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Supreme Court won't hear night deer hunt caseSubmitted: 04/20/2015
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Supreme Court won't hear night deer hunt case
NORTHWOODS - Chippewa tribes in Wisconsin may be one step closer to being able to hunt deer at night again.

Last year, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered federal Judge Barbara Crabb to reconsider a ban on night deer hunting. In 1991, she ruled against night hunting in ceded territory for safety reasons.

The state of Wisconsin asked the U.S. Supreme Court to look at that decision, but on Monday the court decided not to take up the case.

Now, Judge Crabb will need to reconsider the ban.

"The decision essentially allows for the tribes to assert a claim for a night hunt due to changed circumstances over the time period since the initial ruling back in the 1990s," said Sokaogon Chippewa Community Tribal Chairman Chris McGeshick.

Tribes say those changed circumstances include improved safety regulations. They also cite state-supported night hunts for animals like raccoons and coyotes.

The tribes have proposed two-day advanced night hunting training as well as more regulations for a nighttime deer hunt.

"Training and safety are of the utmost importance," McGeshick added. "Having those regulations in place is what makes it a safe activity and provides for an opportunity for the safe harvest."

The Court of Appeals made its decision last year in part because four other states allow tribal night hunts.

Newswatch 12 reached out to the state Department of Justice for reaction, and received the following statement in response: "It's rare that the U.S. Supreme Court will accept a case, so we are not surprised that this particular petition was not accepted. The Department of Justice will continue to concentrate our efforts on future proceedings in this case before the district court."

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