Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

‘Blaze pink’s’ time is coming

blazeOn Feb. 4, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill that made it legal for hunters to wear fluorescent pink — aka “blaze pink” — instead of blaze orange during the state’s hunting seasons. A similar measure is moving smoothly through the Louisiana Legislature. From the Associated Press:

The Louisiana House voted 95-5 Wednesday to add the fluorescent color “blaze pink” as an alternative to the traditional “hunter orange” that hunters are required to wear under state law.
Bogalusa Rep. Malinda White, a hunter who sponsored the bill, says she thinks the addition would encourage more women to hunt. The Democratic lawmaker, who wore a pink shirt and glasses to debate the measure, says Wisconsin has passed a similar provision.
Rep. Neil Abramson, a New Orleans Democrat, worried about the safety of wearing pink, questioning if it would be visible enough.
The bill, supported by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, heads next to the Senate for debate.

Rep. White’s assertions aside, some women’s groups are steamed about the bill because they think it casts female hunters as shallow beings who would let themselves be swayed to hunting simply because they could wear a “woman’s color.”

The bottom line, to me, is whether the color prevents its wearer from being mistaken for game. Studies have shown that fluorescent pink shows up slightly better than orange, especially under low-light conditions. Fluorescent chartreuse shows up even better; that’s why road and construction crews wear it.

If lawmakers would detach themselves from gender politics and vote solely on the merits of the colors’ visibility, hunters might have their choice of fluorescent orange, pink or chartreuse clothing. My only question is what they’re waiting for.