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For the last 11 years, an albino doe has been more than just another denizen of the woods in the region of Deer Creek Road in Bayfield County between Ashland and the village of Sanborn.
The white deer was born and lived her whole life there, becoming unusually friendly with those who lived in the neighborhood.
"She was in my yard all the time; she was almost like a pet," Norm Mackey said.
"She would eat right out of your hand, if you wanted her to," Mary Jo Tuckwell recalled.
None of the neighbors living on Deer Creek Road would have dreamed of harming the white deer, as she was known.
"She was like the matriarch of the whole neighborhood," John Roguski said.
But apparently someone wished her harm. One day in late July, Roguski, who lives in Ashland, was bringing some ice cream over to his grandkids who live on Deer Creek Road when he saw a pair of turkey vultures circling overhead.
"I just thought I'd check it out," he said.
He didn't have to go far off the road. Just inside the tree line was the albino doe, dead, and already partially scavenged. Roguski suspected she might have been hit by a vehicle, but could find no broken bones. That raised Roguski's suspicions that the deer had been poached, and he placed a call to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Matt Koshollek. Koshollek examined the carcass and discovered a bullet hole in one of the animal's ribs,
said John's son Tim Roguski.
White deer, true albinos, are a normal part of the North the Northwoods landscape, but incredibly rare ones. The genetic abnormality strikes about one in 30,000 deer and makes it more difficult for the animals to survive because they stand out so starkly in the green and brown backgrounds of woods and fields.
Koshollek declined to confirm that a gunshot was the cause of the doe's death, but did say the matter was under investigation by the DNR as a poaching case.
The possibility that the white deer met her end as the result of a poacher's bullet has angered the tiny Deer Creek community.
"She was a fawn when my husband and I moved in here in 2008," said Tuckwell. "We have watched her grow, have her own fawns and become the center of the neighborhood for several of us. We made sure she didn't go hungry in the winter. She was a part of the neighborhood family. It's just so inhumane, there is no other way to describe it."
Tuckwell said although 11 is a respectable age for a doe, the white deer had a fawn this spring. That fact may mean that the doe's death was a double tragedy.
"She was still suckling the fawn a week before she died," Tuckwell said. "I haven't seen it since the mother died."
Tuckwell said she cried when she heard the news that the deer had likely been shot, and said she chokes up whenever she thinks about it.
"She did nothing wrong to anybody, for her to be purposely targeted and shot is horrible," she said.
Tuckwell said she and others in the neighborhood would like to see the culprit brought to justice. She said there has been discussion of establishing a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot the white deer.
Among those who hope an arrest will take place is John Roguski. He noted that there have been thrill killings of deer in Bayfield County in the past.
"Where is this all going to end?" he asked. "Will it be a family pet next time? Houses? Automobiles?"
Roguski said even if the culprit is found it won't make up for the loss of the Deer Creek road's beloved white deer.
"I first saw her when she was maybe an hour old. She got up all wet and wobbly," he said. "It is so upsetting to see something like that happen to such a beautiful little animal."
Anyone with information about the shooting of the Deer Creek white deer is asked to call or text the DNR Hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800847-9367 to confidentially share their information
Caribbean-style culinary adventure awaits diners drawn to the Northwoods to tuck into an authentic Jamaican jerk chicken dinner and quaff craft beer in an outdoors dining pavilion.
Delta Diner managing members Todd and Nina Bucher had a bit of a dilemma during the summertime months.
The 48-seat diner nestled in the woods on Bayfield County's Highway H could only accommodate about 65 percent of the people who pulled into
the parking lot during the summer, Todd said. Although the couple served ice cream at Taste Budz Diner Store next door, so customers could enjoy a treat while waiting for a table, the Buchers dreamed of offering yet another unique culinary experience.
While Todd's passion for diners had been a catalyst for opening the Delta Diner in fall 2003, Nina's annual visits to Montego Bay in Jamaica over the past 22 years enticed the couple to dip their toes into island cuisine.
