Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Urges Hunters to Wear Orange

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Urges Hunters to Wear Orange

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

WATERBURY, VERMONT –(Theoutdoorwire) – Vermont's November 15-30 firearm deer season is the high point of the state's hunting seasons, and this year is no exception as more and bigger bucks are being seen in Vermont's fields and woodlots. In expectation of a great season, the Fish & Wildlife Department urges hunters to include fluorescent hunter orange clothing with their other essential gear.

“Hunting is certainly safe and getting safer thanks to mandatory hunter education,” said
Vermont's Hunter Education Coordinator Chris Saunders. “There were just four hunting-related shootings last year, but it could be even safer if all hunters wore at least a hunter orange hat and vest.”

Almost half of Vermont's hunting related shootings might be prevented if hunters wear hunter orange. Hunter orange is not required by law inVermont, but wearing it might save your life.

“A review of the investigation reports on Vermont hunting accidents that occurred from 1997 to 2007 shows that about 30 of the 60 accidents might have been prevented if the victims had been wearing hunter orange,” said Saunders.

He points out that in a review of 20 years of Vermont hunting accident reports, hunters moving into the line of fire of other hunters and mistaking other hunters for game are two of the most common causes of the state's accidents. Both types of accidents involve visibility problems, and both underscore the need for hunters to see and be seen during the fall firearms deer season.

A New York study found that 94% of hunters involved in mistaken for game accidents were not wearing hunter orange. This is even more startling when you consider that 81% of New York hunters do wear hunter orange.

Concerns that deer are scared by hunter orange are unfounded. Recent research indicates deer do see some color, but they have no red-sensitive cone cells, so they can't tell red or orange from green and brown. In addition, deer have a different sensitivity to various wavelengths of light. They see short wavelength colors such as blue brighter than humans do, but they are less sensitive to longer wavelengths such as orange and red, so these colors look darker.

Fluorescent colors like hunter orange look bright to humans because they absorb UV rays we can't see and turn them into longer wavelengths we can see. The effect is opposite on deer. Hunter orange reflects less of the UV that deer see well and more of the rays deer don't see as well.

Regardless of how well they see it, evidence suggests they aren't bothered by it. Yearly deer harvests in many of the states that require hunter orange, such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania exceed several hundred thousand animals a year.

Wearing hunter orange will help other hunters see you. In addition, it's your responsibility to follow the four basic rules of safe hunting:
1) Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
2) Point your gun in a safe direction.
3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4) Be sure of your target and beyond.
Remember, hunting is very safe – make this year even safer. Hunt smart, think safety, and good luck.

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