Riding along with the DNR before busy opening weekend - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Riding along with the DNR before busy opening weekend


It's 9:00 Friday morning. The official start to hunting season is just hours away, and that means Lincoln County DNR Warden Rick Peters is very busy.

"The week before deer season is just as busy as deer season," Peters said as he climbs into his truck for the first time today.

With a turn of the key, the ignition starts, and Peters wastes no time hitting the road. His mission, to make sure everything's in order for the big hunt.

His first stop, a complaint that a deer had been poached.

"The information that we get is people calling or stopping in the office, or leaving a note," says Peters

And this time it was no different.

"A land owner called because there's a deer on the side of the road that he thought might be suspiciously killed," Peters explains.

But, when he pulled up, it doesn't look like much.

"By the wound it seems like it's an archery kill," Peters says as he examines the carcass laying on the side of the road. "What it is, is a case of littering."

So, it's off to the next call.

"There's some state land out here we have some trapping and littering problems," Peters says as we drive down the gravel roads.

When we arrive, the water is bubbling, and there are no traps to be found.

"I'm going to follow the heavily used trails and see if there's any sign of trapping," Peters says as he makes his way down the first trail.

But, just like the deer on the road, it's a false alarm and it's all clear.

That means back in the truck, it's time to check on the hunters.    

"There's a few spots down here where they'll set up, it's traditional," he says.

What I didn't expect? A school bus used as a deer camp.

"School buses make great camps," Peters jokes. "It's whatever makes a guy feel like a guy. You know, a place where the counter hasn't been washed in seventeen years."

And he's right, while school buses aren't exactly the normal deer camp, deer hunters say it really is all about what makes them the most comfortable.

"It has to have character," hunter Richard Mielke said.

Mielke has set up the same camp for forty years. This year he's proud to have two new additions to the hunting family.

"I just love it up here, it's so nice and quiet. You don't have to worry about anything," Mielke said.

So as Peters and I say goodbye to our hunting friends we head back into the truck. Overall, it's been an eventful morning.

"We still have the afternoon and evening left yet so we'll see," Peters says as we pull into the Ranger station.

But, it's a good start to a very busy weekend.

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