Hunting Safety 101: Why Do Hunters Wear Orange?

Fall is considered the beginning of hunting season in many areas around the country. As of now, millions of licensed hunters can’t wait to get back onto the field; you’ll notice that each one is wearing orange vests. If you’ve never been hunting before, you might ask yourself, why do hunters wear orange? To learn that answer and more, keep reading below. 

Orange Gear Is For Safety And Visibility

Hunting is a dangerous sport, and the shade of orange is utilized to keep hunters safe. They select this color because it’s obvious and not a color you will typically see in nature. Because of that, a hunter won’t mistake you for an animal they’re attempting to shoot. 

If you’re thinking about this issue from the point of view of the hunter, you’re not only creating visibility to other hunters; you’re increasing your hunting effectiveness. For instance, the orange doesn’t make hunters easier to spot if you’re a deer, so no issues are compacting your ability to shoot one as deer cannot see the color orange. Instead, they see shades of green and blue.

Why Do Hunters Wear Orange?

Why do hunters wear orange? You’ll find that in addition to safety, many local and state laws have mandated using orange as the color for hunting apparel. The use of this color is a law in forty-two states and applies to all types of hunts. The remaining states have no legal requirements, but the wildlife agencies and local laws strongly suggest that hunters only use orange. 

There are two primary laws to consider regarding the orange color of hunting gear, and they are as follows.

  1. If the state has a clothing law, it requires the hunter to wear above-waist orange clothing that has been approved. This will include the following items.
  • Hats 
  • Coats
  • Blazers 
  • Vests 
  • Gloves 

2.)  If the state has a surface area law, the hunter is required to meet the legal minimum number of orange clothing in square inches. This will apply to above the waist as well. 

Also, Check – A Guide on How to Clean and Lubricate Your AR-15 Rifle

The states that don’t have any legal requirements but offer strong encouragement in the area of orange vests are as follows. 

  • Arizona
  • Alaska 
  • Idaho
  • California (except during specific hunts)
  • Nevada 
  • New Mexico (except military property or Valles Caldera only)
  • New York 
  • Vermont 

An additional state that has unique circumstances in New Hampshire. They’re the only state that falls outside the typical categories. They don’t impose clothing types or a surface area. Instead, the local laws have required that you use hunting equipment visible from a minimum distance of two hundred feet. They suggest a high visibility orange safety reflective vest. 

Ensuring Your Safety At All Times

When wondering why hunters wear orange, the simple answer is- it’s a safety precaution to keep you visible to other hunters. Hunting of any kind is a dangerous sport, and accidents can happen. However, by wearing orange, you are highly visible to the other people in the area, and you can ensure that there is far less chance of a fatal accident happening.

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