September 2, 2014

Decision delayed in deer shining lawsuit

Testimony has wrapped up in a federal court hearing on a lawsuit from the DNR seeking to stop six Chippewa Indian tribes from hunting deer at night, but it could be a while before the judge issues a decision in the case.

Federal Judge Barbara Crabb told attorneys on both sides to submit final briefs in the case by Monday, indicating she would issue her ruling after those are in. It remains unclear when that ruling could come though.

The six Chippewa tribes want to shine deer at night in much of northern Wisconsin under their long-time treaty rights. The state has been able to ban the practice since the late 1980s in the name of safety. But the tribes now say it should be allowed again after the DNR allowed wolf hunters to shoot at night for the first time this fall.

The federal court has put a hold on the practice while the case is being considered.