BILLINGS – A case with Montana ties will appear on the U.S. Supreme Court docket that could set a precedent for tribal hunting rights and the application of Indian treaties.
The case is Clayvin Herrera v. Wyoming, and it involves a member of the Crow tribe who took an elk in Wyoming and was later convicted of illegal hunting several years ago.
Clayvin Herrera is a Crow tribe member who pursued an elk across the reservation line into Wyoming.
Game wardens said Herrera violated state gaming laws.
However, Herrera argued the Laramie Treaty of 1868 is on his side. That treaty states tribal members have the right to hunt on unoccupied land.
In response, Wyoming attorneys said those treaty rights ended when Wyoming became a state.
The Supreme Court takes up the hearing Tuesday In Washington D.C., but a decision may not be reached until late spring or early summer 2019.
Story by Andrea Lutz, MTN News