RHINELANDER - A bill signed Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker will allow bow hunting within city limits.
Hunters would have to be at least 100 yards from any building when hunting within city limits.
Rhinelander has used city bow hunts to control the deer population in town.
The city allows special hunts when they get enough complaints and see enough deer related crashes in the city.
But the new state law will force Rhinelander to allow bow hunting during the entire bow season.
Rhinelander Alderperson Alex Young says the law will erase Rhinelander's city hunt ordinances the city had on the books, like background checks on people hunting in the city.
"Those restrictions we used to have are off and anybody who has a hunting license can come in and bow hunt," Young said. "The only thing that you are really allowed to restrict is the distance from neighboring houses."
The city wants to go back to an old distance requirement. It would require hunters to be at least 200 feet away from a building. Cities can make the distance less restrictive. Its also the only thing municipalities can modify, so Rhinelander hopes to do that soon.
"We're kind of moving fast with it because the bill was signed into law today and it is late bow season right now," Young said. "So given that the season is open and anybody could hunt in the city with a bow right now, time is in the way of essence."
The city attorney will see if the city can go back to the 200 foot distance requirement as soon as Monday.
Young says people shouldn't worry about hunting in dense portions of Rhinelander. He says that's because most plots are spaced between 60-70 feet and would not qualify for the current 100 yard restriction.
The law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 71, also requires hunters to shoot arrows or bolts from their weapon towards the ground while hunting.
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