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Blaze Orange: Answering the Question of What Deer Can and Cannot See

Blaze orange hunting-clothing requirements aren't in place to hinder deer harvest success; they are there to help keep you safe and prevent tragedies. (Lynn Burkhead photo)
Blaze orange hunting-clothing requirements aren't in place to hinder deer harvest success; they are there to help keep you safe and prevent tragedies. (Lynn Burkhead photo)

Can deer see the bright safety orange color? For the answer, look no further than Dr. James Kroll, known far and wide as "North American Whitetail's" Dr. Deer

It’s a topic that gets almost endless debate and discussion from deer hunters, the subject of how and what deer see, particularly when it comes to the bright hues of florescent orange.

Known as blaze orange, hunter orange and safety orange, regulations across the U.S. vary from the strong suggestion that hunters wear blaze orange (Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont according to the International Hunter Education Association website) to actual laws on the books that legally require the use of hunter orange while in the field.

In the rest of the states across the U.S., some sort of legal requirement exists for wearing blaze orange when out hunting. In general, those regulations require some sort of use of the safety orange color for big game and/or deer hunting (keep in mind that in many states, spring turkey hunters and waterfowl hunters are often the exception to a state’s blaze orange rule).

As you might expect, the amount of blaze orange worn varies from state to state with some locations requiring as little as 144 square inches and others requiring as much as 500 square inches. In a few states, certain clothing articles – headcover, top and bottom – are required and there are even color standards for brightness and visibility.

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STARTING OCT 15
STARTING OCT 15