Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

By: Justin Zarr
|
12/13/2013
| Comments

With the official signature of Governor Scott Walker the dawn of a new age is finally upon Wisconsin hunters.  Once only legal for hunters age 65 or older, or those with physical disabilities preventing them from using a compound or traditional bow, crossbows will now be legal for hunters of all ages throughout the state's archery deer hunting season.

The new law, which is being called Act 61, establishes a 3 year trial crossbow season which removes age and physical restrictions previously imposed on those who seek to hunt with a crossbow.  One the trial period has ended Wisconsin DNR officials will analyze license sales, harvest statistics and other metrics to determine the impact of the new season before determining how to proceed.

Crossbow hunter
Starting next fall, Wisconsin hunters will be allowed to hunt deer with a crossbow.  A privilege once only allowed to the elderly and physically disabled.

While the bill was met with opposition from several bowhunting groups seeking to keep crossbow hunters out of the woods, many hunters support the bill which will allow them to use their weapon of choice as they take to the woods next fall.

So what do you think?  Will Wisconsin's new crossbow legislation help or hurt the quality of deer hunting in the Badger State?

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35 Comments on "Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season"

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

The articles headline implies that there would be a special archery season for crossbow hunters. After reading the article, this does not seem to be the case. I have shot a crossbow and see that you might have a slight yardage gain by using one. I don't see it being that significant of an advantage over compound bow hunters. Those that choose to use a crossbow will do so, but I think most compound users will stick to their more traditional stick slingers.

Posted by chuck_d_plumber on 12/13/2013 9:54:01 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Only reason you should be using a crossbow is if you are unable to use a vertical bow.I bowhunt for the challenge and using a crossbow takes a lot of that challenge away.

Posted by Eric S. on 12/13/2013 10:29:19 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Sure, you can use a cross bow. But either way I don't think it adds a significant challenge difference. You still have to get out there, wait for the deer, and make the shot and not miss. People miss with rifles, shotguns, and bows alike. Once buck fever sets in, no telling what would happen. I personally will keep my Matthews Z7 and would NEVER use a crossbow. Unless I was disabled, etc.

Posted by Cory on 12/13/2013 10:39:32 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

d_plumber - There will "technically" be a separate season which runs in conjunction with the regular archery season. They are keeping it separate as a trial run for 3 years, which may or may not be made permanent depending on how things go when it's over.

Posted by Justin Zarr on 12/13/2013 11:24:48 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Having been born and raised in WI until joining the Military, and, not being an advocate for crossbow use during any state Archery season, it may be okay if only used during firearm season only. It's not a "bow" just because the name crossbow uses those three important letters in it. It is still a shoulder fired, trigger released weapon. Same as a firearm (rifle, shotgun, pistol). Once a scope or laser is added to it, it even looks more like a firearm/gun. But if it's allowed to be used during archery season, NO. I disapprove it's use.

Posted by Ken Olson on 12/13/2013 11:26:10 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Who cares? Pay your money, aim your weapon, and drop em. Have fun in the woods and eat some venison.

Posted by Mike on 12/13/2013 11:32:36 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

It's not about compound bows or cross bows, tradional archery what ever. It's about the plain simple truth, why can only disabled and people that only are a certain age use crossbows. Wisconsin discriminated against anyone that wanted to use a crossbow. Several hunters over the age of 65 were able to use which ever they wanted it was there choice. Where was my choice? I'm not disabled and not 65. I'll say it this way does wisconsin only allow you to use a 300 Winchester mag for the. 9 day gun season? No you get to choose. 3 year trial seasons, what ever! It's my choice if I wanna use a crossbow, compound, long bow, as long as it meets the minimum poundage. Is it right for them to sell seperate tags? Crossbow and then archery. It's a way for them to make money. It shouldn't be a 3 year trial. It should be set in stone an archery license allows a hunter to use any equipment that meets the required poundage, crossbows, compounds, long bows, recurve.

Posted by Russ Ganter- Green Bay on 12/13/2013 11:55:41 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Please, stop all your wining. Seperate tags are to measure kill and success rates. We may well find out crossbow hunters have a lower success rate because of how and where they hunt. Let's ban all baiting for ALL game, deer and bear, and get back to real hunting. Also, let's end the crop damage subsidies. If farmers and ranchers want to stop the losses then let hunters on your lands and see the damage issue disappear. Stop farmers from collecting Damage money while selling bait corn and apples. Stop the Farming/Welfare Babies and Bait hunting Babies NOW!

Posted by Mike on 12/13/2013 12:25:49 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

BAN ALL BAITING NOW! What do you think?

Posted by Mike on 12/13/2013 12:29:57 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Amen Mike.....You got your head in the game...Way to go !!

Posted by Brian on 12/13/2013 12:30:34 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

EXACTLY MIKE! The past few years i'm seeing less and less deer. Alot of the damn deer are on Private property where no hunters ever go and arent allowed to go. I say allow baiting everywhere but put restrictions on what can and cant be used or just ban it state wide.

