MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes are trying to persuade a federal judge they have the right to hunt at night and the practice is safe.
The commission that oversees the tribes' off-reservation rights authorized tribal hunters to hunt deer after dark starting this week, provoking a legal battle with the state Department of Natural Resources, which prohibits night deer hunting out of safety concerns.
The tribes on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to block the DNR from enforcing the prohibition on tribal hunters. The tribes argue they have the right to give their members more harvest opportunities, the state allows hunters to kill wolves at night and tribal hunters must meet stringent safety requirements to get night permits.
A DNR spokesman didn't immediately return a message.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Nearly 75 Chippewa tribal hunters have qualified to hunt deer at night.
The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission last week authorized Chippewa tribal hunters to go after deer in the dark across northern Wisconsin. Hunters must obtain a marksmanship proficiency rating from their respective tribes before they can go out. Commission spokeswoman Sue Erickson says 74 hunters from five tribes have qualified.
The tribes plan to open night hunting about an hour after sunset Monday evening.
The state Department of Natural Resources has asked a federal judge to block the night hunt. The agency says it's too dangerous. Erickson says the tribes plan to file a reply Monday arguing the state allows wolf hunters to hunt after dark.