It’s Not A Fashion Statement, It’s For your Own Good
Whether you approve of hunting or not, wearing blaze orange for Fall hiking, really is a must do. You don’t need to go crazy and be head to toe orange or anything. A simple blaze orange hat or vest would be plenty. You never know when there is a hunter present and it IS for your own safety.
Here in New Jersey, where I live, we have an over population of deer which causes all kinds of problems. One of those problems would be the constant arguing over hunting in our local parks. The deer population has gotten so out of hand in some areas that we have had to open up some of the parks to hunting to help cull the herds. It is usually just bow hunting allowed, and done by permit or a lottery system. For those of you who don’t know, bow hunters typically wear all camouflage. They keep very still, so that they are harder for the deer to spot, since they need the deer to be much closer than when using a gun. Any hunting involving the use of guns, hunters absolutely must wear blaze orange.
So why the arguing?
For the regular park users who like to walk and hike in the woods, they feel that their safety is in peril with hunters present. The hunters, who had to pay for a special permit to be able to hunt in the park (this is in addition to the regular licenses required) get tired of being harassed and having deer scared away (yes, it has been done on purpose, believe it or not). It is suggested to the hikers to wear some form of blaze orange, or any other bright clothing, so that they are very visible to the hunters. The hikers argue that they shouldn’t have to in any county park.
This kind of thinking reminds me of the some of the new laws about crossing streets. Don’t know if it’s just here or not, but we have areas where the pedestrians have the right away for crossing the street. I constantly see people being so cocky about their “right” to “expect ” me, or any driver ,to always be watching for them and to stop accordingly, that they never even so much as glance to see if there is any on coming traffic. I’ve seen people with children and pets do it. I can’t help but feel this behavior isn’t cocky, it’s just plain irresponsible and careless. These people remind me of the hikers walking in the woods that refuse to wear orange for their own safety, just because they feel they shouldn’t have to.
Accidents happen all the time, it’s why they are called accidents. So why would you put yourself willingly in any kind of danger when simply throwing on an blaze orange hat or vest could possibly save your life, the life of your children, or even your pets. So if your hiking, walking, or playing around in the woods during ANY of hunting seasons, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and put on some orange already. Like Nike says, Just DO IT!