Today, on a voice vote, the Wisconsin Senate approved an amended version of Assembly Bill 194, legislation that would allow hunters to use a crossbow during the big game archery season. While this measure already passed the Assembly in June, it must return to the Assembly for a concurrence vote because of some changes the Senate made to the bill. Therefore, please contact your state Representative TODAY and urge him or her to vote to concur on Assembly Bill 194. Please let your Representative know that experience in other states has shown that allowing the unqualified use of crossbows helps to retain and recruit hunters. Sportsmen in Wisconsin, particularly older hunters with diminished physical capabilities, deserve this same opportunity.
If allowed to use crossbows, hunters will remain in the field years longer than they otherwise would if restricted only to vertical bows. 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. At a time when hunter numbers are declining, nothing is more important than retaining and recruiting hunters. Experience in other states also 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 rich hunting heritage.