Yesterday’s (October 13, 2015) ruling by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb approved regulations allowing Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to conduct night hunting for deer on lands open to public hunting (including Managed Forest Law “open” lands) in the Ceded Territory, roughly the northern third of the state. The Ceded Territory, shown in green on the above map, encompasses 22,400 square miles of northern Wisconsin that was ceded to the United States by the Lake Superior Chippewa Tribes in 1837 and 1842.
Throughout the tribes’ efforts to expand their rights to hunt deer at night the Wisconsin DNR and the state Department of Justice stressed the need to establish safety precautions that protect the well-being of all citizens and their property.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources remains disappointed with the Federal 7th Circuit Court’s decision to allow tribal night hunting despite the concerns raised over public safety. DNR will work at all levels to protect public safety and continue sound management of this shared resource. DNR law enforcement officers will work cooperatively with GLIFWC wardens to ensure compliance with the deer night hunting regulations; our land managers will work with property owners in the region; and our wildlife biologists will work with tribal experts to monitor the harvest.
Given the court’s prescribed timing of the season, which starts Nov. 1, DNR is working to inform the public about tribal night hunting to minimize potential safety related issues. The deer hunting tradition remains integral to the identity of our state and we believe that through these shared efforts, hunters will be able to continue to enjoy safe and successful hunting opportunities now and in the years to come.
For questions regarding the night hunting regulations, go to the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission website at: www.glifwc.org<http://www.glifwc.org/> or call 715-682-6619.