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Judge says Chippewa may not hunt deer at night

For the second time in 13 years, a federal judge said no Dec. 17 to letting Chippewa Indians hunt deer at night in much of northern Wisconsin.

Judge Barbara Crabb said the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission overstepped its boundaries when it created a special night-time deer hunt. It was supposed to start the Monday night after Thanksgiving in the ceded territories where Chippewa have exercised hunting-and-fishing treaty rights for centuries.

But the hunt never got started, because the state DNR filed suit to prevent it. State officials said the shining of deer at night would cause safety problems for motorists and by-standers.

They said the season violated Judge Crabb's order from 1989 which allowed the state to ban night hunting in all sections of Wisconsin. But the tribes said the issue became moot, after the DNR allowed wolf hunters to shoot at night. A tribal attorney has not commented.