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Testimony ends in lawsuit to stop Chippewa tribe from deer hunting at night


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Two days of testimony ended Thursday afternoon in a lawsuit by the state DNR to stop six Chippewa Indian tribes from hunting deer at night.

Federal Judge Barbara Crabb of Madison told attorneys on both sides to submit their final legal briefs by Monday.

The judge will issue her ruling after that, although it’s not clear as to when.

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 practice since the late 1980’s in the name of safety. But the tribes now say it’s a moot point – because the DNR allowed wolf hunters to shoot at night for the first time this fall.

On Thursday, the tribes attempted to show that it’s safer to hunt deer after dark than it is to hunt wolves.

DNR safety specialist Tim Lawhern testified that shining deer makes the animals freeze – while wolves run away when they’re exposed to light.