As summer comes to a close, Illinois residents are getting closer to deer hunting season and a new law recently signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner is intended to improve safety by adding a new color to hunters' wardrobes.
One of the leading causes of hunting accidents is “failing to identify a target” — that is, shooting people instead of animals. That’s why current Illinois law requires hunters to wear blaze orange during deer shotgun season.
Most have probably seen the highlighter-bright orange caps, vests and other articles of clothing in the hunting department of stores, but soon blaze pink will be added to the mix.
The current law requires hunters to wear at least 400 square inches of solid blaze orange and an orange cap, but Ed Cross, with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said wearing pink could be safer.
“For anybody who has ever been out into the trees in the fall during deer season knows that sometimes your blaze orange vest can kind of get lost in the mix of the trees when they change colors," said Cross. "You may not be as visible.”
The florescent colors are intended to help hunters stand out, especially when hunting on public land.
“Our hunters are taught to shoot at confirmed targets but sometimes you see a little movement and the trigger reaction is to shoot; sometimes that happens," said Cross. "But if we have somebody out there in blaze orange, or now starting January 1, in blaze pink, it just creates a little bit more of a safer environment for our hunters.”
The law goes into effect January 1, 2019 so hunters will not be permitted to wear pink clothing for the beginning of the 2018 firearm season which begins November 16th.