Nov 12, 2011 at 8:20 am #1281865
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
This is about color choices in apparel and gear, nothing chaff-wise: In the local NF (AZ and NM), hunting season is in full swing but I keep seeing hunters in camo instead of blaze orange. Being ex-military, I know the advantages of concealment (though I wonder if it's really needed for most animals), but the advice is to wear blaze orange, especially around high powered rifles. If the hunters aren't wearing blaze orange does that mean they are using smaller caliber shotguns?
I am participating in a backpack planned for a NF in Arizona in the middle of deer season (not the leader, so will not be the first "in the line of fire"), and curious as my only blaze orange currently is a relatively heavy Nike ACG fleece vest. Guess I could find some orange-rich Denver Bronco sportswear on sale this football season, too.
Let's keep this discussion out of chaff and away from whether or not hunting should be allowed. France/Germany/Scandinavia allow hunting (I saw at least 2 deer stands next to an autobahn last year in the Rhineland), so it's not like it's going away.Nov 12, 2011 at 8:39 am #1801027
Even bird hunters should wear blaze. (shotguns) Every hunter should wear blaze. Everyone around hunting areas should wear blaze.
THink about it- wear blaze and be seen, or wear camo and be mysterious, thus heightening the adrenaline of the hunters.
The vast majority of hunters will not shoot unless they are 100% sure what they are shooting at. The VAST majority. But it only takes one noob, or excited kid, or just a regular guy slippin. (Cheney) Big consequences…
Bottom line wether you agree with hunting or whatever- if you think you are going to be around hunters wear orange. At least a hat.
I guess duck hunters IN BLINDS, or maybe a high mtn hunters (sheep) can get away with not wearing some orange due to laying down in a blind/ being out in the open on a ridge; but if you are in the woods… why would you not. Safer for everybody.
you can get an orange vest for like $5Nov 12, 2011 at 8:42 am #1801028
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I can only speak for Missouri and Kansas, but both of those state require deer hunters wear blaze orange hats AND vests/jackets (applies to both firearms and bow hunters). The laws in your area may be different. Most all of the sporting goods stores (even Wal Mart) sell all kinds of blaze orange this time of year. When I was in Scouts we had a section of the highway adopted and the DOT gave us a bunch of thin, vinyl orange vests that I still use during deer season. Hardware stores (Lowes, Ace, etc) might have hi-vis vests as well. If it were me I'd wear some blaze orange, even if its not required in your area.
AdamNov 12, 2011 at 8:52 am #1801030
Most hunters can tell a hiker from a deer but they also need to know you are around if they are shooting at something else. You might start up a deer or whatever and you want any hunters in the area to know you're around.
If you haven't seen it in action you would not believe how visible blase orange can be compared to other colors, even non camaflague.Nov 12, 2011 at 8:54 am #1801031
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
FWIW here is a picture of my MYOG pack in "blaze orange".
I took it out on a section hike of the AT this year during archery season. I keep a bandanna on the left front shoulder strap and it also was "blaze orange". See the bottom RH corner of the picture below.
;-)” height=”413″ src=”https://dpcr19kltm61a.cloudfront.net/backpackinglight/user_uploads/1321116050_52346.jpg” width=”550″ />
I did encounter a hunter during my hike. I'd like to think that my orange kept me from seeing my red. ;-?
What about a lightweight mesh orange safety vest?
I think Academy Sports has them in stock in their brick and mortar stores.
You could drape it over your pack to protect your back.
NewtonNov 12, 2011 at 8:56 am #1801032
It is required to have 144"sq of blaze orange with no prints on the fabric while in the woods during hunting season unless elevated in a stand above 10' here in Alabama. This is during all seasons except turkey season. Some states require it during turkey season( Pennsyvania I think?). My advice is wear an orange beanie or hat at least esp if you are goin to be outside a tent a dusk. Anything moving can look like a game animal in low light conditions.Nov 12, 2011 at 9:16 am #1801042
Texas and New Mexico don't require blaze orange (don't know about AZ). Except in a few instances on Federal preserves. You should wear all the orange you can. Since most big game animals see in black and white, wearing orange really wouldn't hurt the hunters, but it is what it is. I saw a great picture of an almost invisible gun in a tree stand in black and white, then you see it in color, he's wearing a Hawaiian shirt with blue and red parrots.Nov 12, 2011 at 9:34 am #1801052
I'm not totally convinced animals just see in black and white. I've heard it from a lot of people but I wonder how much we know about it. I recall a hunting guide telling how his horse spooked at bright red blazes on trees. He was convinced animals see a bit more than just black and white. At any rate movement and scent seem way more important in animals knowing you're there.Nov 12, 2011 at 9:46 am #1801056
Deer see uv light. They see blue very well.Nov 12, 2011 at 9:52 am #1801059
My buddy and I were getting pics of a black bear. He (my buddy) was wearing a brick red driclime shirt and got pretty close to the bear. The bear saw him but didnt really care.
