Hunting

The Importance of Blaze Orange When Hunting

Man wearing blaze orange while hunting with his dog

The proper hunting attire is important for your comfort, hunting success, and safety. When it comes to safety, blaze orange makes all the difference.

It’s not required in every state or for every type of hunting, but it is universally recommended. Remember, getting your kill is important, but your safety and the safety of others is much more important. Blaze orange clothing is one of the best ways to let other hunters know you’re out there, and if you hunt public ground, it is especially important.

Don’t leave home without your blaze orange clothing. Even if it’s not required by law, it can be one of your most important pieces of hunting gear. Let’s take a closer look at why.

Blaze Orange and Hunter Safety

Three people wearing blaze orange sitting on a pickup truck tailgate

Hunting is generally a safe outdoor activity, but accidents do sometimes happen. That means smart hunters take steps to reduce risk as much as possible. While proper firearm safety and hunting practices will help keep you safe, wearing orange can make a serious difference while you’re out there.

According to Hunter-Ed.com, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found that 81 percent of the victims involved in vision-related hunting accidents over a 20 year period did not wear any blaze orange clothing. That’s a pretty clear indicator that orange can help you avoid most incidents.

Different states have different requirements for blaze orange clothing, so it’s important to check your state’s requirements before heading out. Some states require a certain amount of orange clothing and others require none at all. For a listing of what’s needed in each state, check out the International Hunter Education Association’s listing. It shows the orange clothing requirements for each state.

If you live in a state that doesn’t require you to wear blaze orange, I still highly recommend doing so. And don’t just wear a small orange cap and call it good. The best way to stay safe is to wear an orange vest or jacket in conjunction with an orange hat. At the very least, even if you despise wearing blaze orange, you should have a hat and one other piece of blaze orange clothing.

There are also orange camouflage options to choose from, but make sure your state allows them. In some places orange camouflage is sufficient and others would like to see hunters wear solid orange. Orange camo is effective as a safety measure, and it helps conceal you a little better from your quarry. However, solid orange clothing will always be the safest option. Sometimes a mixture of the two can work well, too.

Impact of Blaze Orange on Hunting Success

man hunting with a dog wearing blaze orange

For many non-hunters, the pairing of camouflage and blaze orange seems contradictory. To folks who don’t hunt, it looks like you want to blend in and stand out at the same time. What many non-hunters don’t realize is that most game you hunt can’t actually see the orange.

Deer and many other types of game see some colors, but not in the way we do. The color orange doesn’t stand out to them like it does for us. Deer, for instance, see orange and red colors similarly to the way they see browns and grays due to the makeup of their eyes, according to the Quality Deer Management Association. This means you can wear orange and still blend into your surroundings in the eyes of a deer. At the same time, other hunters will be able to spot you a long way off.

Other animals have similar eyesight. Instead of relying on various colors to alert them of danger, most game relies on spotting movement or the outline of a human and hearing sounds to identify threats. This means you should be wearing orange each and every time you go hunting because it won’t hurt your chances of getting a kill.


What are your thoughts on blaze orange? Leave a comment below.

The importance of blaze orange when hunting

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2 comments

  1. Avatar

    I never took into account the fact that some animals can’t different orange colors. My uncle invited me to pheasant hunting, and I want to be prepared. I’ll get myself some hunting outfits to blend.

  2. Avatar

    That’s interesting that deer don’t see orange in the same way we do. I could see how it would be a good way to make sure that other hunters could see you, but the deer couldn’t. If I decide to try hunting with some friends, I’ll have to make sure that I get some orange to wear.

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