Wisconsin Senate passes bill creating crossbow season

The state Senate has approved a bipartisan bill that would allow hunters to use crossbows during bow deer season.

Currently only physically disabled hunters or hunters over age 65 can use crossbows. The bill’s supporters argue allowing open crossbow hunting would expand hunting opportunities, spare disabled hunters the required physical examination needed to get a permit and provide an economic boost to the hunting industry.

Some bow hunters worry allowing crossbows, which operate with a trigger-pull like rifles, would taint traditional bow hunting.

The bill has passed on a voice vote by the Senate on Tuesday includes a two-year pilot program for open crossbow hunting starting next year. It now heads back to the Assembly, which passed a nearly identical version of the proposal unanimously in June.