Yesterday, in an overwhelming display of support, the Wisconsin Assembly unanimously approved a bill of importance to sportsmen and hunters in the Badger State, Assembly Bill 194. AB 194, sponsored by state Representative Mary Czaja (R-35), would allow all hunters the opportunity to use a crossbow during the same time period as the big game archery season. This bill would help increase hunter participation and preserve Wisconsin’s rich hunting heritage.
Experience in other states has shown that allowing the unqualified use of crossbows helps retain and recruit hunters. At a time when hunter numbers are declining, nothing is more important. Retention of older hunters with diminished physical capabilities is especially critical. If allowed to use crossbows, these hunters will remain in the field years longer than they otherwise would if restricted to vertical bows only. As a result, they would be more likely to recruit more family and friends into Wisconsin’s ranks of hunters. For youngsters who do not yet possess the physical strength to use a vertical bow, crossbows would allow them to go afield earlier and create more lifelong archery hunters.
In addition, experience in other states shows that archer success rates do not increase with the use of a crossbow as compared to a vertical bow. The goal of all hunters should be to increase participation because greater hunter numbers in the future will bolster defenses against the political attacks initiated by anti-hunting extremists and ensure the continuation of Wisconsin’s hunting heritage.
AB 194 now goes to the state Senate where it will be likely be assigned to the Senate Natural Resources Committee for its consideration. This committee has already been considering Senate Bill 185, similar legislation introduced by Senator Paul Farrow (R-33) that mirrors AB 194’s language and pro-hunting objectives. Please contact members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and encourage them to support AB 194 and SB 185.
Senate Natural Resources Committee:
Senator Neal Kedzie (R-11) – Chairman
Senator Terry Moulton (R-23)
Senator Thomas Tiffany (R-12)
Senator Mark Miller (D-16)
Senator Robert Wirch (D-22)