The Facts About Hunter Orange
Safe Hunting Rules 1-2-3-4 Orange
- Assume every gun is loaded
- Control the muzzle. Point your gun in a safe direction
- Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot
- Be sure of your target and beyond
- Hunter Orange ~ 7 times safer
Hide From Deer But Not Hunters With Hunter Orange
Cliff Talbot and his hunting partners find big bucks in Adirondack
areas. They hunt smart and they all wear hunter orange.
Deer have no red-sensitive cone cells in their eyes, so they can't tell red or orange from green and brown. The Deer's view of the scenes above were created with Vischeck software which shows the effects of color blindness. In addition to having this kind of red-green color blindness, deer have different sensitivity to various wavelengths of light than humans. Deer see short wavelength colors such as blue (and even ultra-violet, which humans cannot even see) brighter than humans do, but deer are less sensitive to longer wavelengths such as orange and red, so these colors look darker to deer than they do to humans.
Human's View .... and .... Deer's View. Deer cannot tell red or orange
Fluorescent colors like hunter orange look bright to humans because they absorb UV rays we can't see and turn them into longer wavelengths we can see. So, hunter orange reflects less UV that deer see well and more of the rays deer don't see well.
Wear hunter orange and be seen!
Fluorescent orange clothing has become standard equipment for hunters. It is even called "hunter orange." Because it looks so bright to humans (but not most game animals) and looks like nothing in nature, it prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in your direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot than those who don't wear it.
There is no law in New York State requiring hunters to wear hunter orange, but most do. Over 80 percent of big game hunters wear it, as well as two out of three small game hunters.
Wearing Hunter Orange Saves Lives
The effectiveness of fluorescent orange safety clothing speaks for itself. Look at the results: Over the past ten years, 15 New York State big game hunters have been mistaken for deer or bear and killed, and every one of these victims was from that small minority of hunters who did not wear hunter orange. But not even one person who was wearing hunter orange was mistaken for game and killed.
A 16th hunter was also killed in the line of fire when another hunter shot at a deer. Another 13 deer hunting fatalities were not visibility-related.
Two hunters: one in camo, one in orange
The two hunters in this picture are invisible to deer if they don't move. Which would you want to be if there were another hunter nearby, and a deer between you?
Hunter in a tree using safety straps
Tree Stands for Deer Hunting
Hunting deer from trees first became popular with bowhunters who needed to be within "spitting distance" for an effective shot. Today, many firearms hunters have also taken to the trees. Hunting from trees has advantages, but also some big disadvantages.
- View -- You can see above the brush in some situations.
- Scent -- Your scent will drift over very close deer -- If they approach from the right direction.
- Concealment -- Deer don't often look up, so tree stands put you above their line of sight -- If they are very close.
- No mobility -- You can't move for a better look or to get a shot.
- Conspicuous -- From a distance, deer can see you without looking up. A hunter in a tree is conspicuous, especially if he or she moves.
- Heavy equipment -- Transporting tree stands and climbing equipment can involve some serious work.
- Danger -- Serious injuries and deaths from tree stand falls are increasingly common.
Tree Stand Hunting Tips
Even with the disadvantages and hazards, tree stands are popular and productive, especially for bowhunters. If you do choose to use one, here are some tips to help get the most out of your arboreal hunting experience.
Hunt deer, not trees. Find the deer first. Look for trails, droppings, feeding and bedding areas and other deer signs, then find a tree within easy shooting range that will put you in a good location relative to the wind.
Use a sturdy, portable stand. Permanent stands nailed into trees are dumb and deadly. They give away your secret hunting spots to anybody who sees them. They are difficult to move when deer change their trails a few feet. Ugly boards and spikes that ruin chain saws make landowners mad. The worst is that they rot.
Permanent stands rot.
Weakened wooden steps and stands kill and cripple hunters. Even pressure treated wood gets a dangerous slippery growth.
Know the Rules. On state lands, it is illegal to place nails or other hardware into trees, or to build permanent structures, such as tree stands, platforms and blinds. On private lands, it is illegal to cut or remove trees or other plants, or to cut limbs or damage bark (such as from putting up blinds or tree stands, or cutting shooting lanes or trails) without the landowner's permission.
Don't go too high. Remember that the higher you go, the smaller the vital zone on a deer becomes. And the likelihood of a serious injury escalates if you fall from high up. Usually, 15 to 20 feet is high enough.
Use a safety belt for climbing. Most falls happen when going up and down the tree, and in and out of the stand. Good commercial climbing belts are available.
Never try to carry guns or bows up and down trees. They get in the way of safe climbing; they get dropped; and climbing with guns can result in hunters shooting themselves. Always use a rope to raise and lower bows and guns -- Unloaded.
As soon as you get in a tree stand -- strap in. A body harness is better than a plain safety belt, but a belt is a whole lot better than nothing. If you just have a safety belt, attach it high - around your chest - to avoid injury from the belt if you fall. A short tether connecting you to the tree to prevent a fall is safer than a long one to catch you after a fall. Also, a short tether can make you a better shot. It lets you concentrate on shooting instead of balancing.
Fitness For Hunters
Start now to be physically fit for a safer and more enjoyable hunting season.
Every hunting season is marred by a rash of heart attacks. In fact, heart attacks take a higher toll than careless hunting practices. Walking while carrying gear, spotting and shooting at a deer, and dragging out a carcass can cause more stress than the heart can handle. That's especially true if you are not physically active, smoke, have high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or other health problems.
Hunting is more fun and a lot safer when you're not tired and out of breath. Physical fitness will enable you to cover more ground when hunting, get your game out of the woods easier, and avoid clumsiness and dangerous lapses of concentration and caution that accompany exhaustion. Fitness makes you a better shot, too. Shooting while out of breath is not productive.
If you don't exercise regularly, the unaccustomed excitement and exertion in the field can be dangerous. It's a good idea to start building up your endurance before hunting season. But you don't have to train like a marathon runner. Any activity that gets you moving around, even if it's done for just a few minutes each day, can start strengthening your heart and lungs.
Physical activity will also help you lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk for some cancers, control weight and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints. Choose an activity you enjoy doing and get a partner or a pet to share it with you. Try walking, bicycling, jogging, gardening, hiking, bowling or dancing. Be creative: park your car a distance from work or get off the bus early and walk the rest of the way; take the stairs, and at lunch walk around the block. Also, malls are ideal for walking in any weather.
Two other good things you can do for your heart are to make healthful, low-fat meal choices and to avoid tobacco. The NYS Health Department recommends eating at least five fruits and vegetables a day and drinking non-fat (skim) or low fat (1 percent) milk. Get in shape now to make your next hunting season the best one you ever enjoyed.
Following are fitness tips recommended by the NYS Department of Health:
- The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of physical activity five or more times a week.
- Regular physical activity helps reduce fatigue and manage stress.
- Walking is a simple, easy way to strengthen your heart and lungs, tone muscles and generally improve fitness.
- Brisk walking burns up to 440 calories an hour.
- Walking 3 mph burns 250 to 315 calories per hour. You can lose a pound of fat by burning 3,500 calories.
- Decide what your body can do comfortably. If you have been inactive, proceed slowly and build up.
- Before brisk walking warm up for 5 to 7 minutes by stretching and light walking.
- Wear shoes that are cushioned and provide support.
- Before starting a fitness program, seek your doctor's advice, especially if you have medical problems or are over 45 and not regularly active.