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Why do hunters wear orange?

by | Aug 29, 2017 | Firearm Injuries |

It has been called Day Glo orange, blaze orange, fluorescent orange, hunter orange and neon orange. Regardless of the name, many people wonder why hunters are required to wear it? 

While the law varies by state- for example in Idaho blaze is not required (but it is recommended) – blaze orange IS required in Montana. And not just a blaze hat, or vest or backpack. Each hunter and anyone who accompanies a hunter must have at least 400 square inches of blaze on their body. That’s roughly four sheets of paper. 



Wearing a bright color may seem contrary to the idea of “staying hidden.” After all, isn’t that the purpose of camouflage, to not be seen?

As many hunters already know camouflage for deer isn’t really necessary. This is because deer have only two cones in their retina, whereas humans have three. Deer are missing the third, or red, cone. This means that deer do not perceive red and orange the same way we do. Instead of seeing bright red or blaze for example, deer perceive these colors as more brown and gray. They can detect movement, so staying still is important.

Simply put, wearing blaze while hunting will not reveal you to the deer but it will protect you from getting shot. Deer rely more on sound and smell. 

Youth hunting for deer and elk opens in Montana October 19. General hunting for deer and elk opens October 21. 


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