Wisconsin's crossbow deer hunting bill back in play

Dean BortzThe crossbow bill will get a Senate hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. in Room 300 Southeast at the Capitol.

The bill had been scheduled for a hearing last week, but that action was postponed this week to provide time for an amendment to be drafted and attached to the bill. No one that I’ve talked to thus far has been able to tell me what is going to be in the amendment, only that the amendment was being drafted by Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, where he owns Mouldy’s Archery and Tackle.

Tomorrow’s hearing will be held by the Senate Natural Resources Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn.

The bill is Assembly Bill (AB) 194. The Senate version of the bill is Senate Bill (SB) 185.

AB 194 passed the Assembly on a unanimous vote (95 to 0)  on June 6. The bill went to the Senate at the point, but Kedzie said there was not enough time to have the Senate committee hold a hearing on it before the end of that legislative session.

At the same time, sources said that Moulton had convinced Kedzie to delay action on the crossbow bill.

Whether or not any form of crossbow hunting for deer during the archery deer season will occur this year remains to be seen. A new legislative session begins Sept. 16 or Sept. 17. If the Senate committee were to “exec” the crossbow bill anytime between the Aug. 20 hearing and the start of the new legislative session, then the full Legislature could vote on the bill soon after the new session begins – if the bill is brought to the Senate floor.

If it were to pass, crossbow hunting for deer during the archery season would be legal in whatever “final form” the season ends up in, but crossbow hunting would not listed in the hunting regulation pamphlet – deer hunters would have to learn of the new opportunity on their own.

Stay tuned.

Categories: WisBlogs, Wisconsin – Dean Bortz

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