Minnesota’s big-game managers have stood their ground against the idea of mainstream crossbow hunting of deer. But in Wisconsin, where anyone can buy a crossbow deer-hunting license, the choice is increasingly popular.

Heading into the fourth season of crossbow license sales, Kevin Wallenfang of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said usage of crossbows is growing every year in extension of a much longer trend of more archery in the state.

If you choose to share the Wisconsin rut this year with vertical bow hunters, you’ll be joining about 100,000 deer hunters with crossbow license authority. Last year, Wisconsin’s crossbow-only deer hunters scored slightly higher than gun hunters with a 32 percent success rate killing a deer.

Tony Kennedy