MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds deer hunters that their first opportunity to pursue deer this fall is coming up with the opening of the archery and crossbow deer season on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Hunters wanting to use both a vertical bow and a crossbow may do so by purchasing a $3 upgrade to make their license valid for both weapons. Conservation Patron license holders may also use both weapons.
The DNR reminds hunters that bonus antlerless harvest authorizations are available in many Wisconsin counties. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bonus antlerless harvest authorizations may be filled using any weapon type during the appropriate season with the appropriate license but must be filled in the designated zone, unit and land type (public or private). They are $12 each for residents, $20 each for non-residents and $5 for youth hunters under 12. Purchase them using the DNR’s online licensing center, Go Wild, or by visiting a license sales location.
As a reminder, all harvested deer must be registered electronically by 5 p.m. the day after the deer is recovered using GameReg online, by phone or at a participating registration station.
The DNR urges hunters to review these four rules of safety (TAB-K) before enjoying the archery and crossbow season.
- Treat every bow/crossbow as if it were loaded.
- Always point the bow/crossbow in a safe direction.
- Be certain of your target as well as what is before and beyond it.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
When heading out to hunt during the archery or crossbow seasons, remember these additional safety tips:
- Crossbows have a safety. Immediately after cocking, always check to make sure that your bow is on safe.
- Always use bolts/arrows recommended by the manufacturer and handle carefully.
- Protect yourself and the arrow points with a covered arrow quiver.
- The safest way to carry, transport and raise or lower a crossbow from a stand is always to have the crossbow un-cocked.
- The safest way to un-cock a crossbow is to fire a bolt into the ground or target.
- Make sure that the limb tips are free of obstructions and that your fingers, hand or arm are not in the string path at any time while the crossbow is cocked.
- Know your range for accuracy.
Tree stand safety is also a key consideration throughout all the deer hunting seasons. Tree stand incidents are a leading cause of injury to hunters. Always wear a safety harness, use three points of contact when going into or out of the stand and use a haul line to bring the unloaded bow or crossbow into the stand. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. For more information regarding tree stand safety, visit the DNR webpage.