MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge has blocked Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes from hunting deer at night for at least the next two weeks.
State Department of Natural Resources attorney Quinn Williams tells The Associated Press in an exclusive interview U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb made the decision during a telephone status conference with state and tribal attorneys Wednesday.
He says Crabb ruled the state can enforce its ban on hunting deer after dark on tribal members until she holds a hearing on the issue on Dec. 12.
The commission that oversees the Chippewa's off-reservation rights last week authorized tribal hunters to kill deer at night beginning this past Monday. The move set off a legal battle with the DNR, which has long banned night deer hunting out of safety concerns.
Statement from Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp on today’s (Wednesday) federal court conference concerning Chippewa Tribal night hunting of deer:
“This afternoon Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District Federal Court ruled that the State may enforce state shining laws against any Chippewa Tribal member hunting deer at night within the Ceded Territory (roughly the northern third of the state) until the preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Dec. 12 and further order of the court. Chippewa Tribal members have been prohibited from night hunting/shining deer since 1990 in line with a 1989 federal court decision."
“The State is pleased that shining will be prohibited until such time as we can adequately address these issues within the appropriate court setting. We will continue to try to work with the Tribes to resolve this issue.”