Outdoors: Blaze orange, not pink (yet) to rule
By this time next year, hunters might be able to sport a new color to comply with clothing restrictions during a gun deer season.
Assembly Bill 291 would allow a highly visible color commonly referred to as bright or fluorescent pink right alongside blaze or “hunter” orange, which has been required for any firearm deer seasons since 1980.
A public hearing on the “pink” bill will be held Wednesday in Madison.
Under current law — including during this weekend’s youth gun deer hunt — no person may hunt game other than waterfowl during any open season for gun deer hunting unless their outer clothing above the waist is of a highly visible color commonly referred to as hunter orange, blaze orange, fluorescent orange, flame orange, or fluorescent blaze orange.
Since the deer hunting season is not open at night, the rule does not apply if the person is hunting for legal game (such as coyotes and raccoons) 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.
Rep. Nick Milroy, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he hopes the bill becomes law. He said research shows pink can be just as visible (or more so) to the human eye as blaze orange, and a rule change might encourage manufacturers to design more hunting clothing specifically for a growing number of females entering the lifestyle.
In addition to the blaze orange rule that came on the scene 35 years ago, another huge step for safety started in 1985, when it became state law for all hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, to successfully complete a hunter education and firearms safety course in order to purchase a hunting license.
One exception in recent years has allowed eligible adults to be within arm’s distance from a mentored hunter who has not completed a hunter education course, including 10- and 11-year-olds as long as there’s only one firearm between them.
Those opposed to the changes said there would be more accidents if mentored hunters age 10 and older would be allowed to hunt without hunter education, but that has not been the case.
In fact, with more than 600,000 hunters afield last November, a record-low four shooting accidents (none fatal) were recorded.
Two of the gun deer season accidents were self-inflicted by hunters in their 60s; one involved a 53-year-old shooting at deer who struck another hunter (not in his group) in an elevated tower stand 467 yards away; and one involved a 16-year-old shooting at a deer and hitting a member of his own party in thick woods.
Bottom line: hunting is a pretty safe activity, but there’s always room for improvement. Hunt smart and safe this season!
More than 500 whitetails have already been taken by bow and crossbow hunters on the Kewaunee/Door County Peninsula through the first four weekends of the season.
The K/D numbers will certainly climb this weekend with the youth gun deer hunt for all those ages 10 to 15 mentored by an adult.
It’s an excellent opportunity for kids to target whitetails with a favorite firearm without so much competition in fields and forests — and without having to freeze on stand come the November opener.
Many property managers use the season to do some herd control efforts, targeting adult does to try to bring the number of animals more in line with the habitat.
However, if a buck shows up — from a yearling to a mature trophy — many youths have the green light to shoot if a high-percentage shot opportunity comes along.
Adults may accompany up to two youth hunters, but only one can be under the mentored hunting rule. If mentoring, the adult may not hunt.
All youths age 10 and 11, and those age 12 to 15 who have not yet completed hunter safety, must be within arm’s reach of a mentor during the hunt.
If you haven’t purchased a deer hunting license yet, keep in mind you’ll need to specify the county and public or private land for the free antlerless tag that comes with it.
There are also nearly 2,800 bonus antlerless deer permits still available for the K/D Peninsula, along with more than 1,000 leftover fall wild turkey tags for Zone 2.
Kevin Naze is a freelance outdoors writer. Email him at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Outdoors: Blaze orange, not pink (yet) to rule