Tag Archives: hunter orange

Hunter Pink Green-lighted For Washington’s Fall Hunting Seasons

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

During this year’s legislative session, pink has become the new orange. On April 10, the state House of Representatives passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill (ESSB) 5148, a bill expanding orange clothing requirements for hunters to include fluorescent pink. The state Senate had already passed the bill Feb. 20; Gov. Jay Inslee signed it today.

SURROUNDED BY (LEFT TO RIGHT) CHALEE BATUNGBACAL AND DAVID WHIPPLE OF WDFW, AND PRIME SPONSOR SEN. LYNDA WILSON (R) AND HER LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT AMBER HARDTKE AND INTERN INNA VANMATRE, GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE SIGNS THE HUNTER PINK BILL. (STATE OF WASHINGTON)

 “Orange will always be the classic safety color, but I think our state’s hunters can appreciate something new and different – and because fluorescent pink doesn’t blend in with anything else in the forest or field, it also offers the excellent visibility we need for safety,” said Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, a longtime hunter who was prime sponsor of ESSB 5148.

“This idea received unanimous support in the Legislature, and I can see hunter pink being very popular with both women and men, especially because pink is also linked to the fight against breast cancer,” added Wilson, who has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer during the time that her idea has made its way into law. For more information about the bill go to http://lyndawilson.src.wastateleg.org/wilson-bill-to-let-hunters-wear-fluorescent-pink-headed-to-governor/.

Since the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began requiring hunters to wear hunter orange, hunter injuries and incidents declined significantly in Washington. Fluorescent pink is considered equally visible to hunter orange, and nine other states have passed laws allowing hunters to wear pink clothing for safety.

“By adding fluorescent hunter pink, we are providing more choices to our hunters,” said David Whipple, hunter education division manager. “Women are one of the fastest-growing hunting groups, though we believe that this option will feel inclusionary all to new hunters. This attention is also helping to highlight the safe behaviors for continued reductions in hunter injuries and incidents.”

The current law gives WDFW the authority to adopt rules specifying gear and other hunting equipment. Currently, hunters must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of fluorescent hunter orange exterior clothing during specific hunting seasons.

The new law, like most created this year, will take effect in July. In preparation, WDFW will begin a rule making process to accommodate hunter pink. WDFW is also taking extra steps now to implement the legislation immediately, which allows time for public education and for hunters to buy pink clothing in time for fall deer, elk, and upland bird modern firearm seasons.

Those who wish to learn more about hunter safety can visit our hunter education and requirements page at https://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/requirements.

Washington Lawmakers Approve Adding Pink To Hunters’ Wardrobe

A bill allowing Washington hunters to wear bright pink instead of just blaze orange while pursuing deer and elk with a rifle, among other game, is headed to Governor Inslee’s desk.

Washington senators and representatives unanimously passed SB 5148, which would make the state at least the eighth to OK the color for meeting hunter safety visibility requirements in the field.

SEN. LYNDA WILSON TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF HER HUNTER PINK BILL WHILE WEARING A PINK CAMO HUNTING VEST IN THIS SCREENSHOT FROM TVW. (TVW)

It was sponsored by Sen. Lynda Wilson, a Clark County Republican who has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer and whose husband went hunting last fall while wearing a pink T-shirt in support of her.

“Depending on the time of year, the leaves on the trees can be almost as bright as the fluorescent orange that is now the only safety color allowed in Washington,” said Wilson in a press release. “Blaze pink doesn’t look like anything else in the forest or field, and more visibility means more safety.”

She added that it could also attract more hunters to the field and thus more dollars in support of wildlife management.

Wilson’s bill was supported by the Hunters Heritage Council and WDFW during a January public hearing.

It essentially requires the Fish and Wildlife Commission to add pink to requirements that deer and elk hunters, along with those pursuing other game during open modern firearm deer and elk season, must wear at least 400 square inches of orange clothing above the waist.

The bill passed out of the Senate in February on a 48-0 vote and the House early this month on a 92-0 vote. If signed, it becomes effective 90 days after the legislature is adjourned.

Other states that have OKed blaze pink include Wisconsin, which was first to do so, Colorado, Louisiana and New York in 2016; Virginia in 2017; and Wyoming and Illinois in 2018.

It’s been rejected as a substitute for orange in Michigan, Montana and Maine.

Arkansas has allowed chartreuse since at least 2010.

Hunter Pink Coming To Washington’s Deer Woods?

Blaze pink may be coming to a Washington deer and elk season near you soon.

A bill that would add that color as a second option to orange, which riflemen and some other hunters must swaddle themselves in partially while afield, had a public hearing in Olympia this afternoon.

SEN. LYNDA WILSON TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF HER HUNTER PINK BILL WHILE WEARING A PINK CAMO HUNTING VEST IN THIS SCREENSHOT FROM TVW. (TVW)

Prime sponsor Sen. Lynda Wilson, a Clark County Republican, recalled to fellow senators how she’d first heard that pink can be so much brighter to see in the woods than orange, and added that it might also help bring in more female hunters and revenues for conservation.

“The gear is out there,” she said while testifying before the Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee in a pink camo vest.

The idea behind SB 5148 has been around for several years now.

Other states that have OKed blaze pink include Wisconsin, which was first to do so, Colorado, Louisiana and New York in 2016; Virginia in 2017; and Wyoming and Illinois in 2018.

But Montana lawmakers balked two years ago, and Treasure State hunter Jessica Gray wrote that as a recruiting tool, it was “insulting.”

Back in Olympia, Tom Echols of the Hunters Heritage Council said his organization strongly supported Wilson’s bill.

“While hunter pink is fashionable … that’s not the reason. It’s purely for safety. There is evidence that pink is superior to orange in the field,” Echols said.

In also supporting the bill, David Whipple, WDFW’s Hunter Ed division manager, pointed out that hunting accidents have decreased drastically since states began requiring hunters to wear hunter orange.

“We’re supportive of anything that opens additional doors to hunters as long as it’s safe,” he said.

Essentially, the bill would require the Fish and Wildlife Commission to add pink to the hunts where orange must be worn — during modern firearm deer and elk seasons, overlapping archery and muzzleloader seasons, anyone hunting bears, grouse, etc., in areas where rifle seasons are occurring, and upland bird and game seasons.

Others cosponsoring Wilson’s bill include Sens. Randi Becker (R), Phil Fortunato (R), Guy Palumbo (D), Shelly Short (R), Dean Takko (D), Keith Wagoner (R) and Judy Warnick (R).

Sen. Warnick, who said her husband is a hunter, asked Wilson if sportsmen would have the choice to still wear orange, and Wilson responded that they would.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, the Democratic chair of AWNRP, appeared ready to fast track the bill out of the committee.

Also during today’s public hearing, members heard about SB 5320, which would create a program for training dogs for nonlethal pursuit of predators by vetted houndsmen to protect stock and public safety.

Representatives from the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, Washington Farm Bureau, WDFW, Conservation Northwest and even Humane Society of the United States spoke in favor of it.

There was less support, however, for reestablishing a pilot hound hunting program for cougars in six Eastside counties and one on the Westside.

“A good idea then, a good idea now,” Tom Davis of the Farm Bureau termed SB 5100.

Hunting lions was banned by a statewide initiative but a limited hunt was reinstated by lawmakers and extended twice before expiring in 2011.

WDFW was neutral, with the agency’s Mick Cope telling senators that boot hunting seasons in the affected counties — Chelan, Ferry, Klickitat, Mason, Okanogan, Pend Oreille and Stevens — would have to be looked at.