Environment | Law | Opinion

Editorial: Address safety concerns about tribal hunts at night

Off-reservation deer hunting zones in Wisconsin. Image from Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission

Wisconsin newspaper urges caution as tribes move forward with deer hunts at night after winning a major treaty rights case:
The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' recent decision in favor of a Chippewa tribe's push to hunt deer off reservation at night strikes us as problematic. While we support the tribes' treaty rights, we do think there are safety concerns that haven't been adequately addressed.

The three-judge panel in Chicago said it was convinced night hunting for deer in the ceded territory "is unlikely to create a serious safety problem." But U.S. District Barbara Crabb had cited a public safety concern in her 2013 ruling against the tribe.

And the fact that the Chippewa tribes in Wisconsin would use night deer hunting regulations very similar to those approved in Michigan and Minnesota isn't much comfort because there isn't much of a track record there.

As the Journal Sentinel recently reported, Capt. Tom Provost, northeast regional enforcement officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said that it's never actually been done in his state. And in Michigan, so few hunters from one tribe, the Keweenaw Bay Chippewa, exercise the right that the number of deer they kill at night off reservation in the Upper Peninsula is minimal, according to Fred Maulson, chief warden for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Public has been left waiting too long for emails [See third item] (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 10/20)

Oral arguments on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

7th Circuit Decision:
Lac Courte Oreilles Band v. Wisconsin (October 9, 2014)

Related Stories:
Tribes in Wisconsin win big decision in treaty hunting dispute (10/10)
7th Circuit sets oral arguments in Ojibwe night hunting lawsuit (08/06)
Wisconsin tribes ask 7th Circuit to hear treaty hunting dispute (5/8)

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