Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oregon looking at making blaze orange mandatory

© By Othmar Vohringer

I came across a news release from the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission explaining that they plan to make blaze orange a mandatory requirement. The commission claims that its aim is to make hunting safer and prevent accidental shooting of hunters.

Oregon hunters see black and white about blaze orange. “There is a lot of passion associated with (the hunter orange issue),’’ said Richard Hargrave, information and education division deputy administrator for the ODFW. Most hunters are either for wearing blaze orange while others are dead against it. The anti blaze orange group poits out that:

  • Hunting is already a safe sport and I can’t argue with that. Numerous studies and recreational accident statistics show time and again that it is more likely to get hurt or killed jogging or bike riding. Heck, according to statistics hunting is safer than playing baseball.
  • The Oregon Hunter Association says that the vast majority of hunters in that state don’t want to be told what to wear and I can clearly see where they are coming from, especially if this blaze orange law is just cosmetics to please some special interest groups.
While I personally can see the benefit of blaze orange and have worn it many times where not mandatory, I would object of making wearing hunter orange mandatory for all hunters. Simply put. I don’t believe it is the government’s job to make ever more regulations in an effort to safeguard us from some perceived problem. There always will be unfortunate accidents that could have been prevented, no matter how many laws and regulations there are. Trying to safeguard everybody will lead inevitably to a nanny state and we sure don’t want this.

How do you feel about wearing mandatory hunter orange? Do you think that this is a good idea or should be voluntary?

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Anonymous said...

In this day and age Othmar I feel it is a good idea to wear orange if not for safety alone.
Of course for turkey hunting it's different but, when you are say deer hunting for instance you do have people out there that do not verify their target before shooting.
I wear mine for safety except when turkey hunting.

SimplyOutdoors said...


The number of hunters during Michigan's gun season is so large,and the hunter density so dense, that I am completely fine with our hunter orange requirement; it helps to be able to identify where a hunter is pretty easily, and thus prevents an accident.

Now, that being said, I'm not sure that a hunter orange requirement is necessary in your neck of the woods. I think it depends on the number of hunters in an area, as well as the size of that area.

And, I am only okay with mandatory hunter orange requirements during major game seasons - whitetails in our neck of the woods - and only during the firearm season. It should not apply to turkeys, or other game - and it should definitely not apply to archery hunters.

Othmar Vohringer said...

Rick - I agree to a point but in this day and age hunting is safer than ever before. Having said that, there are times where I wear blaze orange even if it is not required by law. It depends on the situation.

Arthur - Our neck of the woods is very large and sparsely populated. So is Oregon and that is why I can't see the reasoning of making blaze orange mandatory requirement. I feel very strongly that hunting is over regulated as it is. Adding more legislation, especially the ones with a purely cosmetic purpose just doesn't make sense to me.

Now, as you stated with the example of Michigan with lots of hunters in relatively small places I can see the sense of blaze orange.


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