Tribes, DNR Clash Over Night Hunting

By KBJR News 1

November 29, 2012 Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 7:56 PM CDT

Solon Springs, WI (NNCNOW.com)-- The Chippewa Tribes of Wisconsin are uniting in an attempt to change rules regarding deer hunting at night.

A federal judge has temporary blocked the tribal deer shining plan in Northern Wisconsin.

A commission overseeing the Chippewa Tribes of Wisconsin says though night-time hunting has been banned for many years a precedent has now been set that changes things.

"Night hunting allowed by the state of Wisconsin in CWD zones and then more recently when Wisconsin instituted a wolf hunting season," said Sue Erickson with The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission wants the same rights for tribal members and is taking their case to court.

Erickson says the tribes have been advocating night hunting for years. She says the hunt on the 22,400 square miles of ceded territory would put needed food on the table.

"We have a good case and it's an important matter to the tribes. Meat on the table is an important matter."

But not everybody in the Native American community is on board with hunting at night, including one elder from the Red Cliff Band of Chippewa."

"That's not tradition because that's just modern things, flashlight, car light, spotlight, that's modern stuff. Where's the tradition behind that?"

Tony DePerry was taught, and teaches that hunting ends when the sun sets.

"I've always taught, when it gets dark it's time to come inside, it's time to be quiet, Native people never walk in the woods when it's dark," said DePerry.

The Federal court will make a decision on whether the tribes will be allowed to hunt deer at night on December 12th.

Until then the lights are out for night hunting.

The Wisconsin DNR says night hunting presents an unsafe environment for both hunters and the public.