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Jerry Davis: Keep blaze orange, fluorescent pink in mind

December 5, 2018

With several ongoing and future firearm deer seasons during the next several weeks, namely muzzleloader, antlerless hunt, and the holiday hunt, people should re-familiarize themselves with the rule regarding blaze orange or fluorescent pink clothing worn above the waist.

This rule applies to firearm deer hunters AND any person hunting any game, except waterfowl.

The deer hunting regulations pamphlet, as well as other regulations booklets, state that: “When and where a firearm deer season is in progress, no person may hunt any game, except waterfowl, unless at least 50 percent of their outer clothing above the waist is colored blaze orange or fluorescent pink. A hat or other head covering, if worn, must be at least 50 percent blaze orange or fluorescent pink.

What about the popular camo-blaze orange, even though it probably gives hunters little advantage over deer?

Again, the pamphlet states: “While camo-blaze orange is legal if 50 percent of the material is blaze orange or fluorescent pink, the DNR recommends 100 percent solid blaze orange or fluorescent pink.”

A more complete explanation specifying some additional names for the wild colors states: “it is illegal unless at least 50 percent of each article of the person’s outer clothing above the waist, including a cap, hat, or other head covering, is of a highly visible color commonly referred to as hunter orange, blaze orange, fluorescent orange, flame orange or fluorescent blaze orange or commonly referred to as bright pink or fluorescent pink.”

Another important, but an unwritten thought toward these rules and statements relate to display hunters appearing to be hunting even though they may not be. Photographs and videos sometimes portray hunters in clear violation.

Hunters should not allow media to photograph them in violation of the blaze orange rule and language.

Why? If these images become incorporated in books, pamphlets, and other media outlets, it sends a clear signal that a blaze orange cap, for example, is not needed.

Some in the media do not know these rules and it is not their job to enforce them or even point out the violation to the hunter. All that would be necessary would be to have the hunter toss the cap out of the picture, but not replace it with a cap that is in violation.

How might a young hunter, or for that matter an older person, react to a Wisconsin hunting book with two deer hunters walking into a forest with blaze orange coats and brown caps?

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