MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- UPDATE: A state Senate committee has passed a bill creating an open crossbow hunting season to run concurrently with the archery deer season in Wisconsin.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee passed the measure on a 4-1 vote Thursday. Democratic Sen. Mark Miller, who had expressed reservations about the measure at Wednesday's hearing, voted against it.
Miller said he was worried about the "magic" of bow hunting season being harmed with crossbows.
Currently, crossbow hunting is allowed only for those over age 65 and those with physical disabilities. The bill would allow hunters of all legal ages and of all physical abilities to use crossbows to hunt deer and other smaller animals including rabbits and coyotes.
The Senate could take up the bill as soon as next month.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) --Crossbow hunting would be allowed during the archery deer season in Wisconsin under a bill that's moving forward in the state Legislature.
The measure easily cleared the Assembly on a unanimous 95-0 vote in June. But it ran into problems in the Senate, where a committee didn't meet to take it up until Wednesday.
The newly reworked version of the proposal would create a 2-year pilot program for an open crossbow hunting season starting in 2014 so the state Department of Natural Resources could study the impact on the deer herd and make any necessary changes.
After that 2-year period the crossbow hunting season would remain in law unless the Legislature voted to do away with it.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee was scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.