The state’s six Chippewa tribes are again waiting to hear whether a federal judge will allow tribal members to hunt deer at night in the ceded territory.
The issue was first in the courts more than twenty years ago, and in 1991 a judge ruled that the traditional practice of hunting deer by night would be too dangerous for the public in off-reservation lands.
But in 2012 the tribes raised the issue again, saying circumstances had changed. DNR staff were hunting deer at night as part of the state’s management of chronic wasting disease. The DNR also briefly allowed the hunting of wolves at night.
Still, a federal judge disagreed with the tribes’ argument, and last December ruled in favor of the state.
Now both parties are waiting for another decision…in an appeal of that ruling. Oral arguments came last week, and the state Department of Justice says it could be several weeks or months before a decision is handed down.