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Trial over tribal night deer hunting begins

Published On: Jul 22 2013 11:22:22 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 22 2013 01:06:26 PM CDT

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MADISON, Wis. -

A federal trial to determine whether Chippewa tribes can hunt deer at night across northern Wisconsin is underway.

The trial began in U.S. District Court in Madison on Monday with testimony from Kekek Jason Stark, a policy analyst on tribal treaty rights. Neither side offered opening statements.

The state Department of Natural Resources has long banned hunting deer at night out of safety concerns. But the Chippewa contend circumstances have changed, noting the DNR allowed hunters to go after wolves at night this past fall. The tribes consider the wolf a spiritual brother.

Stark said Monday the wolf hunt triggered the tribe's push for night deer hunting. He said the tribes plan to impose strict safety standards.

The trial was expected to last about a week.

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