- Associated Press - Saturday, November 22, 2014
Wisconsin’s 9-day gun deer hunt gets underway

A Wisconsin tradition appeared to get off to a safe start Saturday as Department of Natural Resources officials said they had received no immediate reports of accidental shootings or other injuries on the opening day of the state’s nine-day gun deer hunt.

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp told reporters on a conference call that officials have been hearing “lots of good reports from the field,” although her own hunting party hadn’t seen many deer.

“Being the eternal optimist that I am, I’m very confident that plenty of folks in our hunting party are going to have some successful harvests to report by the end of the season,” Stepp said.

Mild, if locally rainy or foggy weather generally made it a pleasant day for hunting. But conditions varied across the state, with the snow disappearing in southern Wisconsin, central Wisconsin enjoying enough snow to make tracking deer easier, and much deeper snow in northern Wisconsin. Rain in Sunday’s forecast could put a damper on hunting, though.

Wildlife managers expect a smaller harvest this year in northern Wisconsin, where two consecutive harsh winters have depleted the herd. The agency bared hunters in 19 northern counties in whole or in part from taking antlerless deer this year.

Kevin Wallenfang, the DNR big game ecologist, said the stress from last winter also took its toll on antler development. He said he expects many bucks registered in the north will have just small “spike” antlers, and he said the aftereffects are even being seen in some southern counties.

“Some of the older-age bucks that should be carrying much better antlers seem to have been impacted by the harsh conditions,” Wallenfang said. “After a harsh winter, their first obligation to themselves is to pack on body weight, and then (grow) their antlers.”

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Kohler introduces odor-eating toilet seat

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Blow out the candle and ditch the aerosol can.

Kohler Co. has introduced a deodorizing toilet seat that it says eliminates embarrassing bathroom odors and the need for candles and sprays to cover them up.

A fan hidden in the battery-operated seat sucks in air and pushes it through an odor-eating carbon filter, followed by an optional scent pack. Product manager Jerry Bougher said the idea is to attack smells “where the action is.”

The $90 seat is one of many high-tech gadgets that Wisconsin-based Kohler and its competitors have introduced in recent years to make time spent in the bathroom more pleasant. When it comes to toilets, consumers can get seats with features such as slow-closing lids, heat and nightlights that typically add $20 to $100 to the cost.

Kohler sees deodorizing technology as something that most consumers can connect with, Bougher said. “In terms of odor, everyone’s experienced it.”

The seat turns on automatically when someone sits down. The fan emits a slight hum as it filters the offending odor. The air flows over a scent pack similar to air fresheners used in cars, and the masking smell builds gradually. Bougher’s wife, Angela, said her husband installed a Purefresh seat in their home without telling her, and she noticed the scent “just before you would normally reach for a can of spray.”

Josh Pantel, 27, has a Purefresh seat in the Middleton home he bought about three months ago with his girlfriend, who works for Kohler. He too likes it.

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Door County fish business subject of federal probe

MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Wisconsin company that processes Great Lakes fish for sale worldwide has been caught up in a federal investigation into the illegal trafficking of lake trout, lake sturgeon, whitefish and walleye in Wisconsin and Michigan, according to a published report Saturday.

Federal court records show U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents set up a fake fish store in L’Anse, Michigan, recorded conversations on boats and in bars around Beaver Island in Lake Michigan, and recently raided Dan’s Fish in the northeastern Wisconsin city of Sturgeon Bay in Door County, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1xZRCRqhttps://bit.ly/1xZRCRq ).

No criminal charges have been filed, but search warrants served as part of the investigation were recently unsealed. Federal law limits the commercial trade of wildlife taken illegally under state, federal or tribal laws. Each violation involving at least $350 worth of fish is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Kaye Hooker, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Michigan’s Western District, said several federal, state and tribal authorities we working “to maintain and safeguard a healthy fishery” but declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.

Rick Coad, a Madison-based attorney for Dan Schwarz, the owner of Dan’s Fish, told The Associated Press on Saturday that they couldn’t comment because of the continuing investigation. But he pointed to a statement they gave earlier to the Door County Register saying the company was fully cooperating with an investigation into “potential violations of regulatory issues.”

Federal court records show agents served the search warrants on businesses and fishing vessels in Michigan and Wisconsin. The fishermen and business owners named in the warrants include members of various Indian tribes and non-tribal fish dealers.

Besides Dan’s Fish, the warrants also named Peterson’s Fish Market in Hancock, Michigan, John Cross Fish Market in Charlevoix, Michigan, and the Beaver Island Fresh Fish Market on Beaver Island, Michigan. People who answered the phone Saturday at the Peterson and Cross markets told the AP that nobody was available for comment, while a number listed for the Beaver Island market was disconnected.

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Amish man dies in manure spreader accident

ELK GROVE, Wis. (AP) - Officials say an Amish man has died after he was run over by a horse-drawn manure spreader in the southern Wisconsin town of Elk Grove.

Lafayette County Sheriff Scott Pedley says in a statement that 22-year-old Amos King, of rural Cuba City, was driving the manure spreader Friday afternoon when he became entangled in the unit, was dragged, and was eventually run over by one of the spreader’s steel wheels.

WISC-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1xj9hAPhttps://bit.ly/1xj9hAP ) that King died at the scene.

On Friday morning in the same county, the sheriff’s office says, a 15-year-old driving an Amish buggy suffered severe injuries when a pickup truck rear-ended the buggy. The youth was airlifted to a Madison hospital. The horse suffered a broken leg and a veterinarian had to put it down.

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Information from: WISC-TV, https://www.channel3000.comhttps://www.channel3000.com


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