Is Wisconsin the Next Crossbow State?

State after state has liberalized its crossbow-hunting regulations in recent years, and Wisconsin could be the next domino to fall. Legislation pending in the Badger State would add crossbows for full inclusion in the state's archery seasons. Assembly Bill 194 has already been approved in the state House, and an upcoming hearing in the Senate Natural Resources Committee could pave the way for final approval by the legislature.


The committee hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21, and crossbow supporters - the National Rifle Association among them - are urging like-minded sportsmen to attend the hearing and voice their support. The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action put out a statement on the proposal that says, in part:


"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."


Of course, if you count yourself among those bowhunters who oppose the inclusion of crossbows in regular archery seasons, then you no doubt have a vastly different perspective on the Wisconsin legislation. If recent history is any indication, however, it is only a matter of time before the ranks of Badger State bowhunters include both those with vertical and horizontal rigs. Some of the "major" hunting states to give crossbows full inclusion in archery seasons in recent years include Indiana, Texas and Pennsylvania. Twenty years ago, only three states allowed crossbows during general archery seasons. As of BOWHUNTING's latest count, crossbows are now legal during all or parts of archery seasons in 27 states and 6 Canadian provinces.


If you are searching for an up-to-date list of North American crossbow-hunting regs, TenPoint Crossbows keeps tabs on the latest developments HERE.

Recommended for You

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range. Big Game

Elk Calling With the Experts

Tracy Breen

Learn how to lure wary bulls into bow range.




Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry> Podcasts

Still Going Strong

October 28, 2010

Related Stories> Ted Nugent Talks About His New Book> Mule Deep In The Backcountry>

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy. Whitetail

How To Use Deer Decoys In The Rut

John Dudley

Timing and presentation are key to a successful decoy strategy.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Bowhunting Treestand Set-Up Tips

Field Editor Bill Winke provides bowhunting treestand set-up tips that'll help make life easier when it's go time in the fall.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques. How-To

Shooting Your Bow With One Eye Versus Two

Bill Winke

Bill Winke explains the benefits of both shooting techniques.

See More Stories

More Industry

Grizzled veteran Industry

Brady Ellison: The Quest for Olympic Gold

Christian Berg - August 09, 2016

Grizzled veteran" isn't a term often used to describe a 27-year-old, but that's exactly what...



State after state has liberalized its crossbow-hunting regulations in recent years, and Wisconsin Industry

Is Wisconsin the Next Crossbow State?

Christian Berg - August 13, 2013

State after state has liberalized its crossbow-hunting regulations in recent years, and...

Champion archer Levi Morgan of Bow Life TV shines again on MOTV. Industry

Streak Over, Levi Morgan Still Living His Bow Life

Lynn Burkhead - September 20, 2019

Champion archer Levi Morgan of Bow Life TV shines again on MOTV.

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×