The Color Orange

Hunters wearing orange

Everyone wants to have a safe hunting experience, and one of those key elements can be found in the color orange, blaze orange, that is.

According to the International Hunter Education Association, 43 out of 50 states have regulations that stipulate that hunters must wear orange, also called fluorescent, blaze or hunter orange, while hunting certain species. The other seven states that don’t have written regulations strongly recommend wearing the color during most or all hunting activities.

Many states even go as far to recommend the type and amount of covering for each person – usually anywhere from 400 to 500 square inches, or have rules that orange must cover 50 percent of the total clothing worn. Other state regulations dictate that orange must be on the head, upper body and visible from the side or back.

What difference does it make for hunters? Safety first, and proof that wearing orange makes no difference to a deer’s detection system. University of Georgia researchers Dr. Karl V. Miller and Dr. Gino D’Angelo put on “deer goggles” to see if wearing orange made hunters more visible to their prey. Karl and Gino altered photos by considering the numbers of rods and cones in a deer’s retina compared to a human’s retina. The verdict: deer cannot see blaze orange the same way that humans see it.

Deer are much more sensitive to your silhouette and movement than color, the researchers reported. The message: wear your orange loud and proud. It’s for your safety!

For information specifically regarding your state statutes, visit