Posted by Jason on 12/13/2013 1:46:26 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Then I'll just plant an apple orchard in my woods

Posted by diesel on 12/13/2013 3:45:36 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I have been an archer for 41 years and a WBH member for 39 of those. WBH has been fighting this as long as I have been a member. I have seen first hand hat hunters who have never bow hunted until they were able to use a cross bow. The only skill it takes is zero in the scope. The sad thing is they call themselves bow hunters. This is a low blow to all the bow hunters. I own 74 acres of prime hunting land and no cross bow will ever be used on my land. This is all about money. I'm very disappointed with our legislators

Posted by Mike on 12/13/2013 4:14:12 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I have been an archer for 41 years and a WBH member for 39 of those. WBH has been fighting this as long as I have been a member. I have seen first hand hat hunters who have never bow hunted until they were able to use a cross bow. The only skill it takes is zero in the scope. The sad thing is they call themselves bow hunters. This is a low blow to all the bow hunters. I own 74 acres of prime hunting land and no cross bow will ever be used on my land. This is all about money. I'm very disappointed with our legislators

Posted by Mike on 12/13/2013 4:15:53 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I really don't know what all the uproar is for. I have had a crossbow for over 5 years now. My should has finally let go since being injured in the Marine Corps. If I could get surgery and go back to a compound bow I would. Crossbows are heavy and ac-ward to shoot standing up. You need something to steady the crossbow. And for distance shooting I am no more accurate than my brother with his compound bow. So stop whining and watch many people are going to by one and then sell it soon after. If I could I would.

Posted by Pat on 12/13/2013 4:42:15 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I have been an avid bow hunter for over forty years. What we have here is just another control issue. This is America so if a person wants to use a crossbow no one should have the right to say differently.Crossbows have been around for century's, they were used for taking game long before a gun was ever invented. Whats the deal here?

Posted by William Crooks on 12/13/2013 6:15:58 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Not real sure where i stand on this one. The only real benifit to a xbow is its pre-drawn, so less movement (potentially) by the hunter, in turn less chance of spooking deer. At least they're doing a 3 yr test on it. I do agree with Mike on the baiting. I actually see more deer, which are also less jumpy, by hunting funnels and natural food sources

Posted by tim h on 12/13/2013 7:29:39 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Compound bows are way more advanced than those things the native Americans used. We ought to get rid of those. Lets go back to a spear and loin cloths.

Posted by Johnny on 12/13/2013 7:35:12 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

As an avid bowhunter I feel bow season should be for bows only. A crossbow is not a bow! Theyre great for disabled hunters if they cant shoot a regular bow. The best way to get new hunters into the woods and keep hunters we have is to maintain a good deer herd. In some areas the deer numbers are so low now you have to sit 15-20 times to see a few deer. This will eliminate upcoming hunters fast! Leave bow season for bows and cut down on all these doe hunts amd tags.

Posted by Larry on 12/13/2013 8:14:03 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I've heard the reason many times in my area,"it's like a gun so now I will hunt" Got no problem with disabled using xbows. Archery is a journey, using xbows is lazy and cheating. Got no problem with them in gun season.Now more people are putting a strain on the herd...simple fact. Many have stated if they couldn't use an xbow, they wouldn't hunt. Not to sound like an elitest but I'm also seeing an "intelligence "factor compared to those that use compounds. Seems like the xbow hunters are sloppy in their techniques, don't know deer biology,etc,etc.I just don't see xbow hunters consistantly shooting big deer in my area....because they don't know anything.

Posted by Montec on 12/14/2013 7:37:50 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I bought my crossbow and am glad to be able to use it. People who use a compound and have a problem with this ought to go back and using a traditional bow then. IE longbow or recurve. And I have used all types.That is like the pot calling the kettle black. My feeling is if it is legal use it and stop the bickering between us hunters. When hunters bicker between each other is just fuel for the anti hunters.

Posted by skip on 12/14/2013 9:28:50 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I feel if you were 62 or disabled a crossbow would be fine. I agree that a crossbow is more of a rifle than a bow. Shame on Gov. Walker for letting big money control our hunting weapons !

Posted by Kevin on 12/14/2013 10:36:55 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

There is no trial. The DNR is collecting data for 3 years, but there is no trial period or sunset to this law.

Posted by Joe on 12/14/2013 9:08:59 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Listen fools the real issue is how to get more kids out in the woods and fend off the anti-hunters. If you do not know it, we are a dying breed. Kids do not hunt any more other than with their thumbs on a computer or x box. This pissing match between archers only fuels the PETA types.

Posted by scott on 12/16/2013 9:09:49 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

i agree with you scott,we are a dying breed. we need to have more interests in hunting ,weather it be bow , gun ,muzzle load. It shouldn't matter what weapon we choose to use as long as we can outdoors and enjoy the time spent. and if brings more people to the sport then it's a good thing....