Then I came around the corner with my creamsicle orange Rush jkt and the bear woofed and started walking the other direction.
Maybe the just notice unnatural colors more. Of course that throws the whole 'blaze being invisible' argument out the winder.Nov 12, 2011 at 10:00 am #1801060
There are a lot of factors that go into how visisble you are to either wildlife or hunters. I remember seeing a picture a published years ago. They lined up three men against a backdrop of a mature hardwood forest in winter (i.e. leaves down). One man wore camo, another wore a red plad coat, the third wore blaze orange. Obviously the blaze orange stood out the most but their caution was that the guy in red was actually no more visible than the guy in camo due to the pattern braking up his outline, shadows or whatever. The warning was you may not be visible just because you think you're wearing brighter colors.Nov 14, 2011 at 3:10 am #1801526
@stingray4540Locale: South Bay
Just thought I would put in another vote to wear orange during hunting season.
Not because a hunter might mistake you for game. The main reason you should wear orange, is so you can be seen in the background. Hunter's shoot for the vitals, and if they can make out the vital area of an animal, they can distinguish if it is what they are hunting for or a human.
The large majority of hunting accidents aren't because someone was shooting at random movement, but because they didn't see someone behind/in-front of there target.Nov 14, 2011 at 8:53 am #1801580
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
California doesn't require orange, and when out with my friend who is a game warden, he
wouldn't let me wear orange because of all the meth labs and pot fields. He said
we want to see the grows first and not be seen by the sentrys.
Turkeys see orange very well, that is why orange isn't required, tho short range methods
of take usually are (archery, shotgun, air rifle).Nov 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm #1801670
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
My camo hunting pack has a pull-out blaze orange piece that covers 80% of the back. My vest covers the front. Many states have laws stating how many square inches of blaze orange hunters must wear, including hat sq. inches.
In Pennsylvania hunters are even required to wrap turkeys they kill in blaze orange to avoid being shot at. And they must wear blaze orange TO and FROM their hunting area but can use all camo at their stand. (Speaking as a former PA turkey hunter)
As a hunter i'd advise wearing a vest and hat of blaze orange when hiking during hunting season. Too many hunters are inexperienced and will shoot at MOVEMENT without being certain of their targer. Happens almost every year in the U.S. Recently a guy was deer hunting with his grandson and shot and killed another hunter because he "saw movement". Nice memory for the grandson.
But one thing even idiots know is that game animals don't wear blaze orange – I think…Nov 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm #1801827
@jollygreenLocale: Near the bottom
Dang, Reading this post just made me buy a blaze orange wind shirt. I thought I was safe from "I got to have one of those" reading in this section.
I went for a hike last week in a local park that is know for having poachers. Every time I stepped on to an right-of-way I felt like a target. Well if they shoot at me now I will know that they just don't like blaze orange or my ulgy face.Nov 15, 2011 at 5:08 am #1801936
Most mammals can see blues and greens only; compared to humans (and other primates) they are red-green color blind.
On the other hand, birds and reptiles have excellent color vision and can see more colors than humans.
The evolutionary reasons for mammals poor color vision, and trichromaticity in primates is quite interesting.Nov 15, 2011 at 5:32 am #1801939
@winter5470Locale: South Florida
The 4 th (and in my opinion most over looked) rule of gun safety is "be sure of your target and what is BEHIND it". I would strongly advise wearing blaze orange. I want the hunter to know if I am in the area. Most hunters are not going to confuse a hiker with a deer. But I do not want him to line a shot up and me be walking down range when he misses his target or does a thru and thru shot. High power deer rifles can and will travel a long way! The hunter is morally, ethically and financially responsible for the final resting place of any bullet that leaves his barrel – but that wont do you any good if your dead. Be safe and wear lots of blaze orange! I was at Walmart last night and they sell a blaze orange super light vest for $3.50. Got one for me, my pack and my dogs pack.Nov 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm #1802136
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
Someone higher up recommended picking up a construction vest. In white tail deer country that is not a good idea. Most construction vest I have seen alternate stripes of blaze orange with high reflectivity white. Those white stripes *can* look like a white tail running away to some nitwits who have a faster trigger finger than a brain.
In hunting areas it is blaze orange and only blaze orange. You can get stuff dirt cheap at Walmart.Nov 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm #1802143
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
"Those white stripes *can* look like a white tail running away to some nitwits who have a faster trigger finger than a brain."
Construction vest with No White Stripes
NewtonNov 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm #1802190
Good information. I will wear my construction vest inside out next time — It is all orange that way.Nov 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm #1803172
Why not look for an orange raincoat/jacket for all trips, no matter what season?
