Thu December 13, 2012
Night Deer Hunt Ruling Could Come Next Week
There's no final decision yet in the legal dispute over whether Chippewa tribal members can legally hunt deer at night in the ceded territory. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb could issue a ruling in the case early next week.
Testimony in the federal court hearing in Madison today focused on the state's allegation that a new tribal order allowing night hunting doesn't include enough safety precautions. A retired Department of Natural Resources warden told the court the tribe's new rules for night hunting aren't as safe as the rules the DNR used for sharpshooters who hunted at night during the state's special hunts to kill deer in areas where Chronic Wasting Disease was discovered in southern Wisconsin. But the lead attorney for the tribes says she's confident the court will grant tribes the right to hunt at night between now and January 6th. Collette Routel says she's confident the tribes have shown their plan includes intensive training for night hunters and is safe enough to allow a hunt that she believes will take place in the near future.
The state and the tribes have until Monday afternoon to submit briefs on whether the new tribal night hunt should be allowed under treaties that granted tribal hunting rights on public land in a seven-county area in northern Wisconsin known as the ceded territories.