While I was quail hunting this past weekend at Sandy Sanders WMA in Southwest Oklahoma, I paused for a moment to look to see where the line was. I noticed something obvious, so I thought I would touch on a very important hunting subject that is not discussed very often. The importance of blaze orange. While this blog post is mainly focused on upland hunting, it is appropriate for anyone out in the field, especially on public land.
Wearing orange has always been a pet peeve of mine. Just ask anyone who hunts with me, or my wife who is kind enough to remind me that I have more orange clothes, then regular clothes. I have always been aware that hunting in groups can be rather dangerous. We here of hunting accidents all the time, Just ask Dick Cheney. When I paused a moment to take this photo, it really dawned on me how important orange can be. Click on the photo below, and you can really see the difference in my buddies orange and how effective orange can be.
Hunter closest to me: Really nice orange vest, but a camo hat (it was very cold).
Next Hunter: Basically an orange hat. The strap vest provides very little orange. (most of his orange was left at home).
3rd hunter down: Notice the difference with a vest, orange on the sleeves, and an orange hat (mad bombers style).
Last one on the line: Again, an orange hat and a strap vest with very little orange (he is currently moving, and most of his upland gear is in storage).
Now, I will be the first to admit that upland clothing in orange is not always easy to find, and can be expensive. Also, depending on the weather, you may need to resort to wearing some of your deer hunting clothing. But just consider the additional safety for you and your buddies. I believe that the above photo helps prove that point.
And what was I wearing? Yes, plenty of orange. Oh, and Colt was sporting a really nice orange protective vest from Cabelas.
Alan Blakemore is an upland enthusiast and an owner handler, owner trainer of Hungarian Vizslas. (www.huntmorevizslas.com) He is currently the Secretary of the Lone Star Quail/Pheasant Forever chapter of Dallas/Fort Worth. (www.lonestarqf.org)