Wisconsin is moving closer to allowing hunters to use crossbows during archery deer hunting season. One of the top deer-hunting states, Wisconsin has also been one of the strictest against crossbow hunting.

The state Legislature is reviewing a bill that would create a crossbow license and allow hunters to pursue deer with the weapon. Proponents of Assembly Bill 194 say crossbows recruit new hunters and retain older hunters because they are easy to use.

The Wisconsin Bowhunters Association had opposed an earlier draft of the bill, but now supports the version that creates the separate crossbow license. The bill has strong bipartisan support and is backed by a number of wildlife and hunting groups.

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