Wisconsin hunters asked to ‘keep an eye out’ for more than just deer

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Wisconsin hunters asked to 'keep an eye out' for more than just deer

Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Wisconsin gun deer hunting season officially starts tomorrow, and as First News at Nine’s David LaClair reports, hunters are being asked to keep their eyes open for more than just their trophy buck.

Right now, in La Crosse County alone, there are 8 people reported missing.

Heather Vancil, who is a member of the Wisconsin Rapids-based rapid search and rescue, hopes hunters can help solve some of these cases.

Heather Vancil, Rapid Search and Rescue member, said, “Thousands of hunters are going to hit the woods hoping to get their trophy buck that they can put on their wall, but not only are they going to be out hunting, they can be a huge asset to locating the missing.

Vancil and her group have created “attention hunters” flyers on their Facebook page with names of missing people throughout the state of Wisconsin by each county.

“We actually have a flyer up that covers every person in the whole state of Wisconsin,”said Vancil.

Rapid Search and Rescue’s efforts are part of the statewide effort, search teams of Wisconsin, or stow, which also includes the central and northwestern Wisconsin-based group K-9 emergency response teams.

Jan Thompson, K-9 Emergency Response Teams Handler said, “I think it is important that teams work together for the betterment of finding somebody, for the families and for law enforcement.”

The true passion that hunters are so excited just about going out and getting that buck or getting that deer to provide meat for their family and they don’t think about also ‘hey, I might be able to locate somebody and bring them home’,” said Handler.

Most hunters go to the same area to hunt year after year, and now they see something there whether it’s the vehicle or clothing, or a bone that looks like it could be human.

In the end, all stow partners hope hunters play it safe this season, and to report anything suspicious to law enforcement.

“All of our stow teams are on standby. We are ready to search and deploy at a moment’s notice whenever law enforcement calls us,” said Thomson.

In La Crosse, David LaClair, First News at Nine.

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