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Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes
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Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/12/2011 09:20:09 MST Print View

This is about color choices in apparel and gear, nothing chaff-wise: In the local NF (AZ and NM), hunting season is in full swing but I keep seeing hunters in camo instead of blaze orange. Being ex-military, I know the advantages of concealment (though I wonder if it's really needed for most animals), but the advice is to wear blaze orange, especially around high powered rifles. If the hunters aren't wearing blaze orange does that mean they are using smaller caliber shotguns?

I am participating in a backpack planned for a NF in Arizona in the middle of deer season (not the leader, so will not be the first "in the line of fire"), and curious as my only blaze orange currently is a relatively heavy Nike ACG fleece vest. Guess I could find some orange-rich Denver Bronco sportswear on sale this football season, too.


Let's keep this discussion out of chaff and away from whether or not hunting should be allowed. France/Germany/Scandinavia allow hunting (I saw at least 2 deer stands next to an autobahn last year in the Rhineland), so it's not like it's going away.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/12/2011 09:39:47 MST Print View

Even bird hunters should wear blaze. (shotguns) Every hunter should wear blaze. Everyone around hunting areas should wear blaze.

THink about it- wear blaze and be seen, or wear camo and be mysterious, thus heightening the adrenaline of the hunters.

The vast majority of hunters will not shoot unless they are 100% sure what they are shooting at. The VAST majority. But it only takes one noob, or excited kid, or just a regular guy slippin. (Cheney) Big consequences...

Bottom line wether you agree with hunting or whatever- if you think you are going to be around hunters wear orange. At least a hat.

I guess duck hunters IN BLINDS, or maybe a high mtn hunters (sheep) can get away with not wearing some orange due to laying down in a blind/ being out in the open on a ridge; but if you are in the woods... why would you not. Safer for everybody.

you can get an orange vest for like $5

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/12/2011 09:42:10 MST Print View

I can only speak for Missouri and Kansas, but both of those state require deer hunters wear blaze orange hats AND vests/jackets (applies to both firearms and bow hunters). The laws in your area may be different. Most all of the sporting goods stores (even Wal Mart) sell all kinds of blaze orange this time of year. When I was in Scouts we had a section of the highway adopted and the DOT gave us a bunch of thin, vinyl orange vests that I still use during deer season. Hardware stores (Lowes, Ace, etc) might have hi-vis vests as well. If it were me I'd wear some blaze orange, even if its not required in your area.


Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Blaze Orange on 11/12/2011 09:52:31 MST Print View

Most hunters can tell a hiker from a deer but they also need to know you are around if they are shooting at something else. You might start up a deer or whatever and you want any hunters in the area to know you're around.
If you haven't seen it in action you would not believe how visible blase orange can be compared to other colors, even non camaflague.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/12/2011 09:54:04 MST Print View


FWIW here is a picture of my MYOG pack in "blaze orange".

My Orange XPAC Pack

I took it out on a section hike of the AT this year during archery season. I keep a bandanna on the left front shoulder strap and it also was "blaze orange". See the bottom RH corner of the picture below.

Pony, hiker and "blaze orange" bandanna ;-)

I did encounter a hunter during my hike. I'd like to think that my orange kept me from seeing my red. ;-?

What about a lightweight mesh orange safety vest?

I think Academy Sports has them in stock in their brick and mortar stores.

You could drape it over your pack to protect your back.

Party On,


adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
required on 11/12/2011 09:56:45 MST Print View

It is required to have 144"sq of blaze orange with no prints on the fabric while in the woods during hunting season unless elevated in a stand above 10' here in Alabama. This is during all seasons except turkey season. Some states require it during turkey season( Pennsyvania I think?). My advice is wear an orange beanie or hat at least esp if you are goin to be outside a tent a dusk. Anything moving can look like a game animal in low light conditions.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/12/2011 10:16:07 MST Print View

Texas and New Mexico don't require blaze orange (don't know about AZ). Except in a few instances on Federal preserves. You should wear all the orange you can. Since most big game animals see in black and white, wearing orange really wouldn't hurt the hunters, but it is what it is. I saw a great picture of an almost invisible gun in a tree stand in black and white, then you see it in color, he's wearing a Hawaiian shirt with blue and red parrots.

Edited by skinewmexico on 11/12/2011 10:18:38 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Black and White on 11/12/2011 10:34:28 MST Print View

I'm not totally convinced animals just see in black and white. I've heard it from a lot of people but I wonder how much we know about it. I recall a hunting guide telling how his horse spooked at bright red blazes on trees. He was convinced animals see a bit more than just black and white. At any rate movement and scent seem way more important in animals knowing you're there.

adam spates
(adamspates) - F

Locale: southeast
colors on 11/12/2011 10:46:42 MST Print View

Deer see uv light. They see blue very well.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: colors on 11/12/2011 10:52:58 MST Print View

My buddy and I were getting pics of a black bear. He (my buddy) was wearing a brick red driclime shirt and got pretty close to the bear. The bear saw him but didnt really care.

