Wisconsin Senate Passes New Crossbow Legislation
The Wisconsin Senate on Sept. 17 approved a measure creating a separate crossbow hunting license and a crossbow-hunting season to run concurrent with the archery-only deer season, beginning in Sept. 2014.
The measure, AB 194, passed on a voice vote. An amendment attached to the bill by the Senate Natural Resources Committee would require that the season undergo scrutiny after two years to study the impact of the crossbow on the deer herd for the 2014-'15 and 2015-'16 hunting seasons. At that time, a decision to continue the inclusion of the crossbow in the archery season would be made.
Officials with the Department of Natural Resources would then evaluate data collected over the two years and consider whether to make changes in season dates or other regulations for the following seasons.
The crossbow-hunting license would be available to hunters of all legal ages and physical abilities. Current Wisconsin regulations restrict crossbow use for deer hunting to those age 65 and older and those with physical disabilities.
The Assembly passed a version of the bill on a 95-0 vote in June.
The amended bill must return to the Assembly when it returns to session Oct. 8 for a vote.
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