The Assembly Natural Resources Committee is considering a bill that changes guidelines for weapons that may be used to hunt certain animals.
The Wisconsin Bowhunters Association is backing the legislation which allows crossbows to be used during the gun-deer season, bear season and small game seasons. However the proposal would not change existing law that bars use of the weapon during the archery-deer season.
Ron Kulas, with the association, said the bill’s expansion of crossbow hunting is “consistent” with public opinion research conducted since 2005 by the Conservation Congress and the DNR.
AUDIO: Kulas lays out public opinion research (2:08)
During that hearing Wednesday, the Wisconsin Crossbow Federation took issue with the data.
“When you do five surveys and you survey only the user of a compound bow, or a traditional bow, of course you’re going to get an answer ‘we don’t want competition,” said Alan Schimelpfenig, while testifying against the bill.
AUDIO: Schimelpfenig on survey respondents (:31)
Kulas insists the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association is not “anti-crossbow,” and said stakeholders came to a consensus on the best way to approach new guidelines. Schimelpfenig said he didn’t know of anyone in his group that was part of that dialogue.
Currently, archery-deer hunters may only use a crossbow if they are over the age of 65 or have disabilities.