Posted by kevin on 12/16/2013 9:56:14 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

As a young archer i hate the fact that there are going to be crossbows in the woods. Sure it will bring more people into the sport but it will be those guys who usually only gun hunt and think they can take a 60 yard shot with it. So i don't think more deer will be killed but i do think that more will be injured.So for me i will stick with my compound bow

Posted by Noah on 12/17/2013 11:19:50 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

The article is not correct. For the 2012-2013 season ANYONE could use a crossbow in gun deer, bear, muzzleloader and turkey season. This only expands it to archery season.

Posted by Paul O. on 12/18/2013 6:37:39 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I have been bow hunting in wi for 20 yrs. The arguement that the crossbow gives people a "mechanical" advantage are true. At the same time how many of the chest beaters saying its not fair are using a compound bow, laser range finder,binoculars, trail camera, atv for game removal or to set up stand sites. The point is that we are all hunters and need to stick together. should there be a seprate compound season? the original archery seasons were set up for recurve/long bow hunters. i wont be using a crossbow but will support the rights of others to do so if legal.

Posted by Jeff B on 12/19/2013 5:35:21 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Get over it. All you crybabies that think it is going to destroy bow hunting are crazy. I will never use a crossbow but I don't see why anyone cares what type of bow another person uses. Choose your weapon and shoot straight.

Posted by Jim on 12/20/2013 10:55:07 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

WBH tried to stop compound bow use when it first came out WBH has been against any changes in equipment use for many years, I have hunted with reserve, Compound, and I will now use Crosse bow when I feel like changing weapons. I am a past member of WBH and will never join again as their position against any changes and self severing agenda is beyond reason. I have bow hunted for 48 years and I plan on hunting for 30 more.

Posted by Peter T on 12/21/2013 11:28:39 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

Crossbows will create more hunters especially in urban areas where deer need killed. The gun season does not affect them. As a person who has killed numerous deer with all types of weapons I can assure you that a crossbow hunt is way more like a bow hunt than a gun hunt. You still have to be close… 30 yrds tops in the woods… and maybe 50 in a field. You still have to worry about hitting limbs and animal position (quartering away/broadside). That does not change. You still have to have practice woodsmanship, track, scout, plan, play the wind, all of it. And yes there is an advantage. You don’t have to draw. That’s it. That’s the difference. I prefer it. It’s a more practical weapon. It means better shots and LESS wounded animals. The bolt/arrow blows through everytime. Deer don’t get away with a crossbow. And we can all pretend like a gut shot deer isn’t a big deal and that it just happens but the truth is that animal dies a slow miserable death. Also, and this is a huge one, there is n

Posted by Ryan B. on 12/21/2013 3:47:46 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

no need to get in a tree. Why risk breaking your neck if you don't have to? You don't need to worry about hauling around expensive stands and safety systems. You don't even need a blind if you're good... which I am. You stalk and still hunt on the ground just like your turkey hunting. They are actually a practical way to kill turkeys. I even drilled a hole in a golf ball and jammed a bolt into it. I use it not only as my discharge bolt but to also bonk squirrels on the head when the deer are not moving. Crossbows are great. KS just passed the same law. I love it. The best part about deer hunting is getting close, watching them interact with each other, and their environment, and then cleaning and quietly harvesting the animal. Cross bowing offers all of that. If you guys want to complain about something then complain about the rifle season. Now that is some chump hunting. It takes no woodmanship and it disturbs all of the other animals and hunters. What's the fun in taking a buck that

Posted by Ryan B. on 12/21/2013 4:10:19 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

My big issue with crossbows is not that it is too much like a gun, but it is that they give people a false sense of effectivness. I am no stranger to crossbows, or some of the people that use them. It has been my experience that people incredibly over estimate their ethical/lethal range. They tend to promote irresponsibilty in the woods. Don't get me wrong, there are definitley people who are really responsible with them, but there are not enough of them.

Posted by Alec Williams on 2/28/2014 1:45:12 AM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

People should remember that this is a free country. Everyone has the right to hunt and use whatever weapon that are legally allowed to. People need to grow up. The crossbow rule doesn't prevent anyone from using their beloved compound bow, so why would you have an issue with people that choose to hunt with a crossbow.

Posted by Nor on 3/22/2014 4:48:10 PM

Re: Wisconsin Creates New Crossbow Season

I have personally used a crossbow when I blew my shoulder out about ten years ago. They have advantages, but they also have their disadvantages. What I don't like is when I hear so many guys use the argument about the challenge. To that I would say, dump your compound bow with its fancy sights and use a long bow. What is not a challenge to you, may be a challenge to someone else. Hunters come in all shapes and sizes, as well as abilities. For those without as much ability as some others, they have just as much right to hunt. So I say if they want to use a crossbow, let them. Those who don't want to use a crossbow, keep doing what your doing. When it comes right down to it, the one who spends the most time in the woods is the one who is successful. We should be hunting for the enjoyment.

Posted by David on 5/1/2014 5:01:00 PM

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