With Youth Hunting Weekend Upon Us - Hunters Reminded Wear Blaze Orange

Concerns that deer are scared by hunter orange are unfounded. Recent research suggests deer do see 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 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 for 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, ample anecdotal evidence suggests they aren't bothered by it. Yearly deer harvests in many of the states that require hunter orange, like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania exceed several hundred thousand animals a year.

However, even blaze orange won't help you if you don't 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 - but it could be even safer if all hunters wore a hunter orange vest and hat. You don't want to be the only hunter in the woods without it.

Hunt smart, think safety, and good luck.

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