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NEWS STORIES

Tribes, DNR Clash Over Night Hunt.Submitted: 11/29/2012

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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WISCONSIN - The DNR and Wisconsin tribes have clashed plenty of times in the last several years.

The dispute over a night deer hunt is just the latest in the story.

Last week, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission said Chippewa tribes could deer hunt at night across the ceded territory.

That includes roughly the northern third of the state.

GLIFWC says the time was right because the DNR let people hunt at night in this year's WOLF hunt.

"The state felt like this was safe for the public. So why would not that be safe for the tribes, to go out, night hunt at the point of kill?" asks GLIFWC's Sue Erickson.

The DNR disagrees.

They successfully persuaded a judge to stop the hunt until the next court date.

DNR leaders say a night deer hunt would be unique.

"First of all, it's a different animal. Second of all, the numbers of how many people would go out there and hunt at night are different, and the rules that are being used for those hunts are different," says DNR Attorney Quinn Williams.

Safety is a concern for the DNR.

But they also say the tribes went too far, too fast in approving the night hunt.

"The unilateral issuance of a night hunt order is something that certainly caught us by surprise, and we had very little time to respond," says Williams.

"It's important to know that the tribes have been consulting with the DNR regularly since May on this issue, so it's not a big surprise," disagrees Erickson.

Both sides are back before a judge December 12th.

Until then, the hunt is on hold.


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