Then I came around the corner with my creamsicle orange Rush jkt and the bear woofed and started walking the other direction.

Maybe the just notice unnatural colors more. Of course that throws the whole 'blaze being invisible' argument out the winder.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Colors on 11/12/2011 11:00:12 MST Print View

There are a lot of factors that go into how visisble you are to either wildlife or hunters. I remember seeing a picture a published years ago. They lined up three men against a backdrop of a mature hardwood forest in winter (i.e. leaves down). One man wore camo, another wore a red plad coat, the third wore blaze orange. Obviously the blaze orange stood out the most but their caution was that the guy in red was actually no more visible than the guy in camo due to the pattern braking up his outline, shadows or whatever. The warning was you may not be visible just because you think you're wearing brighter colors.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Wear orange! on 11/14/2011 04:10:27 MST Print View

Just thought I would put in another vote to wear orange during hunting season.

Not because a hunter might mistake you for game. The main reason you should wear orange, is so you can be seen in the background. Hunter's shoot for the vitals, and if they can make out the vital area of an animal, they can distinguish if it is what they are hunting for or a human.

The large majority of hunting accidents aren't because someone was shooting at random movement, but because they didn't see someone behind/in-front of there target.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Blaze orange vs. camo vs. other colors for hunting season hikes on 11/14/2011 09:53:00 MST Print View

California doesn't require orange, and when out with my friend who is a game warden, he
wouldn't let me wear orange because of all the meth labs and pot fields. He said
we want to see the grows first and not be seen by the sentrys.

Turkeys see orange very well, that is why orange isn't required, tho short range methods
of take usually are (archery, shotgun, air rifle).

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Yep, Blaze Orange, & hats too on 11/14/2011 13:23:44 MST Print View

My camo hunting pack has a pull-out blaze orange piece that covers 80% of the back. My vest covers the front. Many states have laws stating how many square inches of blaze orange hunters must wear, including hat sq. inches.

In Pennsylvania hunters are even required to wrap turkeys they kill in blaze orange to avoid being shot at. And they must wear blaze orange TO and FROM their hunting area but can use all camo at their stand. (Speaking as a former PA turkey hunter)

As a hunter i'd advise wearing a vest and hat of blaze orange when hiking during hunting season. Too many hunters are inexperienced and will shoot at MOVEMENT without being certain of their targer. Happens almost every year in the U.S. Recently a guy was deer hunting with his grandson and shot and killed another hunter because he "saw movement". Nice memory for the grandson.

But one thing even idiots know is that game animals don't wear blaze orange - I think...

Edited by Danepacker on 11/14/2011 13:28:41 MST.

jeffrey bennett

Locale: Near the bottom
"Blaze orange on 11/14/2011 20:27:27 MST Print View

Dang, Reading this post just made me buy a blaze orange wind shirt. I thought I was safe from "I got to have one of those" reading in this section.
I went for a hike last week in a local park that is know for having poachers. Every time I stepped on to an right-of-way I felt like a target. Well if they shoot at me now I will know that they just don't like blaze orange or my ulgy face.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: colors on 11/15/2011 06:08:03 MST Print View

Most mammals can see blues and greens only; compared to humans (and other primates) they are red-green color blind.
On the other hand, birds and reptiles have excellent color vision and can see more colors than humans.
The evolutionary reasons for mammals poor color vision, and trichromaticity in primates is quite interesting.

kurt winter

Locale: South Florida
Blaze orange on 11/15/2011 06:32:39 MST Print View

The 4 th (and in my opinion most over looked) rule of gun safety is "be sure of your target and what is BEHIND it". I would strongly advise wearing blaze orange. I want the hunter to know if I am in the area. Most hunters are not going to confuse a hiker with a deer. But I do not want him to line a shot up and me be walking down range when he misses his target or does a thru and thru shot. High power deer rifles can and will travel a long way! The hunter is morally, ethically and financially responsible for the final resting place of any bullet that leaves his barrel - but that wont do you any good if your dead. Be safe and wear lots of blaze orange! I was at Walmart last night and they sell a blaze orange super light vest for $3.50. Got one for me, my pack and my dogs pack.

Edited by winter5470 on 11/15/2011 06:35:19 MST.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Not construction vests... Blaze orange on 11/15/2011 16:56:27 MST Print View

Someone higher up recommended picking up a construction vest. In white tail deer country that is not a good idea. Most construction vest I have seen alternate stripes of blaze orange with high reflectivity white. Those white stripes *can* look like a white tail running away to some nitwits who have a faster trigger finger than a brain.

In hunting areas it is blaze orange and only blaze orange. You can get stuff dirt cheap at Walmart.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Not construction vests... Blaze orange on 11/15/2011 17:16:48 MST Print View

"Those white stripes *can* look like a white tail running away to some nitwits who have a faster trigger finger than a brain."

Good point!

Construction vest with No White Stripes

Blaze Orange Safety Vest


Party On,


Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Not construction vests... Blaze orange on 11/15/2011 18:59:01 MST Print View

Good information. I will wear my construction vest inside out next time -- It is all orange that way.