Updated May 30, 2013
Wisconsin Assembly Bill 194, and Senate Bill 185 if passed in both houses and signed by the Governor would make it legal for anyone who has taken hunter education or bowhunter education to deer hunt with a crossbow or xbow as they are sometimes called.
Education is probably a good idea since many believe the myth that a crossbow is an all powerful weapon capable of shooting vast distances with very little marksmanship practice. (this is the argument made by those who oppose crossbows)
The bill would:
- Eliminate the requirement a hunter be over 65 or disabled in order to use a crossbow.
- Require a separate crossbow license but only allow one buck to be taken with a hunter’s choice of archery equipment. This license would allow the taking of all species as is currently the case with the archer’s license. For $2.25 more the license could also allow a bowhunter to use a longbow, recurve, modern compound or crossbow; making it a “bowhunter’s choice” license.
- Hunters who choose the crossbow would be allowed to hunt during Wisconsin’s regular bow season from mid September thru the first week of January.
Sponsors of AB 194 are Representatives Czaja, Danou, A. Ott, August, Ballweg, Bewley, Born, Brooks, Endsley, Hesselbein, Jacque, Jagler, Kleefisch, Kuglitsch, T. Larson, Milroy, Murphy, Mursau, Murtha, Petryk, Smith, Spiros, Strachota, Swearingen, Tittl, Tranel, Vruwink and Wright. It was also cosponsored by Senators Farrow, L. Taylor, Lassa, Petrowski, Schultz, Tiffany and Lehman.
Before anyone gets too excited about using a crossbow in 2013 be aware that as of this writing
there is no Senate version of AB194 and this point is crucial. On a variety of issues in the past if there is no bill in both houses and only one passes a bill without a companion bill in the other house; in the end nothing happens and the process must start all over again in the next legislative session. So if you want this passed into law and effective for the fall of 2013 make sure you contact your state senator to get a senate version introduced.
SB185 opens any archery season to crossbows- Section 1. 29.014 (1m) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
Representatives Czaja, Danou, A. Ott, August, Ballweg, Bewley, Born, Brooks, Endsley, Hesselbein, Jacque, Jagler, Kleefisch, Kuglitsch, T. Larson, Milroy, Murphy, Mursau, Murtha, Petryk, Smith, Spiros, Strachota, Swearingen, Tittl, Tranel, Vruwink, Wright and Tauchen.