Vermont Says Blaze Orange is In

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Fashion magazines say plaid is "in" this fall, but so are splashes of bright color. So be sure to accessorize your favorite wool hunting coat with a hunter orange hat and vest.

Season after season, fluorescent hunter orange is always in style in the woods. That's because it's highly visible to humans, but not to deer. As a result, the smart hunters who wear it are just as likely to be successful, yet, nationwide, seven times less likely to be shot by another hunter.

"Hunter orange is a choice in Vermont," said Chris Saunders, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department's hunter education coordinator. "But that's no excuse. In the past ten years, almost half of the state's hunting accidents might have been prevented with hunter orange."

Hunters moving into the line of fire of other hunters and mistaking other hunters for game are two common causes of hunting accidents in Vermont. Both types involve visibility problems and both underscore the need for hunters to see and be seen during the fall firearms deer and small game seasons.

However, even blaze orange won't help you if you don't follow the four basic rules of safe hunting:

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
  • Point your gun in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • 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.