MADISON, Wis. -

A commission that oversees Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes' off-reservation rights has quietly authorized tribal hunters to hunt deer at night across most of the northern third of Wisconsin beginning Monday.

Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission spokeswoman Sue Erickson told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview the commission issued the authorization Wednesday.

She said the state's six Chippewa tribes must sign off, but state Department of Natural Resources officials say the commission's authorization is all tribal members need.

The tribes run a deer hunt from September until early January. Erickson said the commission feels night deer hunting is justified since the state allows wolf hunters to hunt at night.

The DNR said night deer hunting is too dangerous and has asked a federal judge to block the authorization.