Wisconsin Bowhunters Association®

P.O. Box 240
Clintonville, WI 54929

Ph: 715-823-4670  

F: 715-823-1385  

Email: Office@Wisconsinbowhunters.org

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PROMOTING, PRESERVING and PROTECTING
bowhunting for over 75 years.

PROMOTING, PRESERVING, PROTECTING

WBH has always been at the forefront in PROMOTING, PRESERVING and PROTECTING the sport of bowhunting.

Wisconsin bowhunting pioneers like Roy Case, Aldo Leopold and others worked to establish the first dedicated bowhunting season in the country in 1934, and in 1941 founded Wisconsin Bowhunters Association to promote, preserve and protect this new sport. The Association has been a force in bowhunting ever since. WBH worked with the Wisconsin DNR to develop many of the generous bowhunting opportunities we enjoy today, not only in Wisconsin, but based on our success, seasons and regulations that have been copied in many other states. Wisconsin’s bowhunting structure still serves as a template followed by several other game agencies across the country.


Wisconsin Bowhunters maintains a full-time office centrally located in Clintonville, WI, and is guided by a Board of Directors elected from 10 geographic districts across the state. And our mission hasn’t changed: to work with the DNR, legislators, other hunting groups and bowhunters from around the state to promote, preserve and protect the great sport of hunting with a bow and arrow.


OVER 75 YEARS of ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Following are just a few of the initiatives WBH has helped implement over the years:

  • Approval for bear hunting with bow and arrow

  • An either-sex season for archery

  • A post-gun-hunt bowhunting season

  • Allowing the use of camouflage in bow seasons instead of the previously required red or orange clothing

  • Relaxed restrictions on strung or cased bows in vehicles or even while in the woods

  • Establishment of a separate archery deer license and tag in 1965 that provided more opportunity and helped define the scope and growth of bowhunting

  • Legalization of deer hunting from treestands in 1971

  • Extended twilight hunting hours

  • The ability to use archery equipment for hunting virtually all legally hunted species, including turkeys and small game

  • An extra included antlerless archery tag in units where deer populations are adequate

  • The ability for archers to also obtain bonus and hunters choice tags for use in archery seasons

  • Legalize the ability to continue bowhunting during the gun season if desired 

  • Relaxed restrictions on strung or cased bows in motor boats, greatly improving opportunities for bowfishing

  • In 1997 WBH finally was able to get most of the week before gun season - some of the best rut hunting - opened to bowhunting

  • Being granted a seat on all DNR wildlife management committees

  • Developing legislation that defines crossbows as separate from archery equipment and further, will allow crossbows to be regulated separately as their popularity and effectiveness grows

While WBH has accomplished a great deal, an ongoing challenge is to PRESERVE and PROTECT these opportunities and Wisconsin's bowhunting heritage.

Based on sound science, good relationships with DNR personnel and legislators – and the influence of large membership numbers – WBH has been able to avert efforts to shorten the archery season, limit hunters to one buck per year, take archers out of the rut and other similar threats. 


WBH is also monitoring and working to combat even more insidious threats - from anti-hunters. These groups have already been successful in mounting legal challenges to shut down hunting seasons. They have declared bowhunting to be “more cruel” and their “first and easiest” target for elimination. Individually, bowhunters are almost powerless to stop them, but with strong unified opposition, we can fight them – and win.


WBH, in conjunction with other state and national groups has been effective in thwarting most anti-hunting efforts, but it requires  constant vigilance, adequate funds, and most importantly, the influence of strong membership numbers.

 
SCHOLARSHIP and SUPPORT

The Wisconsin Bowhunters Association® participates in the scholarship program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point by sponsoring a $500.00 scholarship to eligible students enrolled in the Natural Resources program. The scholarship is known as the Lyell Cowley Memorial Scholarship.

WBH also supports Wisconsin’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) with limited matching funding to individual school programs.
WBH also supports the following organizations with manpower, advertising and/or financial support:

  • Sportsmen’s Alliance

  • Midwest Outdoor Heritage Education Expo

  • Wildlife Legislative Fund

  • Pope & Young Rendezvous

  • Wisconsin Wolf Facts

  • Youth Archery Event at Wisconsin Deer & Turkey Expo