The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering implementing a new regulation that has some hunters up in arms.
The proposed hunting regulation would make orange vests and hats a mandatory part of every sportsman’s hunting equipment, requiring hunters to wear them at all times while hunting. Currently, Oregon is one of only ten states that don’t require such attire. The proposal comes after the hunting-related death of a 15-year-old boy last fall. The boy was wearing camouflage clothing at the time he was shot.
Hunters around the state, including the Oregon Hunter’s Association, have opposed the proposed regulation, saying that the vests and hats should be an individual choice rather than necessary hunting gear. Others cite the already relative safety of hunting as a sport – there were only four firearm-related incidents in Oregon in 2009, and only one ending in a fatality.
Supporters of the regulation see it as a way to make hunting even safer without compromising hunters’ successes. Most game mammals, including deer and elk, are colorblind. They see images as shape and pattern, not color. And according to the ODFW, wearing the orange garments will “achieve the desired result of reducing hunting incidents and fatalities.”
The regulation, if approved, won’t go into effect until 2011, and the ODFW wants your opinion before then. Visit the ODFW website to read the proposed regulation and find out where and when you can voice your support or concern.