Assembly Bill 194, which was passed by the Assembly last fall and later signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker allows for the expanded use of crossbows for hunting.
This fall there will be a crossbow season which will run concurrent to the state’s regular archery season. Both seasons are set to run from Sept. 13 to Jan. 4, 2015.
The Department of Natural Resources plans to evaluate the impact of crossbow use after the first two seasons. For that reason, a season separate from the regular archery season was established.
Though a hunter can buy both a regular archery license and a crossbow license, only one set of tags will be included with the two licenses.
The cost of the second license is $3 for either resident or nonresident hunters. A crossbow or regular archery license costs $24 for residents; $160 for nonresidents.
A crossbow license includes one bow buck tag, which is valid in any unit statewide, and one Farmland Zone antlerless deer tag valid in any Farmland Zone management unit.
As long as a crossbow is not cocked it does not need to be cased during transportation. This applies to cars and trucks, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobile or other motorized vehicles.
A cocked crossbow can be transported only if it is unloaded (bolt removed) and is enclosed within a carrying case.
Information and updates
For more information on crossbow hunting and other rule changes for 2014, visit dnr.wi.gov, search the keyword “deer,” and click on the “Deer hunting rule changes for 2014: Frequently asked questions” link to view various rule changes in effect for 2014.
There is also a video on 2014 regulation changes available on the DNR’s Deer hunting web page.
Those interested in receiving email updates on crossbow deer hunting can sign up to receive reminders about season dates, regulations reminders and other important information.
Visit dnr.wi.gov and click on the email icon near the bottom of the page for “subscribe for updates for DNR topics,” then follow the prompts and select the “Crossbow Deer Hunting” distribution list.
Craig Turk may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.