Move over blaze orange, you just got competition. On Thursday, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed into law Assembly Bill 291, which would allow state hunters to wear blaze pink in place of the traditional orange garb. The bill, which was widely supported by hunters in the state, passed through both houses of the Legislature on bipartisan votes and makes Wisconsin the first state in the country to legalize fluorescent pink clothing as an alternative in satisfying the visibility requirement.Wisconsin law requires hunters to have at least half of all clothing above the waist be either blaze orange, or pink, while hunting.

The bill’s author, State Representative Nick Milroy (D-South Range), applauded the governor’s decision.

“This bill is simply about giving hunters the option to wear blaze pink hunting gear, which has been available to purchase but not yet legal for hunting use,” Milroy said in a statement. “Retailers and manufacturers recognized this untapped market and began promoting pink merchandise, including everything from clothing to weapons. Allowing the legal use of blaze pink will add an additional option for hunters.”

Lawmakers proposed the bill in the hopes that the new color option will draw in more women hunters. While many hunters say they will consider purchasing pink clothing, others doubt that the law will have any affect on the number of women hunters in the state. Also, not everyone is convinced that pink would be a safe alternative. Some sportsmen and women voiced concerns that pink was less visible to humans, or that it would affect the hunt in a negative way. Milroy said that pink should be just as effective as orange, if not more so.

“Safety was our first consideration. In working with expert color scientist Professor Majid Sarmadi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology, we learned that blaze pink is just as visible, if not more visible, to the human eye than blaze orange,” Milroy explained. “Additionally, we learned blaze pink is actually more difficult for deer to see than blaze orange.”

Pink camouflage also found opposition from an unexpected source: women hunters themselves. The Wisconsin Women’s Hunting and Sporting Association (WHSA) recently blasted the bill by calling it sexist and discriminatory.

“(This bill) is a half-hearted attempt to go to women and say, `Hey, I can wear pink and go out and hunt,”‘ WHSA president Sarah Ingle told the Associated Press. “That’s not what women want and not what they need.”

After the passage of the bill, the WHSA wrote on their public Facebook page that they will be shopping for camo at the men’s section in stores from now on.

Milroy however, says he is already getting calls from lawmakers in other states who are interested in introducing blaze pink bills in their own legislatures.

Image from Facebook

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  • Dman

    I’m an old enough hunter to remember the rhubarb around the move from the traditional wool ‘reds’ of the deer hunt in Wisconsin to the adoption of ‘blaze orange’. I also remember the science studies behind the selection of ‘blaze orange’ as the best color for overall safety in all light conditions in the field; visibility being the highest concern. I believe that the move to pink is simply a political and market driven move that has no basis in safety science. The move to ignore science is the mantra of the Gov., his GOP minions, and the latest edition of the now politicized and scientifically neutered DNR. If you care about your ‘girls’, select the most visible blaze orange…fashion and profit should never be allowed to over ride safety.

    • Calebargh

      Exactly. They’re pretty bored out there if this is a big issue on their plates.

      • Dman

        It’s unfortunately not a matter of boredom, rather someone is getting payed off to bring the ‘pink’, or the switch blades, or selling off public water rights, or selling off public lands, or limiting the acquisition of further prime and sensitive properties, etc. I wonder how blind the Wisconsin outdoorsman has to be to put a sign on the lawn proclaiming “Outdoorsman for Walker”. Walker is no friend of the environment (where we hunt and fish) no friend of the everyday hunter, fisher, hiker, camper, biker. Walkers push to allow diversion of Lake Michigan water to his political home ground in Waukesha (against international agreements), his overseeing the removal of local control over unlimited high capacity wells (to the harm of immediate neighbors,wells, local lakes and streams by dropping the water table beyond capacity), his try at allowing mega bottlers to drain our water by mining it for resale on unrestricted commercail scale, on and on.shows him for the crass political animal he is. Wisconsin is being carved up for profit and political payback piece by piece, much of it already done and more harm on the way as things get pushed through by the GOP legislature…one of the latest is a rush to allow the privatizing of local water utilities…must we all become like Flint Mi.? When will this end…..