A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the Wisconsin State House last week introduced legislation to expand the color choices for those sportsmen out in the woods during the six-weeks of gun and muzzleloader deer season-- which overlaps rabbit season in the state.
Lawmakers who feel the addition of pink to the already adopted blaze orange would help open the outdoor shooting sports to female hunters and others introduced the measure.
"I think real hunters are going to be wearing pink if this becomes legal," said Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, as reported by Twin Cities.com. "I know I will."
According to a study conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation released earlier this year, the group found that more women are owning guns and going hunting than ever before. Further, the fastest growing segments of this group are women 18-35.
Wisconsin Democratic state Rep. Nick Milroy and Republican Reps. Joel Kleefisch and David Steffen wore 'Hunt Pink' shirts as they unveiled their bipartisan legislation (Photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Assembly Photographer Greg Anderson)
Wisconsin enjoys a rather long rabbit season on Cottontail, starting in the Northern zone typically in mid-September as the evenings start getting a little cooler, with the Southern zone beginning around mid-October and each running usually until the end of February. They allow dogs and have generous bag limits of 3 per day per hunter with double possession (Of course be sure to check DNR for full dates and regulations)
Current regs don't require the use of blaze orange or camo-blaze for all rabbit hunters the entire season. However, once gun or muzzleloader deer season kicks off (which typically runs November-December, smack dab in the middle of rabbit season), its use is mandatory to keep over-anxious and inexperienced sportsmen from taking random shots at anything that moves. DNR requires that a person hunting game during that period must have at least 50 percent of their outer clothing, above the waist, covered in blaze orange/camo-blaze.
Further, some argue that those with red-green colorblindness issues (of which the author is a member of that particular club), may have a hard time seeing pink as it's a red hue.
To this concern, Moulton, in an op-ed published in the Dunn County News, they met with "University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Human Ecology. Dr. Majid Sarmadi, one of the nation's leading color experts, conducted a series of experiments to determine if blaze pink was as safe as blaze orange."
The results: "Additionally, because orange is a color found in nature and pink is not, Dr. Sarmadi concluded that blaze pink is actually more visible for hunters."
While officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources declined to comment on the proposal, some states do authorize other colors. For instance, Arkansas allows either blaze orange or "fluorescent chartreuse color range of 555nm - 565nm (Hunter Safety Green)."
One thing though, not all women are into the pink thing. I know my wife personally hates the concept of pink guns or pink camo. So there's that...
Either way, the legislation is subject to committee review in coming weeks and if DNR accepts it for their 608,000 hunters, other states could soon do the same.