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September 2, 2014

MADISON -- The Wisconsin crossbow deer and archery deer hunting seasons starting Sept. 13 usher in an expanded crossbow license opportunity for any qualified hunter as one of the deer hunting rule changes to help hunters participate in the fall season.

For the first time this year, the crossbow hunting license may be purchased by any qualified hunter. This change replaces the previous rule limiting crossbows to use by only disabled hunters with an archer license.

Also, the crossbow hunting season will run at the same time as the regular archery deer season - Sept. 13-Jan. 14, 2015.

Hunters also should note during open firearm seasons, a gun deer license will authorize bow and crossbow use. Crossbow licenses include one statewide buck tag and one Farmland Zone antlerless tag. It is important to remember persons purchasing a traditional bow and a crossbow license will receive only one set of tags.

State hunting safety specialists say crossbows are user-friendly and enable youth, women and physically challenged individuals to enjoy archery hunting/shooting who, for whatever reason, cannot draw a conventional bow back.

Like any other shooting skill, using a crossbow safely and accurately will require a combination of old and well learned knowledge.

The four basic rules of firearm safety (TABK) apply to crossbow use and hunting.

Here are a few more things Hunter Education Administrative Warden Jon King urges people to remember if they plan to hunt with a crossbow this year:

Warden King says if a tree stand is part of your hunting tradition, he recommends reviewing safety tips. "Tree stand incidents are one of the leading causes of injury to hunters. Always wear a fall restraint device when using a tree stand and let your family know where you are going. The DNR urges hunters to utilize safety when hunting from a tree stand. For more information search the DNR website for Tree Stand Safety.

For more information about what is a legal for crossbow/bolt usage in Wisconsin, please read the Deer Hunting Regulations on page 19.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jon King, hunter education administrator 608-575-2294; Joanne M. Haas, Office of Communication law enforcement public affairs manager, 608-209-8147

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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