Update March 10, 2014 Wisconsin Cancels Disabled Hunter Permits
Update 12/17/2013 Crossbows Now Legal In Wisconsin
After investigating many possible scenarios there appears to be a chance although a slim one that Wisconsin’s bowhunters will be allowed to use crossbows in the 2013 archery season. Well, technically during the soon to be established concurrent crossbow season, an important distinction to some.
When the Wisconsin Assembly unanimously passed AB 194 many hunters were optimistic they would have the long denied opportunity to hunt deer with a crossbow in Wisconsin. In this age of extreme political partisanship where nothing gets a unanimous vote it sure seemed a slam dunk the WI Senate would quickly follow suit. Unfortunately that was not the case, SB 185 is stuck in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Senator Neal Kedzie is the chair and there are rumors he is not enthusiastic about legalizing crossbows. I have heard these from other Senator’s staff. This may be more finger pointing by others rather than being based in any fact. You can judge for yourself; Here is my email to Senator Kedzie and his response-
Honorable Senator Kedzie,
Many deer hunters were looking forward to hunting with crossbows during this fall’s archery season especially after the Assembly passed this bill unanimously. However it now appears SB185 is stuck in the Natural Resource committee with no action scheduled. Is this correct? Are there plans to get this to the floor of the Senate anytime soon?
Because of the current special crossbow permitting process many once proud bowhunters who became impaired are considered second class hunters due to their special treatment. Legalizing crossbows for everyone would do a lot to take away the current stigma associated with a hunter who uses a crossbow. Please do what you can to get SB 185 up for a vote an on to the Governor.
Senator Kedzie responded:
Thank you for contacting the office of Senator Neal Kedzie regarding legislation relating to the use of crossbows for hunting.
As you know, an amended version of the bill recently passed the State Assembly; the Assembly version is now different than the Senate version, SB 185. The Assembly bill was referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Friday, June 14th. At this time, no hearings have been scheduled, as the full Senate has adjourned and will not meet in regular session until September 17th, at the earliest. Thus, no other legislation will be taken up by the Senate prior to mid-September, and scheduling a hearing for the bill at this time would be somewhat moot, as the work of the committee is only one step of the Senate approval process.
Still, we appreciate reading your comments in support of the legislation.
Office of Senator Neal Kedzie
OK, I said the chance of legalizing crossbows in Wisconsin for the 2013 season was slim at best. The state senate is not back in session until September 17th three days after the opening of archery season. If the Senate Natural Resources Committee schedules the public hearing, votes SB 185 out committee, Senate Majority Leader Senator Fitzgerald schedules a full senate vote, SB 185 were to pass and then get the Governor’s signature; by mid October or so. WDNR already has the license issuing program written, tested and ready to go. It would then be possible to have a crossbow license available by third week of October just in time for hunting the rut and the rest of the archery season.
More likely, SB 185 will be passed early in 2014 and hopefully effective for the 2014 deer season. No matter what the people want politics move slowly and unfortunately, particularly on the Senate side of the equation politicians listen more to the special interests than voters.
Update: Hearing scheduled for more Wisconsin State Senate Schedules Crossbow Hearing