Crossbow safety encouraged with growing users - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Crossbow safety encouraged with growing users

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MARATHON CO. (WAOW) -

DNR conservation wardens and archery experts say interest in crossbows in Central Wisconsin is on the rise.

"It's probably tripled from what it usually is," said Bill Thomas, the owner of Antlers Archery in Weston. "It's a wide variety of people from teens to people in their 60s."

Before this year crossbow hunting in Wisconsin was only allowed for senior citizens and the disabled, but now any hunter can use the bow.

With more people new to crossbows joining the hunt, DNR conservation wardens say safety is a growing concern among hunters, and they are reminding people that the rules still apply.

"Whether they're using a traditional regular bow or crossbow there are still safety rules that must be followed in order to be safe," said Randy Dunkel, a Marathon County Conservation Warden.

Wardens say hunters should keep that in mind when buying their crossbows.

"Suggest that people that are buying the crossbows to talk to the manufacturers or the salespeople and have a good understanding of how they work," said Dunkel.

Thomas says he often answers crossbow questions.

"It's extremely important, these are high-powered should fired weapons," said Thomas. "I say treat them like a gun. As long as they're loaded it's like a loaded rifle. Get to know the safety features and know what's behind them because that arrow can go a long ways."

With those tips in mind, Dunkel says he hopes the hunting season runs smoothly.

"That's the key to hunting in general to follow those safety rules and be safe," said Dunkel.

The crossbow season starts on September 13 and ends on January 4.

For more information about hunter safety courses you can go to: http://dnr.wi.gov/education/outdoorSkills/idCheck.html#tabx3.


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