Hunters urged to dress in orange

MONTPELIER — Vermont Fish & Wildlife urges hunters to keep up Vermont’s new hunting tradition: wear hunter orange.
Fish & Wildlife points out that last year was the second time in three years there were no hunting-related shootings in the state. So far, 2015 is also accident-free, and smart hunters can help keep this flawless record going by choosing to wear fluorescent “hunter orange,” according to the department.
“2014 was a fantastic year for Vermont’s 65,000 licensed hunters,” said Chris Saunders, Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s hunter education coordinator. “Credit goes to both the hunters and our 380 volunteer hunter education instructors. However, we can’t rest on our laurels. Every year should be accident-free, and wearing at least a hunter orange hat and vest can go a long way to ensuring that.”
Hunters moving into the line of fire of other hunters and mistaking other hunters for game are two of the three most common causes of the state’s accidents. Both types involve visibility problems, and both underscore the need for hunters to be seen, especially during the firearms deer season.
“Waterfowl, turkey and archery deer are exceptions,” said Saunders. “But we still recommend hunter orange when you are going to and from your blind, treestand or calling spot.”
Concerns that deer are scared by hunter orange are unfounded. A deer’s vision is based on movement, patterns and color variations. Unlike humans, deer do not have multiple color receptors in their eyes. They can see color, but their spectrum is limited. This means deer must rely heavily on their ability to detect movement over the ability to interpret color variations and patterns.
Regardless of how well deer see orange, ample anecdotal evidence suggests they aren’t bothered by it. Yearly deer harvests in many of the states that require hunter orange exceed the size of Vermont’s deer herd.
Remember, hunting in Vermont very safe and hunters can help keep it that way by choosing hunter orange.
Hunt smart. Hunt safe. Wear orange.

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