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November 21, 2013

Hunters still need orange for safety

Hunting season is upon us and people are gearing up for the thrill of shooting the big one. But there is a danger, experts say, that could be avoided with just a piece of clothing.

In addition to a hunting license and firearm, hunters should be prepared before venturing into the woods. One of the most important items of clothing necessary for a safe hunt is blaze orange. But for whatever reason, there are those who just refuse to wear orange while hunting.

“It is interesting because it is the younger hunters who are usually the safer hunters,” said David Leibig, director of the Conservation Alliance of New York, Region Four. “The younger kids have recently taken a hunter safety course and they know what is needed to be safe and they understand why it is important to wear blaze orange.”

Most experts agree that deer are colorblind and can only see shades of gray and blue. If people are wearing blaze orange and camouflage together, the varying shades will blend in with the environment.

“They can see ultra-violet colors like blue, and they can see shades in gray, darker and lighter, but they cannot see orange,” Liebig said.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, deer do not have red-sensitive cone cells in their eyes. They are unable to discern red or orange from green and brown. They do, however, have a sensitivity to various wavelengths of light. Deer are able to see short wavelength colors such as blue but they are less sensitive to longer wavelengths such as orange and red, therefore these colors look darker to deer.

“People should wear a blaze orange vest or hat when they are out hunting,” said Jim Losie of Losie’s Gun Shop. “Only really goofy people will not wear orange. I think most people know that deer are colorblind.”

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