Over the years Nina had brought back jerk sauces to tantalize Todd's taste buds from recipes honed by her "island family," who owned Lilliput Jerk Centre.
Todd began developing his own recipes not only for sauces, but also for other Jamaican staples such as callaloo, rice and peas, and festival bread.
The couple's foray into Jamaican cuisine resulted in the establishment of Tin Tap House and Chicken Shack next door to the diner to offer a taste of the islands.
"We want people to enjoy an authentic jerk meal that is representative of what you would get if you went to the Lilliput," Todd said.
The menu gives patrons three options: a full dinner featuring half a chicken with sides of callaloo (a spicy, vegan collard dish), creamy rice and peas (actually red beans) cooked in coconut milk and spices, and festival bread (a cornmeal-based fry bread); a larger order that serves two; and a smaller order with only festival bread as a side.
Todd and the other cooks who man the smoker grills won't throw the chicken on the heat until it's ordered. The poultry is then cut up into pieces and served.
"You want to encourage people to eat with their hands," Todd said.
Of course, the meals come with a side of his in-house jerk sauce.
But the couple didn't stop at merely developing a menu to showcase Jamaican eats. They wanted to recreate the vibe of the island.
The island's motto is reuse and repurpose, so the Tin Tap House and Chicken Shack are actually two former shipping containers sitting parallel to each other. A new roof connects the two, providing some shelter.
There's plenty of outdoor seating, with picnic tables painted in green and gold — two of the three colors of Jamaica's flag — and bar tables.
Murals adorn the sides of the containers, adding a dash of color. The side of the Chicken Shack facing the grills depicts Jamaica, and the outside of the Tin Tap House showcases Earth Rider beer, the only suds drinkers will see on tap. The Superior-based brewing company even created a beer just for Tin Tap House. It's a crisp, refreshing and light summer beverage, with a bit of lime zest thrown in, Todd said.
The shack and tap house are open 2 to 7 p.m. Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays unless the Buchers have a previous catering engagement, so keep an eye on their website. They already have announced that food won't be served Aug. 9-11, or Sept. 13-15. Chicken isn't served until 2 p.m., and is sold until it runs out.
Plans include adding pork to the menu in the coming weeks and fish in the future. Next year the Buchers hope to expand service to more days of the week and add a stage for live music, a benchstyle seating area overlooking the river and a riverside trail.
For more information visit deltadiner.com.
A 36-year-old Washburn man was killed Saturday when the single-engine aircraft he was flying crashed into a remote area of Carp Lake township in Ontonagon County, Mich., near the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Jack Jeffrey Maccani was the only occupant of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee, which was reported missing after it failed to arrive on time at the Gogebic County airport after a short flight from the Ontonagon airport.
A search using information from Maccani's cell phone's last known location was begun, aided by a Civil Air Patrol team, which found the location of the crash scene. Maccani was found at the crash site and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Several teams, including personnel from the Ontonagon and Gogebic Sheriff's Departments, the U.S. Forest Service, Michigan State Police, Porcupine Mountains State Park Rangers and the Rockland Township Fire Department participated in the search.
Maccani is survived by his fiancee, Kaitlyn Fryser of Washburn, who is expecting the couple's first child, his parents, William and Diane Maccani of Bessemer, Mich., two brothers and two sisters.
Maccani was a 2001 graduate of Bessemer High School, a hockey player who also starred in baseball and football. But it was hockey that really captured his passion, skating in youth hockey, high school and eventually playing junior hockey for the Escondido Surf in California, and continuing to play amateur hockey with the Calumet Wolverines through 2018.
After high school he went on to get a certificate in building trades from Gogebic Community College. He also pursued a degree as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, and took classes in machining. Maccani was employed by Brown Plumbing and HVAC of Ashland.
He was an avid hunter and fisherman and raised beagles for field trials. He was also a certified beagle trial judge. Maccani also ran a charter fishing operation with his brother, Mark.
At the time of his death he was awaiting the birth of his daughter, whom he and his fiancee had already named Kali Jean.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for Friday at Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer. A full obituary is in this edition of The Daily Press.