On Tuesday the Wisconsin State Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would open a crossbow hunting season alongside deer archery season, according to the Associated Press. A similar bill passed the State Assembly earlier this year virtually undisputed in a 95-0 vote. Previously only disabled hunters or those over 65 are allowed to take game with a crossbow in Wisconsin.
For the last several years crossbow use has been on the rise. A survey of hunters in Michigan showed that the number of the state’s crossbow hunters had nearly doubled since 2009, and other states are reporting similar numbers. Proponents of the crossbow say that is more accurate and easier to use than a traditional bow, adding that they are perfectly suited for younger hunters.
The use of crossbows by hunters has long been a topic of debate amongst sportsmen and women. Critics believe that crossbows have numerous advantages that “unfairly” give a hunter an edge over his or her game, especially if they are allowed during bow season. Some argue that any crossbow season should take place alongside a firearm season.
The bill will now head back to the State Assembly, but experts predict it will be approved there with minimal effort.