Crossbow season new for deer hunters

Deer hunters will be able to use crossbows during the upcoming archery season
Deer hunters will be able to use crossbows during the upcoming archery season

GREEN BAY - In less than a month, deer hunters in Wisconsin will be able to use crossbows during the upcoming archery season.  The State Natural Resources Board approved the change this week.

It's something some hunters are thinking about Friday at the Mills Fleet Farm Sports and Outdoors Show in Green Bay.

To many hunters, technology and crossbows have come a long way.

"At first, it started off as something great for disabled folks, and older folks, but now it's for all ages. All the way from a kid who's just starting to hunt, to an experienced hunter that's wanting a change of pace and wanting to try something different," said Major Person, Barnett Crossbows.

Person says in the first hour of the outdoors show, he sold six crossbows at his booth. Glenn McNamara of Appleton says he is ready to make the switch.

"There's a lot of guys I've hunted with, that could have used it before now. With shoulders, and such. I just got mine repaired. It's all right now, but you know, how long before it starts giving you problems," said McNamara.

Mike Sherry of Howard checked out a crossbow for a friend. He says he will continue to hunt with a compound bow.

"I think there's going to be a lot of wounded deer this year. Because everybody and their brother is going to be buying crossbows, and flinging arrows. Just come in and buy it, and take it out in the woods," said Howard.

The Department of Natural Resources will be watching closely. Wardens say firearm safety rules apply.

"We would like the crossbow users to make sure they understand how to operate the crossbow. Study the owner's manual so you know how to cock, how to maintain, how to shoot and how to de-cock that device so nobody gets injured," said Byron Goetsch, DNR Warden Supervisor.

"Put in your time. It's not just something that you want to go to the stand and shoot. You want to shoot at the house, and get comfortable. Make sure you're making ethical shots," said Person.

McNamara says he's ready to start practicing.

"I just got to make a phone call to home right now, so the deal is pretty good right now," he said.

The archery season opens, September 13.