You should always have some bright colored things with you in case you have an accident and SAR is trying to find you…
If you ever tried to spot someone wearing the usual clothes (most jackets have a dark color) in between rocks or in a forest you know what I mean.
Luke + Adam: deer can see colors. But they see a different spectrum than humans. So they are able to see UV (we don't) but they are not able to see red colours – orange included.Nov 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm #1803212
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was always told that deer are somewhat colorblind and orange looks the same as brown to them. Are there other game animals that this applies too?Nov 19, 2011 at 5:53 pm #1803481
It's also been my understanding the animals like deer cannot detect the blaze orange but rather pick out the solid color against the background of the forest. If that's a concern, blaze camo is available. I don't hunt anymore but when I did, I always wore blaze and if I thought it was going to be an issue, I would remove it only when I was in my stand, but never while walking through the woods. While hiking during hunting season…too many idiots with guns out in the woods, I'd wear it for sure but most likely avoid areas where hunter contact would be likely.
Turkey on the other hand have excellent vision.Nov 21, 2011 at 6:32 am #1803965
@tylerdLocale: SE US
As a lifelong hunter I thought I would post my thoughts…
The Dick Cheney hunting accident was while quail hunting, completely different than most deer hunting. With quail hunting you walk in a line while dogs work out in front of the hunters to locate and flush quail. Often times the quail flush and then fly at eye level, often to one side or the other. As you take a bead on the quail and are following it with your shotgun it is easy to loose track of your surroundings and swing your shot into the direction of other hunters to your side that have gotten out in front of the line a little. That is my understanding of what happened with Cheney. That is just an inherent risk of quail hunting and not something hikers need to worry about. Also most, if not all, quail hunting takes place on private land so even less of a consideration with hiking.
Most deer hunters sit and wait for deer to walk by either in a stand or on the ground. I guess there are deer drives too. The thing with people getting shot while deer hunting is it is usually a very young or very old hunter that shoots at brush moving, the sound of something walking towards them, etc. However that is probably .0000001% of hunters that would even THINK about shooting at a sound or movement. I can confidently say that there is no chance, ever, not even a slight possibility that I would shoot a human. I would never shoot something in the woods or even aim at something unless I was 10,000% sure it was a deer and I knew if it was a doe, buck, what size buck, etc. I wouldn't even shoot at a body of a deer without seeing what was on it's head much less just at noise. That is how 99.99999999% of hunters operate, they are not out there just waiting to unload on the snap of a twig. As in any activity, there is always going to be that tiny percentage of dangerous people but I am sure statistically you are many many times more likely to be killed by someone texting on their phone while driving on the way to the trail than to be shot by a hunter.
I know a lot of anti-hunters like to portray hunters as fat, drunk, Elmer Fuds stumbling into the woods after a night of drinking with a fully automatic assault rifle and a 12 pack of Budweiser just waiting to hear a snap of a twig and start firing wildly in all directions. That is not the case. In my experience most hunters are a little redneck, yes but they have also mostly been shooting and in the woods since they were 8 or 10, are careful about gun safety, sober, respectful, and would NEVER shoot at a sound or movement, not in a million years. I would venture to say though, that the hunters on public land tend to be the wild cards. With a lot of public land all you need is a gun and a cheap instate license so you do tend to get some less experienced people. I think the people that shoot people while deer hunting though are really the wackos or either too young or too old to be hunting alone. By young I mean shouldn't be handling a gun by themselves. By old I mean senile/dimenshia, legally blind/deaf older people that also shouldn't be handling a gun without supervision.
I think wearing orange or at least not brown can't hurt but at the same time, I think most deer hunting accidents where someone shoots a hunter thinking they were a deer is because they shoot at noise. Maybe wear some orange and talk or whistle as you walk or something if you are super worried about it. I think its just better to not worry about it and take my chances like I do everyday when I crank up my car to drive to work.Nov 23, 2011 at 7:04 am #1804749
We're talking about hiking and/or backpacking in the same location as hunters, during season, but *not while hunting, ourselves*. In that case, I don't think one should care a single bit whether the prey can see the version of whatever you wear to ensure the hunters see you. We want bright, obviously man-made, stuff that looks so out of place in the outdoors that the hunter can easily discern what you are…and are not. It doesn't matter whether the prey can also see you.
If you're hunting and want to be visible to hunters but invisible to prey, then there are blaze-orange camo products that are treated to be invisible to prey. Check out Cabela's or other supply houses, which often feature side-by-side photos of treated and un-treated blaze orange, taken with UV sensitive cameras — the untreated blaze orange still sticks out to deer and sasquatch, but the treated stuff blends in.
Got my 2012 Sasquatch tags already.
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