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DNR shoots down pink safety gear for hunters

Aug 11, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a recommendation against adopting "hunter pink" as an approved alternate color for hunting safety gear.

Other states like Colorado and Wisconsin allow hunters to ditch the traditional orange safety gear for pink. But Tom Wanless, Hunter Education Administrator with the DNR, says the agency doesn't have enough information on whether pink is safe enough.

"Contrary to what some people are thinking, hunter pink is not a true color," Wanless said. "Hunter orange is a true color. It is nationally and internationally recognized as the safety color for hunting."

Other factors contributing to the DNR's recommendation include statements from the International Hunting Education Association (IHEA) and the Michigan Hunter Safety Association.

The IHEA says that hunter orange is the only color that has been tested in the natural environment with the human eye.

Wanless says hunter orange has a strong safety record in Michigan. "Hunter orange became a requirement for daytime hunting back in 1977," he said. "If you look at the numbers of hunting incidents we've had since then, they've significantly dropped. We contribute that directly to the wearing of hunter orange."

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will make the final decision on whether to allow hunter pink, but the DNR has recommended maintaining a requirement for hunters to wear orange. Wanless notes that hunters are allowed to wear pink anyway, as long as they also wear the required orange garments.