Tribal night deer hunting hearing underway

Dean BortzIf the morning’s proceedings on the Chippewa tribes’ plan to shoot deer at night are any indication, this injunction hearing in federal court in Madison is going to drift into tomorrow. That means I’ll be spending one more night in Madison instead of ice fishing in Vilas or Oneida counties, where “fishable” ice was forming up nicely when I left Arbor Vitae on Tuesday morning, Dec. 11.

Instead of taking in today’s Natural Resources Board meeting, where they’re talking about elk restoration in Jackson County and bobcats statewide, I’m in Federal Judge Barbara Crabb’s courtroom just off State Street, about seven blocks from the DNR headquarters. Fortunately for me and all WON readers, contributor Tim Eisele is at the NRB meeting today.

It’s too early to say just how this deer shining hearing is going, but I can see why the state pulled Tom Dosch out of retirement to work on the state’s behalf. Dosch doesn’t miss anything. I’m not saying he’s going to win this thing for the state, but clearly knows the history of the state/tribal treaty rights issues, and that knowledge allows him to point out any discrepancies if the tribal lawyers aren’t specific in their arguments.

When Judge Crabb broke for lunch, Mole Lake tribal member Chris McGeshik was on the stand. McGeshik is a former Forest County reserve deputy, former DNR game warden and game warden supervisor, and he’s currently the Mole Lake tribal chairman-elect. McGeshick wrote the night deer hunting ordinance for the six Chippewa tribes, based on his experience as a game warden and DNR sharpshooter in the CWD zone.

Dosch will be cross-examining McGeshick when the hearing resumes at 2 p.m.

Have to get heading back there – not really expecting Judge Crabb to rule yet today, but we'll see,

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Whitetail Deer, Wisconsin – Dean Bortz

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