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Wisconsin Native Americans Fight to Hunt at Night

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Native American tribes within Wisconsin win a significant victory in a decade-long battle to hunt at night.

Native American tribes in Wisconsin have received a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals that could help them lift the ban currently preventing them from hunting deer at night. A previous ruling from Wisconsin’s Court System deemed hunting at night to be a safety concern. “Shining,” as it is referred to in Wisconsin, was deemed a danger to the public and banned on public and private lands. Tribal lands were excluded from this ruling as Wisconsin has no jurisdiction in these areas.

On Oct, 9, 2014 a panel of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the previous ruling by the Wisconsin judge and remanded the case for further consideration. Judge Richard Posner stated the reason for the vacation of the previous ruling was that the danger previously feared from night hunting is no longer an issue. Posner also stated:

Indians who hunt deer tend to be experienced hunters, because on their reservations they are allowed to hunt both during the day and at night. Moreover, to be licensed to hunt they are required to pass a marksmanship test – at night.

Posner believes it is unfair to ban Native Americans from hunting public land at night because many Native Americans and their families in the area are poor and rely on venison for sustenance. The judge also stated that he believed the venison to be healthier than the ground beef that many Native Americans in the area were purchasing with food stamps.

The case has been remanded back to the district court in Wisconsin for further proceedings. The vacation of previous rulings by Judge Posner and his panel suggests that the district court will too lift the ban.

More from Wide Open Spaces:

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Wisconsin Native Americans Fight to Hunt at Night