days compared to 619 last year. In 2010, Vilas hunters registered 427 bucks. Hunters registered just 93 antlerless deer this year, compared to 261 last year, a drop of 64%. Units 34, 35, 36, 39 and 29B in Vilas County were buck only this year. Exceptions to the buck-only units include some antlerless tags for hunters with disabilities, members of the Armed Forces home on leave and hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 who purchased a gun deer license received an antlerless tag good for any unit in the state. In addition, the northern fringe of Unit 38, where some antlerless permits were available, reaches into Vilas County. Tom Hauge, director of the DNR wildlife program, said the warm weather likely had some hunters registering their deer right away instead of leaving them hang at camp, which likely bumped up the numbers. “Generally, we see about 60% of the overall harvest in the first weekend, but we hold drawing of conclusions until the season is complete,” Hauge said. Most areas across the North Woods had excellent conditions, though there was some morning fog that reduced visibility Saturday, but hunters missed the snow that they like. “Though a light dusting of snow would have provided ideal conditions for hunting, warm and dry weather does tend to allow people to stay out in the field or the tree stand longer,” said Hauge. In Oneida County, hunters brought in 849 bucks, the most in the tri-county area, compared to 730 last year. Oneida County hunters registered 614 bucks in 2010. Oneida County hunters also registered 435 antlerless deer compared to 636 last year, a drop of 6%. Units 31, To OPENER, Pg. 2A VILAS COUNTY Section A VOL. 127, NO. 36 Opening weekend buck kill climbs 14% in 3 counties ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR ___________ The tri-county opening weekend buck kill increased 14.6% compared to the first days of the 2011 gun deer season as hunters were aided by rutting activity due to the earliest possible starting date, officials said. While the buck kill rose in Vilas, Oneida and Forest counties, the antlerless harvest dropped in both Vilas and Oneida counties. A majority of Vilas County and the northern edge of Oneida County was buck only this season. The nearly 15% increase in the opening weekend buck harvest comes on the heels of a 31% jump in the buck harvest opening weekend last year. While hunters were aided A few more hunters dragged out bucks this year with the help of an early opener and rutting activity. --STAFF PHOTO Man, 36, killed in crash A 36-year-old Three Lakes man has died as a result of a one-vehicle crash on Highway X in Three Lakes Sunday, according to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. A vehicle driven by Christopher G. Laux crashed approximately one-half mile south of Minne Wonka Lane, said authorities, who received the 911 call at 5:16 a.m. The Three Lakes Police Department responded to the scene where they discovered Laux, the driver, who was pronounced deceased by the Oneida County Medical Examiners Office. The preliminary investigation revealed the vehicle had traveled southbound and failed to negotiate a curve. Laux wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, according to authorities. The Three Lakes Police Department, Three Lakes Fire Department, Oneida County Ambulance Medic 10 and the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. The crash remains under investigation by the Three Lakes Police Department and the Oneida County Medical Examiners Office. School officials not convinced on funding plan State would provide $3,000 per student ___________ BY GARY RIDDERBUSCH NEWS-REVIEW EDITOR ___________ ’TIS THE SEASON — An Eagle River Light and Water Utility employee placed a holiday wreath on a light pole along Highway 45 North last week. —Staff Photo By GARY RIDDERBUSCH A new education funding proposal would provide more general aid to Northland Pine and Three Lakes school districts, but administrators are being cautious on their level of support for the plan. State Superintendent Tony Evers introduced the “Fair Funding for Our Future” plan last week as part of the Department of Public Instruction’s 2013-’15 state budget request. The plan would provide a guaranteed $3,000 to school districts for each student regardless of where they live and it incorporates a poverty weighting factor of 30% into the formula to account for family income rather than just a district’s property values. The plan would remove the school levy tax credit for taxpayers, which is a concern to district administrators here. “It looks good on paper,” said Northland Pines District Administrator Mike Richie. “But until I see it on the tax bill, I’m not convinced.” Northland Pines currently receives $3.62 million in state support, including $128,339 in general aid and $3.49 million in school levy tax credits. Under the Fair Funding proposal, Northland Pines would receive $4.52 million in general aid based on $3,000 per student. 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