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Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

August 8, 2012

Here are answers to some of the recent most frequently asked law enforcement questions taken this week by the DNR Call Center.
The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

Question 1: Has the age for using a crossbow changed?

Answer: There were a number of changes made in 2012 on who can use crossbows and for what purposes. However, there were no change made on who can use a crossbow for hunting deer with a crossbow during the archery deer season under the authority of an archery hunting license. For the 2012 hunting season, a person must either be age 65 or older, or possess a valid disabled hunting permit that authorizes the use of a crossbow in order to hunt deer with a crossbow during the archery deer season. There was a Conservation Congress Advisory Question seeking public interest in lowering the age for individuals who are not disabled to use a crossbow from age 65 to age 55. There was support for this proposal, but it would first require a change to state statute be made by the state legislature. During the 2011-12 legislative session, there was a bill introduced (AB 384 and passed as 2011 Act 252) to allow any person old enough to hunt to use a crossbow for hunting small game under a small game license, turkey under a turkey license, bear under a bear license, and deer under a gun deer license during any gun deer season. There was an amendment made to this bill to also try and reduce the age for using a crossbow under the archery license from age 65 to age 55. This amendment was tabled and not passed.

While Act 252 does now allow a person with a gun deer hunting license the choice of using a firearm, bow or crossbow for hunting deer during any gun deer season to fill a persons gun deer license deer carcass tags, a person still must be age 65 or possess a crossbow permit to hunt deer with a crossbow using an archery license during the archery deer season.

Separate legislation also now allows any person to use a crossbow for spearing rough fish under the same rules that apply to spearing rough fish with a bow and arrow.

Last revised: Friday August 31 2012